Areas of Research
At WPI, researchers are innovators and educators who are working on solutions to the world’s great problems. Purpose-driven research at WPI focuses on four key areas that highlight the technical and societal intersections of these global challenges: the life sciences, smart technologies changing the way we live and work, materials and manufacturing processes designed for a more sustainable world, and global initiatives.
“Sustainability may be the single most important challenge that humanity faces, and WPI researchers want to be part of the solution. By developing new energy technologies, unraveling the causes of disease, designing advanced technologies that improve life, and partnering with people around the world to address their real-life needs, the university’s faculty and students are pushing the boundaries of understanding.”
WPI Senior Vice President and Provost
A Bright Forecast | Climate Change
In WPI laboratories, researchers are producing innovations that will help the world sustainably and successfully adapt to a changing climate. Materials that will improve the storage of hydrogen fuel and that will create a low-emission, self-healing substitute for concrete are in development. Researchers are exploring processes that turn unconventional products, like bamboo, into fuel and those that transform the recycling of lithium-ion batteries.
Healthcare | Starting at the Molecular Level
WPI researchers are exploring the fundamental mechanisms of life to expand knowledge about human diseases and how to treat them. Laboratory discoveries combined with computational analysis are illuminating the workings of everything from chromosomes to viruses, fungi, and bacteria.
BioPoint: Driving Innovation in Human Health and Healthcare Systems
The BioPoint team is dedicated to identifying key areas of collaboration with industry and government partners to advance research and development in the life sciences, bioengineering, and biomedical engineering. WPI is particularly well-positioned to help deliver positive outcomes to our partners.
Smart World: The Intersection of the Physical, Digital, and Biological Worlds
The numbers of smart devices and services in the world are rapidly expanding and changing how people will live and work. This pace of progress brings both opportunities and challenges, and it requires the focus of experts in areas such as data science, robotics, cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, interactive media and game development, learning sciences and technology, bioinformatics, computational biology, neuroscience/engineering, architectural engineering, and smart design.
MatR: Materials Reimagined: Connecting the Industries of Today and Tomorrow
With its rich history and strengths in manufacturing and materials, WPI continues to play a pivotal role in a new advanced manufacturing revolution that is moving far beyond stainless steels and nickel-based alloys. New ideas, talent, technologies, and expertise in areas like nanomaterials, energy, and synthetic biology are required to help build a stronger, more sustainable, and globally competitive manufacturing sector.
Global Initiatives: A Hub for Global Science, Technology, and Innovation Studies
WPI is building on its long tradition of addressing the major social, technological, ecological, and economic challenges facing people around the world with technological and scientific knowledge. Shifting social, developmental, and cultural contexts require a transformation of research and education on a global scale and the continual development of STEM scholars and leaders who can respond to these increasingly complex and diverse global issues.