Research Overview

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Blowin' in the Wind

Lucy Pao led the founding of a Front Range wind energy center

Surgical Crawlers

Mark Rentschler takes the concept of the pill camera to the next level

Smart Buildings, Smart Energy

Gregor Henze approaches energy by studying the supply-demand balance

The College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder is recognized around the globe as a leader--as well as a leading partner--in fundamental and applied engineering research. Our more than 200 outstanding faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and nearly 5,000 empowered students combine to create a truly world-class research institution that promotes discovery and seeks creative, innovative, and collaborative engineering solutions to enhance the well-being of individuals and society.

Major Initiatives

CU-Boulder faculty and students conduct fundamental research in myriad areas along traditional disciplinary lines as well as in the context of contemporary technological applications. While the breadth of research is large, the college has identified five interdisciplinary themes under which faculty and departments aggregate their expertise and activity to significantly impact global society:

  • Aerospace systems science and engineering
  • Bioengineering and biotechnology
  • Computational science and engineering
  • Energy systems and environmental sustainability
  • Materials science and engineering

Interdisciplinary Centers

Over the last few years CU Engineering faculty have created eight new interdisciplinary research centers in biofuels, nanotechnology, unmanned vehicles, wind energy, space transportation, and sustainable engineering, bringing the total number to 16. These centers bring together faculty, students, and professional participants to address contemporary interdisciplinary challenges. They are supported by diverse industry and government sources.

Faculty Excellence

The faculty in the College of Engineering and Applied Science are innovative, highly productive, and widely-recognized for their professional accomplishments:

  • Fifteen engineering faculty were elected to the National Academy of Engineering during their time at CU, six of which are current faculty. This membership is the highest professional honor bestowed on engineers, recognizing important contributions to engineering theory and practice and unusual accomplishments in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology.
  • More than one-third of our faculty have won prestigious early career awards from NSF, DOD, DOE and other federal agencies including 29 new awards in the last four years.
  • Kristi Anseth of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering is one of only four engineers to receive NSF’s prestigious Waterman Award. Anseth also is the first engineer selected as a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator.
  • Five CU Engineering faculty are Distinguished Professors, the highest honor that the University of Colorado bestows on its own faculty members.

Graduate Programs

Our seven departments are home to 1,605 graduate students (701 PhD and 904 MS with average GRE Quantitative scores of 751/800). In addition to traditional departmental degrees, we offer MS and PhD degrees in Interdisciplinary Telecommunications and an MS degree in Engineering Management.

Our departments and graduate programs are the highest-ranked in the Rocky Mountain Region by both the National Research Council (NRC) and U.S. News and World Report (USNWR). The former is a data-based assessment based on measures of faculty research productivity and impact such as awards and recognition, publications, citations, etc. while the latter is purely reputation-based. Three of our programs are ranked in the top 10 or top 10 percent in the U.S. by the NRC, and the college is ranked 34th (20th among publics) among nearly 200 comprehensive engineering colleges by USNWR.

Important Announcements

CUEngineering:  A publication for alumni and friends. Read the 2016 edition of CUEngineering magazine here.

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