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Research Focus Areas

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Focus Areas

UD’s engineering faculty are leading critical areas of research for the 21st century, working on society’s most challenging problems and educating the next generation of problem solvers and solution creators. Some featured research areas include:


Innovations in the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals are founded on research in cell culture processes and bioreactors, high-end and scalable purification processes, product formulation and stability, drug delivery, and manufacturing.


Our education and workforce programs are preparing professionals to design, execute and evaluate solutions that can stand up to today’s increasingly sophisticated attacks, while research is addressing topics including bio-cybersecurity, drone navigation and financial services analytics.

Data Science

Applications of our work in data science include precision agriculture, medical diagnostics and bioinformatics. Pioneering work in HPC research and education is complemented by the application of virtual reality technology to polar research and the development of better search engine training methods.


The need for cleaner, more sustainable sources of energy to replace fossil fuels undergirds research on a broad range of technologies, including batteries and fuel cells, solar electric, vehicle-to-grid, biomass conversion and thermoelectrics. UD’s campus bus system serves as a demonstration of hybrid fuel cell technology.


Our researchers are investigating contaminants in soil and groundwater, environmental biotechnology and nanotechnology, and water quality and wastewater engineering, as well as a range of coastal issues from rip currents and dune erosion to beach nourishment and replenishment.

Human Health

Efforts in human health focus on cancer, brain studies, biomaterials and biomedical devices. Work in rehabilitation and biomechanics is resulting in new assistive devices and therapies, while an interdisciplinary collaboration is yielding novel sensor-based tools to train healthcare professionals.


UD teams are addressing traditional infrastructure areas including transportation planning, bridge engineering, disaster planning and management and railroad safety, as well as developing smart systems for autonomous and connected vehicles, traffic control and structural health monitoring.


Our researchers are pioneering modern approaches to additive manufacturing, catalysis, process intensification, biomanufacturing, chemical and commodity processing and remote manufacturing. In addition, UD has a strong track record in the development of a science base for a broad range of advanced composite manufacturing processes.


Advanced materials provide the foundation for a broad range of applications including defense, healthcare, automotive, aerospace, medical devices and photovoltaics. UD has expertise in finer-reinforced composites and novel polymers including hydrogels for drug delivery and other therapies.


UD’s Nanofabrication Facility enables teams of researchers to create devices smaller than a human hair, supporting scientific advances in device fabrication, nanoscale biomaterials, nanoscale soft and composite materials, nanotechnology and the environment, and nanoscale solid-state materials.