Research

Today, the world faces more problems than perhaps at any point in recent history. The National Academy of Engineering has outlined 14 Grand Challenges to address some of the most important and complex issues facing our world in the 21st century. Solving these problems will require the best efforts of engineers and scientists integrating their knowledge, expertise and creativity with a variety of other experts in global and social issues. Georgia Tech's research efforts are focused on tackling these Grand Challenges.

The goal of CoE is to be the nation’s premier research university in selected key research initiatives such as energy, biotechnology, sustainability, and nanotechnology while serving the needs of the citizens of the State and society-at-large. CoE's investment in engineering research is crucial to expand the boundaries of knowledge, advance and create new information and technology, transfer technology to industry, and positively impact the the state, nation, and world with strategic advances that have the potential to spawn new industries or to radically transform the product lines, processing technologies, or service delivery methodologies of current industries.

Having long recognized that interdisciplinary research is a key component of the continuous growth of the College, engineering faculty and students are leading and engaging in a number of interdisciplinary activities with sciences, computing, liberal arts, management, architecture and the Georgia Tech Research Institute, as well as, a number of major initiatives with partner institutions such as Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. The interdisciplinary research endeavors enable the College to leverage its strengths, and the strengths of potential collaborators.

As part of its unique innovation ecosystem, Georgia Tech has developed Interdisciplinary Research Institutes (IRIs), including the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), that bring together a mix of researchers – spanning colleges, departments, and individual labs – around a single core research area.

Meeting the Grand Challenges.

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced 14 Grand Challenges to be addressed in the early years of the 21st century if we are to safeguard our natural resources, promote quality of life worldwide and build a more secure and sustainable future for an ever-growing global population.

We are continuing to lead the nation in translational research – from lab to real world. The College has a strong interdisciplinary, highly collaborative research environment and an innovation ecosystem that brings together education, research, government, and industry in unique ways to address global problems such as pollution, clean water, energy, transportation, infrastructure, and security.

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Grand Challenges program

The Grand Challenges program is a living learning community that started in the Fall 2012. This program is open to all majors since every discipline has something to contribute to these challenges. In the twenty-first century, it’s impossible to solve any of these problems without considering the engineering, science, business, and policy challenges that accompany them.

Undergraduate Research

More than 33% of engineering undergraduates participate in research. All students are encouraged to do undergraduate research while at Georgia Tech. Students may earn course credit or salary for their work.  Participation can be during any semester and at any time during tenure as an undergraduate students.

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Student Inventors
70% of Georgia Tech's invention disclosures list at least one student among the inventors.
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Patents
Georgia Tech ranks number 25 out of the top 100 worldwide universities granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2014.

Research Centers

Today's researchers tackle complex problems that cannot be resolved within a single academic discipline. Many of the most interesting and important problems in engineering can be answered only through collaborative efforts.

The College of Engineering has more than 150 interdisciplinary research centers. These centers involve hundreds of faculty members, administrative, research, technical staff, and students at all levels.

Learn more about our research centers

Want to Know More?

Get the latest copy of Research Horizons Magazine. Visit the GT Newsroom for up-to-date information.

Spotlight on Research

College of Engineering Schools

Providing the foundation for advancement in the key areas of energy, infrastructure, healthcare, and security

  • Aerospace Engineering

    Aerospace Engineering

    The Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering boasts one of the oldest and largest aerospace programs in the country. Whether you want to build and fly all types of aircraft or dream of going into space, the School's focus on problem-solving can propel you into a rewarding career with many top aerospace firms and government-research labs.

    School Facts

    • More than 800 undergraduate and 500 graduate students
    • 40 academic faculty members
    • $32M in annual funded research expenditures
    • #2 undergraduate program and #2 graduate program according to U.S. News & World Report
    The Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering boasts one of the oldest and largest aerospace programs in the country.
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    Aerospace Engineering

    The Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering boasts one of the oldest and largest aerospace programs in the country. Whether you want to build and fly all types of aircraft or dream of going into space, the School's focus on problem-solving can propel you into a rewarding career with many top aerospace firms and government-research labs.

    School Facts

    • More than 800 undergraduate and 500 graduate students
    • 40 academic faculty members
    • $32M in annual funded research expenditures
    • #2 undergraduate program and #2 graduate program according to U.S. News & World Report
  • Biomedical Engineering

    A researcher looking under the microscope in the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering.

