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Research Strengths


Andre Palmer substitute blood research

Awareness of engineering’s role in Medicine globally grows every day. With a leading medical center and colleges of engineering, medicine, pharmacy, nursing and veterinary medicine all in close proximity, Ohio State is fertile ground for engineering-healthcare innovation. That’s why dozens of our faculty from a variety of disciplines are actively involved in healthcare-related research.

In early 2018, leaders from the College of Engineering and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center began synthesizing research activity across the medical and engineering campuses to establish teams that together develop solutions and technologies leading to meaningful discoveries. The new, collaborative Center for Cancer Engineering serves as a nexus for high-impact research, innovative training opportunities, collaborative cross-disciplinary funding, as well as technology development and commercialization.

In 2016, William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Professor Andre Palmer secured $5.5 million in NIH funding to continue development of a viable blood substitute. And recently, Biomedical Engineering Professor Yi Zhao launched a company to commercialize a smartphone-based digital pathology scanner.

Artificial Intelligence

In the past few years, Ohio State has become a national leader in Artificial Intelligence R&D. Engineering faculty lead three NSF-funded mega-institutes focused on using AI to solve global problems. Tanya Berger-Wolf heads up the $15 million Imageomics Institute, DK Panda leads the $20 million AI ICICLE Institute and Ness Shroff is the PI of the $20 million AI-EDGE Institute. Ohio State isn’t just on the AI map, we are now a destination.

Tanya Berger-Wolf teaching class

The Imageomics Institute is creating a new field of study in which scientists use images of living organisms as the basis for understanding biological processes of life on Earth. This new approach utilizes machine learning methodologies to extract from images biological traits such as the behavior or physical appearance of an individual, or even the distinguishing skeletal structure of a species. The institute’s researchers will leverage AI to lead a movement in wildlife conservation.

ICICLE (The AI Institute for Intelligent Cyberinfrastructure with Computational Learning in the Environment) features a team of 46 academic researchers and staff scientists from 13 organizations, including many from Ohio State, all working to build the next generation of cyberinfrastructure with a goal of making AI data and infrastructure more accessible to the larger society.

The AI Institute for Future Edge Networks and Distributed Intelligence (AI-EDGE) is focused on AI innovation for wireless devices, services and applications at the network edge rather than the traditional network core. These edge networks will encompass mobile and stationary devices, wireless and wired access, and computing and data servers.

And the $26 million NSF Engineering Research Center that Ohio State leads leverages AI to revolutionize U.S. manufacturing. Hybrid Autonomous Manufacturing, Moving from Evolution to Revolution (HAMMER) will accelerate development and deployment of intelligent autonomous manufacturing systems using multiple processes to control material properties and component dimensions to allow rapid customization. These systems will learn from each operation, improving themselves over time.

Additionally, Dean Ayanna Howard was appointed to the Department of Commerce National AI Advisory Committee in 2022.

AI and the collaborations it enables with other disciplines will continue to be a pillar of strategic importance in the college and for the university.


In Mobility, Ohio State Engineering’s leadership is gaining speed. Experts at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) have developed solutions that encompass a range of smart mobility factors including: vehicle autonomy; cybersecurity; connected vehicles; mobility services; deployment and demonstration.

With an Ohio State-designed and built fleet of connected and automated vehicles on hand, access to proving grounds, Smart Corridor (Route 33) and the Transportation Research Center which tests each technology under real-world conditions, CAR researchers take their theoretical understanding of automotive safety to the next level.

In the past five years, we have:

  • been chosen by the U.S. Department of Transportation to lead a $15M University Transportation Center to address cybersecurity risks in various modes of transportation.

