UD RESEARCH INITIATIVES

What will the future look like, and how can we ensure we pursue the best path forward to make progress happen, together? This is just one of many questions we ask on a daily basis at the University of Delaware … in our laboratories, in our classrooms and in multiple environments beyond our campus where our students collaborate and learn around the world.

Located at the heart of the U.S. East Coast, the University of Delaware has been a nexus of innovation and bold thinking since its founding in 1743. In fact, some of our students were among the visionaries and pioneers of U.S. independence. Today, the University of Delaware continues to cultivate creative thinkers—Nobel laureates, Rhodes Scholars and Truman Scholars—whose ideas are changing the world.


 

UD Research Initiatives

Informing our world in every environment and so much more

Our UD community is dedicated to working on pressing challenges, from producing clean energy to caring for an aging population. This dedication is one that embraces partnership … working with schools, companies, governments, inventors and institutions around the globe. At this time when ideas, technology and innovation know no boundaries, the future has never been more exciting. We can’t wait to collaborate with the next great partner, innovate with the next great program and solve the next great challenge. Here’s a sampling of our major research initiatives.

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ART CONSERVATION

Art Conservatyion at UD with Dr. Deborah Hess Norris

ABOVE: Internationally known conservator Debra Hess Norris, Unidel Henry Francis du Pont Chair of Fine Arts (right), and UD alumna Shannon Brogdon-Grantham (center) instruct students from historically black colleges and universities in the preservation of historic photographs and audiovisual materials.

 

Treating treasures with world-class expertise

World-class stewardship of antiquities, paintings, photographs and other irreplaceable treasures is the hallmark of the University of Delaware’s Art Conservation program. Whether the focus is Babe Ruth’s baseball contract or a Rembrandt masterpiece, UD delivers science-based, gold-standard training in the conservation and preservation of cultural heritage for future generations.

 

Areas of Expertise

  • Chemical analysis
  • Disaster response and recovery
  • Digitization of print media and manuscripts
  • Documentation
  • Innovative cleaning techniques
  • Materials characterization
  • Permanence of art materials
  • Preventive conservation
  • Storage methods
  • Treatment

Program Distinctions

  • One of only four institutions in North America to offer degrees in art conservation and the only institution to offer the Ph.D. in preservation studies
  • Degrees offered at undergraduate, master’s and doctorate levels
  • Collaboration and affiliation with Winterthur, the nation’s premier museum of American decorative arts, with 26 conservation studios, laboratories, examination rooms and workshops
  • State-of-the-art analytical instrumentation

 

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BIOPHARMACEUTICALS

Biopharmaceutical Innovation Building

ABOVE: UD broke ground on STAR Campus in October 2017 for a six-story, $156 million Biopharmaceutical Innovation Building. NIIMBL headquarters will occupy about 25 percent of this state-of-the-art facility. The building will house some of the nation’s top innovators and scientists under one roof, focused on finding cures and improving treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, cancer and other diseases.

 

Building the future with biopharmaceuticals

Biopharmaceuticals have been around only since the 1980s but have shown great promise in medicine – relying on living cells instead of chemistry to treat disease. With their high efficacy and limited side effects compared to chemically derived therapeutics, biopharmaceuticals are revolutionizing medicine. Innovative advances that will allow more rapid and flexible production with the precision needed to effectively meet healthcare needs and respond quickly to pandemics or other biological threats is an initiative that UD is embarking on.

 

Areas of Expertise

  • Over 150 partners in government, industry and academic sectors
  • Training
  • workforce development

Program Distinctions

The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), headquartered at the University of Delaware, is at the forefront of making medicines more accessible to Americans.

  • Materials in extreme dynamic environments, with Johns Hopkins, California Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, national laboratories and industry, funded by U.S. Army Research Laboratory
  • Rapid prototyping of ankle-foot orthoses for wounded warriors, funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
  • Lightweight automotive door production, with Clemson University and 10 industry partners, funded in part by U.S. Department of Energy

 

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COMPOSITE MATERIALS

UD Center for Composite Materials

ABOVE: UD’s Center for Composite Materials builds research teams from academia, industry and government to develop new materials and manufacturing processes. The center has collaborated with more than 200 companies through its university-industry consortium.

