Research and Facilities

Discovering tomorrow.

$17M+Research Funding
85+Faculty
50+Active Research Projects
$150MNew Facilities

The College of Engineering has over 70 tenured / tenure-track faculty performing research focusing on solving the most pressing local and global challenges. Their nationally and internationally recognized research expertise encompasses areas such as coastal resiliency, materials for extreme environments, nanotechnology, robotics, underwater exploration, offshore wind energy, and water reuse, among others, using an interdisciplinary and user-oriented approach to integrate the discovery of fundamental knowledge and applied research to solve societal issues.

The College of Engineering hosts three research centers funded by federal, state, and private sources and two research core facilities with more than $10M on state-of-the-art characterization and analytical capabilities.

Over the past 5 years, the College of Engineering has received 6 NSF CAREER Awards (60% of all URI NSF CAREER) and 4 ONR Young Investigator Awards. Our faculty’s research activity thrives thanks to the extensive collaboration across engineering disciplines, the university at large, government, academia, and industry worldwide.

This has resulted in a doubling of external research funding from 2016 to 2022, from $6M to $18M. A $150M investment in the Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering (opened in 2019) and the recent approval of state bond to build the new Ocean Engineering building at the Bay Campus is giving URI Engineering some of the best engineering facilities in the country.

News in Research

  • Miller, James, 2021 Jim Miller Becomes Co-Director of the NIUVT - On September 1, Dr. James Miller took over the co-directorship of the National Institute of Undersea Vehicle Technology (NIUVT). Miller, University of Rhode Island’s chair of ocean engineering, replaced Dr. Arun Shukla in the role. NIUVT is a joint effort between URI and the University of Connecticut (UCONN). The Institute, founded in 2017 and funded […]
  • New URI lab developing adaptive technology, secures National Science Foundation grant - Reza Abiri and Yalda Shahriari, professors in URI’s College of Engineering, are building a new robotic platform that can help post-stroke patients perform needed rehabilitation and regain motor skills in the wake of a stroke, including to reach for, grasp and hold on to that all-important cup to start the day. 
  • Researchers Developing High-Tech Armband for Opioid-Use Disorder - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 280,000 people in the U.S. died from overdoses involving prescription opioids from 1999 to 2021. In 2021, overdoses involving opioids—including prescription opioids, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—killed more than 80,000 people, 10 times the number of those killed in 1999.
  • Student Led Team Receives Artificial Intelligence Award - A URI graduate student’s paper was recently awarded “Best Student Paper Finalist” for the 2023 Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics conference. Emadodin Jandaghi and Xiaotian Chen’s work was overseen by Associate Professor and Advisor Chengzhi Yuan. As the name suggests, soft robotics involves using flexible materials in an increasingly wide variety of uses, from medical applications to […]