Research

It All Begins with Research

Innovations, technical advances, and scientific discoveries all have their genesis in one ultimate source: research. At WPI, students and faculty members engage in cutting-edge research across a wide range of engineering disciplines. The result is knowledge that can be put into action to meet society’s most pressing challenges–and deliver solutions.

Unique Perspectives Inspire Rewarding Research

WPI researchers are as diverse as their work. Some are driven by the discovery of scientific knowledge; others by the solutions they see on the horizon. They are graduate students, undergrads, and faculty members.  

Regardless of their focus or position, they’re all taking full advantage of the almost limitless opportunities to engage in groundbreaking research at WPI. And the results are both rewarding and inspiring.

Research Videos

 
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  • Airbag

    Invention Profile


    Title: Airbag Safety System

    Carl Clark ’45 began working with airbags in the 1960s. He first proposed the use of airbags for spacecraft and aircraft, then developed the first practical automotive airbag safety system.

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  • area-rule

    Invention Profile


    Title: Area Rule of High-Speed Aircraft Design

    In 1951, while working for the forerunner of NASA, Richard T. Whitcomb ’43 made a breakthrough that would fundamentally change the way high-speed aircraft were designed.

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  • internal-grinding

    Invention Profile


    Title: Internal Grinding Machine for Engine Manufacture

    Around 1905, James N. Heald 1884 invented an internal grinding machine that produced a more even finish on cylinders for internal combustion engines.

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  • negative-feedback

    Invention Profile


    Title: Negative Feedback Theory

    Harold Black ’21 was an engineer at Bell Laboratories in 1927 when he invented the negative-feedback amplifier that, among other things, eliminated distortion from telephone calls.

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  • stainless-steel

    Invention Profile


    Title: Stainless Steel

    Elwood Haynes 1881 discovered a type of stainless steel and patented it in 1919. He is also credited with the development of one of the first gasoline-powered cars in America.

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  • catalytic-converter

    Invention Profile


    Title: The Catalytic Converter

    In 1973, Robert C. Stempel ’55 was asked by General Motors to oversee the development of a technology that would enable GM cars to meet new air pollution regulations.

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  • radio

    Invention Profile


    Title: The First Commercial Radio Station

    Henry P. Davis 1880 authorized his employer, Westinghouse, to set up radio station KDKA–which, on Nov. 2, 1920, became the world's first commercial radio station.

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  • rocket

    Invention Profile


    Title: The First Liquid-Fueled Rocket

    The Space Age began in 1926 on a farm in Auburn, Massachusetts, when Robert H. Goddard 1908 demonstrated a new technology that would ultimately take human beings into space.

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  • infusion-pump

    Invention Profile


    Title: The First Portable Drug Infusion Pump

    Inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen invented the first wearable infusion pump (which found immediate applications in medicine) while a physics major at WPI in the early 1970s.

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  • suspension-bridge

    Invention Profile


    Title: The Parallel-Wire Strand System for Suspension Bridges

    As an engineer with Bethlehem Steel Corp., Jackson L. Durkee ’43 developed many innovations that changed the way long-span bridges are built.

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  • traffic

    Invention Profile


    Title: Traffic Engineering

    Burton Marsh ‘20 served as director of traffic engineering and safety for the American Automobile Association (AAA), where he pioneered an emphasis on pedestrian safety.

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