 

Developing new materials for a new age

Society is always striving for something better—faster, cheaper, safer, “smarter.” At the University of Delaware, we’re inventing the materials of tomorrow, from nano-sized carriers that deliver cancer-fighting drugs precisely where needed, to “super-hero” technologies that protect against bullets, blades and blasts. Exceptional tools, including our new Nanofabrication Facility, are helping us forge new paths to discovery.

 

Areas of Expertise

  • Biological and biomedical materials
  • Composites
  • Electronic
  • Inorganic-organic hybrid materials
  • Materials characterization Nanomaterials
  • Photonic materials
  • Photovoltaics
  • Polymers
  • Rheology
  • Self-assembly of materials
  • Thin-film materials

Program Distinctions

UD’s Center for Composite Materials brings together 150+ researchers to develop materials for the aerospace, automotive, defense and durable goods industries. Selected programs:

  • Materials in extreme dynamic environments, with Johns Hopkins, California Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, national laboratories and industry, funded by U.S. Army Research Laboratory
  • Rapid prototyping of ankle-foot orthoses for wounded warriors, funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
  • Lightweight automotive door production, with Clemson University and 10 industry partners, funded in part by U.S. Department of Energy

 

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DATA SCIENCE

Cathy Wu

ABOVE: Cathy Wu, Unidel Edward G. Jefferson Chair of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and director of UD’s Data Science Institute, has pioneered the development of protein sequence databases used worldwide to decode human disease.

 

Harnessing big data for discovery

Every second of every day, data zooms through our universe­—in ever-increasing volume, variety and velocity. But what can we make of it all? To extract something of value requires strategic collection, management and analytic processes to turn that data into discovery. The University of Delaware is on the leading edge of this growing field, offering powerful tools and a culture of collaboration.

 

Areas of Expertise

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Cluster, cloud and grid computing
  • Dataflow
  • Data and text mining
  • Discriminant analysis
  • High-performance computing
  • Multiple regressions
  • Neural networks
  • Process controls
  • Resilience engineering
  • Scalable computing

Interdisciplinary Focus

Faculty affiliated with UD’s Data Science Institute collaborate with partners including:

  • Argonne National Laboratory
  • DE Biotechnology Institute
  • Major financial institutions
  • National Institutes of Health Big Data to Knowledge project
  • NSF South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub with Georgia Tech, UNC and 90 other partners
  • NVIDIA GPU Education Center
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • San Diego Supercomputing Ctr
  • TERAFLUX Consortium on dataflow for high-performance computing

 

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DISASTER RESEARCH

Disaster Research in Nepal

ABOVE: Disaster Research Center teams have conducted more than 700 field studies, with over 1,000 site visits around the world. Recent sites include Japan, Nepal, Oklahoma, New York City, California and Haiti.

 

Solving complex problems in times of disaster

In times of disaster, reliable information and trusted partners are among the most valuable resources. The University of Delaware’s Disaster Research Center (DRC) offers both. As the world’s first and most comprehensive hub of social science disaster research, the DRC has a trove of information on floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, plane crashes and other crises, offering insight on the best approaches for planning and response.

Areas of Expertise

  • Community resilience
  • Critical supplies
  • Evacuations
  • Humanitarian assistance
  • Information chains
  • Infrastructure risk management
  • Logistics
  • Mitigation strategies
  • Protective actions
  • Public health
  • Response and recover
  • Social vulnerability
  • Transportation modeling
  • Warning and risk perceptions

Interdisciplinary Focus

  • Anthropology
  • Behavioral sciences
  • Civil engineering
  • Emergency management
  • Environmental justice
  • Geography
  • Health statistics
  • History
  • Public health
  • Public policy
  • Sociology

 

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ENERGY

Vehicle to Grid Technology

ABOVE: UD researchers invented vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, which allows electric car batteries to both receive energy and send energy back to the grid. It’s now in use in California, Delaware, Denmark, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.

 

Driving global energy solutions

One of the greatest challenges facing humanity is access to clean, reliable energy. Working with industry, academic and government partners, the University of Delaware is creating innovative technologies and energy-saving policies and putting them to use around the globe. UD has been tapped to lead major research projects in the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Manufacturing Institute, and we lead an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

 

Areas of Expertise

  • Advanced magnets
  • Biomass
  • Catalysis
  • Composites manufacturing
  • Energy storage and conversion
  • Environmental and energy policy
  • Fuel cells
  • Industrial energy efficiency
  • Solar technology
  • Vehicle-to-grid technology
  • Wind power

Interdisciplinary Focus

The Delaware Energy Institute, with more than 100 affiliated researchers, is coordinating inquiry into a wide variety of energy-related fields:

  • Efficiency

    UD researchers are engineering technology to reduce the energy required for transportation, heating and more, helping consumers, businesses and governments to remain productive while lessening their carbon footprint.

