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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Office of the Vice President for Research

Signature Research Thrusts

  • ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, AND SMART SYSTEMS

    In Energy, Environment, and Smart Systems, we explore renewable technologies, energy efficiency, and the understanding of global environmental change to preserve the bio-diversity of the planet.

  • BIOTECHNOLOGY AND THE LIFE SCIENCES

    In Biotechnology and the Life Sciences, we are creating new routes to drug discovery and development, and understanding the fundamental mechanisms of disease, from Alzheimer’s and diabetes to cancer.

  • MEDIA, ARTS, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

    Research in Media, Arts, Science, and Technology facilitates new approaches to networking, advanced visualization, sensor design, haptics, and multiscale modeling and simulation, which are supported by the core capabilities of EMPAC.

  • COMPUTATIONAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

    Enabled by the capabilities of the CCI, Rensselaer has developed important programs in Computational Science and Engineering focused on high performance computing, big data, and data analytics, which supports research and innovation across a broad front.

  • NANOTECHNOLOGY AND ADVANCED MATERIALS

    Our excellence in Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials builds from the fundamental understanding—experimental, theoretical, and computational - of the underlying atomic and molecular properties of a wide range of nanostructured materials. We now are developing robust, affordable, and sustainable methods for manufacturing new functional hybrid materials, and the hierarchical systems and products based upon them.

In the News

  • Dark matter hunters observe 'rarest event ever recorded'

    April 25, 2019 -

    Researchers have measured a process that takes more than one trillion times the age of the universe to complete, using an instrument built to search for dark matter—the most elusive particle known to man.

  • For healthier lakes, rivers, and drinking water, hold the salt

    February 6, 2019 -

    Rick Relyea, an environmental scientist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is tackling similarly thorny questions in upstate New York’s Lake George, which has been called the Queen of American Lakes. Relyea leads the Jefferson Project, a collaboration among RPI, IBM, and the FUND for Lake George, a nonprofit focused on conserving the lake. The project has outfitted the lake with more than 500 “smart” environmental sensors during the past four years to monitor human influence on it. Over the past four decades, according to data from the Lake George Offshore Chemical Monitoring Program, chloride levels have tripled in Lake George, adding to other environmental effects on the lake. These effects include the rise of invasive species and the delivery, through stormwater runoff, of pollutants and nutrients that can stimulate algal blooms. Because it’s hard to tease apart the impacts of these various stressors on the lake’s water quality and wildlife, Relyea’s team has done a bevy of experiments in the lab and in large outdoor tanks to isolate and examine the consequences of increasing salt.

  • Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’

    January 23, 2019 -

    Scientist Brad Lister returned to Puerto Rican rainforest after 35 years to find 98% of ground insects had vanished.