  • been named a Beyond Traffic Innovation Center, one of 18 institutions across the country to lead research on transportation challenges.
  • joined the State of Ohio and the university in investing in enhanced autonomous vehicle technology and facilities (SMART Center) at our Transportation Research Center in East Liberty
  • launched a DriveOhio project to study the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, to monitor traffic and roadway conditions from the air along the 33 Smart Corridor

The Aerospace Research Center leads Ohio State’s involvement in the rapidly growing advanced air mobility sector. With a significant history of designing, building and testing uncrewed aerial vehicles (drones), the center is making landmark progress on a variety of initiatives. In collaboration with industry and government partners, ARC has been recognized for the development and deployment of a “detect and avoid” system to track low-flying drones, as a public service, and keep them from colliding with aircraft that operate at lower altitudes, such as medical helicopters or crop dusters – a first in an urban setting. Other initiatives include:


Suffice to say, manufacturing companies look to Ohio State for advances in technology and processes, as well the talent prepared to maximize both. A robust and competitive manufacturing sector is essential to our nation’s continued economic recovery.

In the spirit of our land-grant origins, we are proud to play an important role in the economic growth of Ohio and the U.S. We advance manufacturing technology and workforce readiness through multiple facilities and initiatives.

  • CDME manufacturing
    Hybrid Autonomous Manufacturing, Moving from Evolution to Revolution (HAMMER)
    HAMMER is a partnership between the National Science Foundation and an alliance of academics, industry and technical societies, led by The Ohio State University. HAMMER will perform foundational research, educate a new and diverse workforce, and develop a new innovative industrial ecosystem. The outcomes of this program will be more robust local supply chains, lower-carbon production and economic opportunities.
  • Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence
    CDME is the manufacturing port of entry into Ohio State. The center’s ability to move at the speed of industry while continuing to innovate eases the communication between both industry and the university experts to execute project management plans.
  • Ohio Manufacturing Institute
    OMI is as an action-oriented public policy and advocacy center for manufacturing within the state and nation, reflecting a thoughtful and sustained response to industry-led and vetted issues. In 2020, it helped Ohio State launch a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology with a concentration in manufacturing, offered on the Lima, Mansfield and Marion regional campuses.
  • Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability Discovery Theme
    Building on Ohio State's interdisciplinary strengths in materials research, world-class facilities, strong industrial partnerships, nationally recognized centers of excellence and recent strategic investments, this program will enable discoveries that transform our world and position Ohio State as preeminent in advanced materials and manufacturing for sustainability.
  • LIFT (Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow)
    Ohio State is a founding partner of LIFT, one of the first Manufacturing USA institutes, and a part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation program. The Detroit-based public-private partnership dedicated to developing and deploying advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training programs to better prepare the workforce today and in the future.


Our strengths in Materials—including the Institute for Materials Research and the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS)—led to the establishment of an Ohio State Discovery Theme focus area. Led by Professor Steve Ringel, Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability was one of seven proposals selected for funding through Ohio State’s Discovery Themes Initiative. Since then, eight new Discovery Themes faculty have been hired and 16 more new hires are planned in the near future.

Research from our Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) that could lead to jet engines that run hotter and cleaner has received extensive media coverage recently. And four MSE faculty members are leading or contributing to more than $12 million in Department of Energy-funded research focused on advancing vehicle sustainability.

  • Institute for Materials Research (IMR)
    The Institute for Materials Research is the gateway to Ohio State's materials-allied research enterprise. IMR supports a community of multidisciplinary researchers, capabilities, focus groups and centers that eliminate traditional discipline-driven boundaries at the research level. IMR provides seed funding, infrastructure support and development, management of major research facilities, faculty recruitment, promotion of industry partnerships, educational and outreach programs and strategic leadership.
  • Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS)

    The Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS) is a centralized, coordinated imaging facility where traditional boundaries between disciplines are eliminated. With one of the largest concentrations of electron and ion beam analytical microscopy instruments in any North American institution, CEMAS brings together multidisciplinary expertise to drive synergy, amplify characterization capabilities, and challenge what is possible in analytical electron microscopy. Our world-class multidisciplinary approach enables academic and business partners to "see more" than ever before. 

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