Oil companies have spent billions of dollars exploring the Arctic, which the U.S. Geological Survey estimates could contain enough oil to meet global demand for nearly three years. As the industry explores ways to find and drill for that crude, a troubling question remains unanswered: what happens if there's a major spill? Learn about Ali Rangwala's and Lydia Shi's pioneering studies.
Innovations, technical advances, and scientific discoveries all begin with research. At WPI, faculty members and students engage in cutting-edge research across many engineering disciplines. In a collaborative environment that encourages innovative thinking, the resulting knowledge is put into action to meet society’s most pressing challenges—and deliver solutions.
WPI's researchers—faculty, undergrads, and graduate students—are as diverse as their work. Whether driven by the discovery of scientific knowledge or by the solutions they see on the horizon, they are all focused on making positive change.
Using Plants for Clean Energy
As energy costs rise and scientists search for cheaper and cleaner alternatives to burning fossil fuels, attention is turning to lignocellulosic biomass, the inedible portion of plants. The most abundant source of renewable carbon, this biomass has the potential to become a sustainable replacement for fossil fuels in transportation, chemical production, and manufacturing. Michael Timko is exploring the use of solid acids in biomass conversion.
Surgical Robots Offer Precision
In his Automation and Interventional Medicine (AIM) Laboratory, Gregory Fischer is developing a new category of surgical robots designed to work inside MRI scanners, making it possible for surgeons to operate guided by real-time imaging, and improve current treatments.