Rensselaer’s research portfolio is a study in scales (from sub-atomic structure to galaxies), in breadth (from supply chain analytics to the search for dark matter), but primarily in innovation and excellence.  The research activities at Rensselaer are driven by world-class faculty joined by students and staff across the five Schools, are grounded in our Research Initiatives and Research Centers, and are catalyzed by critical collaborations with state, local, federal, and private partners.  Answering our charge, “Why not change the world?” research at Rensselaer is characterized by multidisciplinary collaborations aspiring to understand the world around us and create a better tomorrow.  

All our Schools are full participants in our research mission. Fundamental research in the School of Science pushes the frontiers of discovery, while work in the School of Engineering literally embodies our motto of “applying science to the common purposes of life.”  The School of Architecture brings a unique understanding of the interaction of the built environment with both the natural world and human occupants; Management brings a perspective on leadership, organizations, and financial markets; and the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences brings an essential humanistic view to our research enterprise.

Our new Research Initiatives – which target interdisciplinary fields of research that truly are critical to the future – are the spark, the foundation, and equally the result of Rensselaer’s long-standing and robust research enterprise.  These include the Center for Engineering and Precision Medicine in partnership with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; the Institute for Energy, the Built Environment, and Smart Systems; the planned Global Freshwater Institute, and the Future of Computing Institute.  These Research Initiatives are but today’s example of the future of Research at Rensselaer, which is ever evolving to meet the global challenges of the time.  Today, somewhere within the ranks of the outstanding faculty in our Schools, supported by the research infrastructure and emboldened by Rensselaer’s commitment to innovation, excellence, and transformation, are the nascent Research Initiatives of tomorrow. 


The success of Research at Rensselaer depends critically on the Institute’s commitment to all aspects of the research enterprise.  From the Research Initiatives to the new assistant professor just starting his or her research journey, the research organization must serve both our ongoing research programs and enable an evolving research enterprise.  Continuing to build a modern, functional internal infrastructure is one critical aspect.  Expanding industry engagement modeled after the very fruitful collaborations we already have with IBM, Corning, and Boeing, among others, will be a cornerstone of RPI’s regional and global engagement.  Attracting world-class research faculty while also building robust and innovative curricular programs that meet the needs of today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders will also be a key foundation for the future of Research at Rensselaer. 

Our goal is to generate an action plan that positions the Institute and the research enterprise for a future of excellence. This action plan must both empower and accelerate our recently announced Research Initiatives but should also enable and advance excellence across the entire research enterprise at RPI and provide the framework for the new research initiatives of tomorrow.

Chair: Robert Hull, Vice President of Research
Vice Chair:  Karyn Rogers, Associate Professor, E&ES

  • Jonas Braasch, Professor and Associate Director for EMPAC Research, EMPAC
  • Dawn Cairns-Weaver, Associate Director of CCPD, Student Life
  • Chris Carothers, Director, Center for Computational Innovations
  • Harper Chisiari, Undergraduate Student, Class of 2024
  • Aparna Gupta, Professor, Lally
  • Johnson Samuel, Associate Professor, MANE
  • Abby Kinchy, Professor, STS
  • Nikhil Koratkar, Professor, MANE
  • Alexander Lutsevich, Graduate Student
  • Jay McGlothlin, Manager of Research Computing Support, DotCIO
  • Deborah McGuinness, Senior Constellation Professor, Computer Science
  • Guy Montelione, Professor, Chemistry and Chemical Biology
  • Katelyn Newsham, Class Dean, Student Life
  • Moussa N’gom, Assistant Professor, Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Tanya Rautine, Business Manager, Office of Research
  • Catherine Royer, Professor, Biological Sciences
  • Glenn Saunders, Senior Research Engineer, Office for Research
  • Colleen Smith, Dean of Graduate Student Experience, Student Life
  • Tomek Strzalkowski, Professor, Cognitive Science
  • Donna Tomlinson, Senior Business Manager, School of Engineering
  • Alexandros Tsamis, Assistant Professor and Associate Director of CASE, Architecture
  • Deepak Vashishth, Director of CBIS, Office of Research
  • Andrew White, Director, Library Information Services, DotCIO

  • What can RPI do to support research excellence more broadly?
  • How can RPI attract and retain world-class faculty?
  • What should be our goals in terms of the size of the research enterprise?
  • Are there organizational and systemic aspects of the research enterprise at the Institutional level that need attention to achieve RPI’s research goals?
  • Beyond our current centers and initiatives, are there other fields where an institute-wide effort would be appropriate?
  • What should be the framework for identifying future Research Initiatives and Centers?  How do we ensure that all stakeholders are engaged in the process?
  • How can RPI position itself as a preferred partner to industry and what partnerships should we pursue in the Capital Region and beyond?
  • What strategic steps are important to realize Rensselaer’s long-term research goals (e.g. resource planning, presence in Washington, etc.)?
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