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Buildings require a vast amount of materials for construction and consume about 40% of the world’s energy, whilst also playing a major role in human health and productivity. The Architectural Engineering program at WPI conducts pioneering research on smart materials and building systems to drastically reduce building energy use. Basic research includes the development of adaptive materials that can control heat-flow within building envelopes, in smart response to climatic conditions and comfort needs. Applied research includes work on new additive manufacturing techniques for the production of composite façade panels for use in existing and new buildings.  The program has also successfully participated in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition and pursues similar applied research projects within the larger WPI community. These projects provide excellent opportunities for undergraduate students to become engaged with sustainable building design. The AREN program also collaborates with professional engineering firms on research projects of mutual interest, and the program creates opportunities for its undergraduates to be involved with research through the Major Qualifying Project (MQP)  or summer internships. These research opportunities enhance the ability of our graduates to pursue graduate degrees, and allows them to excel in a professional architectural engineering context.

Research Facilities

As part of WPI’s Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) department, the groundbreaking research we pursue in the Architectural Engineering program happens in our state-of- the-art labs.

  • The Pavement Research Laboratory contains advanced testing equipment, such as the material testing system, the model mobile load simulator, and an array of nondestructive testing equipment.
  • The Materials/Structural Laboratory is set up for materials and structures testing and used for undergraduate teaching and projects as well as graduate research.