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Research Strategic Plan

The Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources faculty have pursued ambitious research goals from lunar mining to hyperloop engineering. A major driver in fueling growth in West Virginia, the Statler College is setting its sights on the next decade and seeks to expand innovation and collaborative research in various disciplines areas. The College prides itself on upholding the land grant mission of West Virginia University. The five-year plan is a road map of what Statler College will look like in 2026. The most important assets are our people. Our students and faculty continue to win awards, fellowships and competitions. Through a comprehensive SWOT analysis, the Statler College has identified the following eight focus areas as our strategic growth areas to grow and invest in the future:

  • Decarbonization, including natural gas conversion, CO2 capture, utilization, and sequestration, smart and advanced manufacturing; reducing CO2 footprint in engines and transportation, renewables (geothermal and solar) and energy storage etc.;

  • Energy Materials, including ceramics for fuel cells and 3D printing, high-temperature sensors for combustion and manufacturing processes, high-temperature alloys for composites for energy-efficient and hydrogen-fueled power generation, and thermal electrics etc.;

  • Engineering Education, including K-12 initiatives, transition to college, assessment of teaching methodologies, enhancing persistence and diversity, and bringing engineering thinking into general education courses etc.;

  • Engineering for Human Safety and Health, including biomedical engineering, digital health and smart health, safety management, etc.;

  • Engineering for Space Applications, including space exploration and space weather, building wide-field survey radio astronomy instruments, etc.;

  • Sustainable Extraction and Utilization of Natural Resources, including rare earth elements recovery, robotics application to mining, mine safety, petroleum and natural gas engineering data analytics, unconventional natural gas resources development, stream water quality and ecosystem health, food-energy-water nexus, wastewater management and resource/nutrient recovery etc.;

  • Robotics, including robust decision making under uncertainty, multi-agent systems, human-robot interaction, bio-inspired and soft robotics design, and robotics applications agriculture, health care, autonomous driving/delivery etc.;

  • Sustainable and Secured Infrastructure, including physical infrastructure, electric grid, cybersecurity and homeland security etc.

The Statler College will hire outstanding faculty and attract exceptional graduate students to lead innovation in research and development. The plan is a heuristic, inward, dynamic approach to college-wide academic growth and represents months of planning, cooperation, and networking between faculty, department chairs, and researchers. The College seeks to improve visibility, build partnerships and nurture an interdisciplinary culture that will uplift West Virginia and the surrounding regions.