  • Renewability

    Instead of petroleum, what if planes and jets could be powered with corncobs and wood chips? UD scientists seek to answer clean energy challenges in innovative ways.

  • Materials

    UD is working to make high-tech composites more affordable and functional, while incubating new businesses by providing students with entrepreneurial opportunities, and offering industrial partners in-depth research expertise.

  • Energy policy and economics

    The Delaware Energy Institute aims to link research and policy. We’re partnering with centers on topics such as climate change planning and sustainable development.

 

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Making waves

With demand for coastal engineers rising, UD professor brings the coast to classrooms

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ENVIRONMENT

Environmental Research

ABOVE: Through work supported by National Geographic, UD researchers are documenting the fleeting way of life of the Ese’Eja—a hunting, gathering and fishing people of Peru’s Amazon region—and their deep knowledge of the ecosystem.

 

Informing our world in every environment

Our world is an intricate and interconnected environment—from the tiniest nanoparticle to the biggest quasar clusters. University of Delaware researchers are exploring all of it, adding daily to our understanding of the planet and informing decisions we make for the future. From Earth’s core to the bottom of the oceans and the vast realm of space, UD’s collaborative reach is truly galactic.

 

Areas of Expertise

  • Agriculture
  • Air quality
  • Animal and food sciences
  • Applied economics and statistics
  • Climatology
  • Entomology and wildlife ecology
  • Environmental and energy policy
  • Environmental humanities
  • Environmental technology
  • Geography
  • Geological sciences
  • Marine science and policy
  • Meteorology and climate
  • Oceanography
  • Plant and soil sciences
  • Water quality

Interdisciplinary Focus

UD’s Delaware Environmental Institute, with more than 175 affiliated experts, is developing interdisciplinary projects and programs in these core research areas, on local to international levels:

  • Critical zone (Earth’s near-surface area)
  • Water quality
  • Climate, including sea level rise
  • Land use
  • Monitoring and forecasting
  • Human impacts

 

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REHABILITATION

Rehabilitation

ABOVE: GoBabyGo! is an internationally recognized program initiated at UD to help children and adults overcome mobility challenges.

 

Advancing excellence in physical rehabilitation

Atoddler with spina bifida, an athlete with a bad knee, a stroke survivor learning to walk again … the gift of mobility is not to be taken for granted at any age. At the University of Delaware—home to the nation’s number-one physical therapy program—we are accelerating research to help people with movement issues and educating students through hands-on training in our clinics serving the community.

 

Areas of Expertise

  • Biofluid mechanics
  • Exercise physiology
  • Human movement
  • Motor control
  • Musculoskeletal biomechanics
  • Musculoskeletal modeling
  • Muscle physiology
  • Nutrition
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Physical therapy clinical services
  • Rehab/assistive technology
  • Shoulder mechanics
  • Speech/language pathology
  • Tissue mechanics

Interdisciplinary Focus

  • The Delaware Rehabilitation Institute brings together researchers to explore the development of robotic exoskeletons for stroke rehabilitation, vocal fold regeneration, osteoarthritis causes and treatments, and many other topics.
  • UD’s Interdisciplinary Program in Biomechanics and Movement Science provides research training leading to the master’s or doctoral degree in areas ranging from exercise physiology to rehabilitation engineering.
  • Through an NIH National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research grant, UD offers a predoctoral training program to expand research on the problems of individuals with disabilities.

 

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The University of Delaware is marshaling expertise across the sciences, engineering, business, education and the humanities to tackle local and global challenges.
To learn more
ASSISTANCE

Compliance Hotline
Phone: (302) 831-2792

Research Administration
Phone: (302) 831-2136
Fax: (302) 831-2828

HOURS OF OPERATION

The University of Delaware Research Office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Research Office is closed Saturday and Sunday and observes all University closings and holidays. See the Academic Calendar for more information.

Academic Calendar

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