Discovery and Innovation with Purpose

Research at WPI is exciting, cutting-edge, and transformative. Multidisciplinary collaborations enable new perspectives and boundary-advancing possibilities within our labs and classrooms. Building on the university’s current and historical strengths and seizing emerging opportunities currently in some of the most important multidisciplinary areas, WPI has developed five cross-cutting research areas as part of the strategic plan.

Health & Biotech

Associate professor and biomedical engineer Marsha Rolle and collaborators are using tissue engineering to build replacement tracheas. The work could someday allow surgeons the option of replacing a damaged or faulty trachea with a fully functional natural-tissue trachea in both adults and children.

Advanced Materials & Manufacturing

Lithium-ion batteries power electronics and electric vehicles, but very few of these devices are ever recycled due to challenges related to their chemistry. A new company, based on research by mechanical engineer Yan Wang, may be the first to bring a viable recycling technology to market. 

Cyber, Data & Security

With the support of a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, computer science professor Craig Shue is looking to make home networks—and the Internet—safer by  by developing cloud-based security providers.

Robotics & the Internet of Things

Robotics engineer Raghvendra Cowlagi and electrical and computer engineer Alex Wyglinski are focusing their interests in decision making and wireless communication on driverless cars.

Learning Sciences

Created by computer scientist Neil Heffernan, ASSISTments, a free web-based learning platform, has been shown to boost student scores on standardized math tests. The impact will be further studied through two multi-million dollar grants from a division of the U.S. Department of Education and the American Institutes for Research. 

Career Paths

One of the best-known and most coveted young faculty honors is the five-year CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Eight of these career-establishing awards have recently been bestowed on WPI researchers, along with the university's first U.S. Air Force Young Investigator Award. These rising stars represent a depth of expertise in areas such as math, chemical engineering, biology, learning sciences, and cybersecurity.