In spite of its short history, the FIU College of Engineering and Computing has already developed a number of areas of research strength that will continue to be flourishing. Simultaneously, the College strives to be responsive to the emerging challenges and opportunities that the new century and the global environments of research and economic activities present. This enhanced research activity will seek to maintain a pace of 10% growth in research awards, to reach $25M per year by FY 2014-15. Some key areas for the continued and accelerated development of research endeavors will include:
Energy and Environmental Technologies: Biotechnology, Alternative Energy, Sustainability
Together, energy and environment, represent both a distinct need in South Florida and a major strength of the College. Biotechnology has been a major investment from the State of Florida with notable research institutes establishing a biotechnology presence in both South and Central Florida. Water availability, conservation, and coastal resources are areas of critical importance especially to South Florida with the neighboring Everglades. The College has already established strong ties with local agencies on water conservation and sustainability research, as well as with major utility companies in the areas of Smart Grid and power distribution. Alternative energy production is a global initiative and a strategic concern for the nation, as well as a perfect match for the expertise available in several departments of the College.
Health Related Technologies
For several decades, South Florida has been home to a number of representatives of the biomedical device industry. The diversity of expertise available in various departments is well suited to take advantage of the impending expansion of the medical instrumentation and healthcare record-keeping industries, as the new approaches used in Health Information Technologies will be more comprehensive, requiring developments at multiple levels, such as bio-nano sensors, biomaterials, biomechanics, bioinformatics, biomedical data mining, networking, intelligent human-computer interfaces for health systems, and database management.
Infrastructure: Hurricane Resiliency, Sustainability and Intelligent Transportation
Infrastructure is the backbone of the America’s economy. Building smart power grids, better utility network, wind-resilient and sustainable infrastructure, and mitigating the existing system, are especially critical to hurricane-prone areas such as South Florida. The College, in partnership with the International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC), has built a strong team of wind and structural engineers that are supported by state-of-the-art facilities, including the Wall of Wind (WoW) and the Structures and Construction Testing Laboratory. Similarly, through the Lehman Center for Transportation Research (LCTR), the College is well-positioned to develop advanced technologies such as Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) Systems that will help mitigate our clogged and aging transportation infrastructure through SMART (Sustainable Multimodal Advanced Regional Transit) system initiative.