    Biomedical Engineering

    This interdisciplinary field integrates engineering and life sciences to support the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Biomedical engineers often serve as integrators in multidisciplinary teams of engineers, scientists, and healthcare professionals in the medical device and biotechnology industries, as well as at government regulatory agencies. Georgia Tech and Emory's program challenges students with practical, hands-on problem-solving and design experiences throughout the curriculum.

    School Facts

    • Undergraduate program is ranked #1 in the country according to U.S. News & World Report.
    • The Coulter Department has received more than $87 million in NIH funding from 2010-2015.
    • Approximately three-fourths of BME undergraduates elect to take part in laboratory research during their time in the program.
    • Home to the only research center in the United States dedicated exclusively to Pediatric Nanomedicine.
    The Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering is equally part of the Emory School of Medicine and the Georgia Tech College of Engineering communities.
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    A researcher looking under the microscope in the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering.

    Biomedical Engineering

    This interdisciplinary field integrates engineering and life sciences to support the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Biomedical engineers often serve as integrators in multidisciplinary teams of engineers, scientists, and healthcare professionals in the medical device and biotechnology industries, as well as at government regulatory agencies. Georgia Tech and Emory's program challenges students with practical, hands-on problem-solving and design experiences throughout the curriculum.

    School Facts

    • Undergraduate program is ranked #1 in the country according to U.S. News & World Report.
    • The Coulter Department has received more than $87 million in NIH funding from 2010-2015.
    • Approximately three-fourths of BME undergraduates elect to take part in laboratory research during their time in the program.
    • Home to the only research center in the United States dedicated exclusively to Pediatric Nanomedicine.
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

    A researcher adjusting a piece of machinery in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

    Chemists discover and create new compounds, but it’s chemical engineers who turn them into products that people need and use. Chemical and biomolecular engineers are developing frontier technologies in drug design and delivery, biotechnology, nanotechnology, alternate energy resources, and environmentally neutral manufacturing. In these fields and many others, chemical engineers provide the intellectual capital that powers today’s global enterprises.

    School Facts

    • One of the largest faculties of any chemical engineering program nationwide.
    • More than 900 undergraduate students and 200 graduate students.
    • Established in 1901, the school is one of the oldest and most diverse programs at Georgia Tech.
    With some of the country’s best labs, the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering is known for producing research that addresses the biggest problems facing our world.
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    A researcher adjusting a piece of machinery in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

    Chemists discover and create new compounds, but it’s chemical engineers who turn them into products that people need and use. Chemical and biomolecular engineers are developing frontier technologies in drug design and delivery, biotechnology, nanotechnology, alternate energy resources, and environmentally neutral manufacturing. In these fields and many others, chemical engineers provide the intellectual capital that powers today’s global enterprises.

    School Facts

    • One of the largest faculties of any chemical engineering program nationwide.
    • More than 900 undergraduate students and 200 graduate students.
    • Established in 1901, the school is one of the oldest and most diverse programs at Georgia Tech.
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering

    A researcher in front of their lab equipment.

    Civil and Environmental Engineering

    The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering prepares people who will invent the technologies of the future and create solutions to challenges we haven’t even imagined yet. Established in 1898, the School is now among the largest civil and environmental engineering programs in the country. Students on the civil track train to tackle projects like roads and bridges, sure, but they also work on technologies for green buildings, strategies that help us recover from disasters, and projects to alleviate poverty.

    School Facts

    • 66% of the students in environmental engineering are women.
    • Both civil and environmental undergraduate programs are ranked in the top four in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
    • CEE has 54 tenure-track faculty members who are leading experts in their respective disciplines.
    The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is consistently ranked as one of the nation's best programs of its kind in both graduate and undergraduate education.
    More Info
    A researcher in front of their lab equipment.

    Civil and Environmental Engineering

    The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering prepares people who will invent the technologies of the future and create solutions to challenges we haven’t even imagined yet. Established in 1898, the School is now among the largest civil and environmental engineering programs in the country. Students on the civil track train to tackle projects like roads and bridges, sure, but they also work on technologies for green buildings, strategies that help us recover from disasters, and projects to alleviate poverty.

    School Facts

    • 66% of the students in environmental engineering are women.
    • Both civil and environmental undergraduate programs are ranked in the top four in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
    • CEE has 54 tenure-track faculty members who are leading experts in their respective disciplines.
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Two researchers adjusting cables on a test piece of equipment.

    Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Electrical  and computer engineering play central roles in the development of new products and technologies. Electrical engineering is at the core of just about every technology, which is why electrical engineers’ agile solutions to real-world problems and flexible skill sets are always in high demand. Our students advance the modern world by harnessing the power of electricity to build devices and systems, from nanoscale computer chips to multinational communications systems. Computer engineering spans across the disciplines of electrical engineering and computer science and involves designing, programming, and evaluating computer systems to continually improve performance and speed. Computers play an essential role in everyday life, from the computer system that controls a car’s digital displays to the tablet that we use to download our music, books, and games. 

    School Facts

    • Largest producer of electrical and computer engineers in the United States.
    • All ECE undergraduate and graduate programs are in the top six of the most recent college rankings by U.S. News & World Report.
    • More than 110 ECE faculty members are involved in 11 areas of research and education.
    • ECE faculty members acquired more than $51,000,000 in research grants and contracts in the last fiscal year.
    Georgia Tech has a top electrical and computer engineering program, and graduates are recruited to work in diverse industries like energy, robotics, manufacturing, autos, and computing.
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    Two researchers adjusting cables on a test piece of equipment.

    Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Electrical  and computer engineering play central roles in the development of new products and technologies. Electrical engineering is at the core of just about every technology, which is why electrical engineers’ agile solutions to real-world problems and flexible skill sets are always in high demand. Our students advance the modern world by harnessing the power of electricity to build devices and systems, from nanoscale computer chips to multinational communications systems. Computer engineering spans across the disciplines of electrical engineering and computer science and involves designing, programming, and evaluating computer systems to continually improve performance and speed. Computers play an essential role in everyday life, from the computer system that controls a car’s digital displays to the tablet that we use to download our music, books, and games. 

    School Facts

    • Largest producer of electrical and computer engineers in the United States.
    • All ECE undergraduate and graduate programs are in the top six of the most recent college rankings by U.S. News & World Report.
    • More than 110 ECE faculty members are involved in 11 areas of research and education.
    • ECE faculty members acquired more than $51,000,000 in research grants and contracts in the last fiscal year.
  • Industrial & Systems Engineering

    Two researchers talking in front of a conveyor belt with newly created objects.

    Industrial & Systems Engineering

    Industrial engineers design and improve systems that use people, machines, information, materials, and energy to make and deliver products or provide services. They improve system performance by solving problems whose outcomes are influenced by complicated and uncertain interactions. If you are thinking about a career as an industrial engineer, the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE) is a natural place to begin your career path.

    School Facts

    • Number 1 undergraduate program for the last 22 years and Number 1 graduate program for the last 26 years according to U.S. News & World Report.
    • Largest Industrial Engineering program in the country.
    • Average starting salary with a B.S. degree (spring 2014): $63,500.
    Industrial engineers are constantly looking for ways to make things work better and more efficiently. The Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering is the country’s top-ranked place to study it.
    More Info
    Two researchers talking in front of a conveyor belt with newly created objects.

    Industrial & Systems Engineering

    Industrial engineers design and improve systems that use people, machines, information, materials, and energy to make and deliver products or provide services. They improve system performance by solving problems whose outcomes are influenced by complicated and uncertain interactions. If you are thinking about a career as an industrial engineer, the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE) is a natural place to begin your career path.

    School Facts

    • Number 1 undergraduate program for the last 22 years and Number 1 graduate program for the last 26 years according to U.S. News & World Report.
    • Largest Industrial Engineering program in the country.
    • Average starting salary with a B.S. degree (spring 2014): $63,500.
  • Materials Science and Engineering

    A researcher looking at a small piece of metal up closely.

    Materials Science and Engineering

    Materials science and engineering (MSE) focuses on the design, selection, and development of materials. It is a field that deals with “stuff” -- the metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites that surround us. It looks beyond the question of what materials these things are currently made from and imagines what they should be made from.

    School Facts

    • MSE has the highest average combined SAT scores in engineering at Georgia Tech.
    • MSE has small classes which gives you personal instruction and direct interaction with faculty. No T.A’s teach our classes.
    • Undergraduate program ranked 6th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
    At the School of Materials Science and Engineering, faculty offer research expertise in all forms of materials, including metals, ceramics, polymers, fibers, composites, nanostructures, and bio-enabled/biomimetic materials.
    More Info
    A researcher looking at a small piece of metal up closely.

    Materials Science and Engineering

    Materials science and engineering (MSE) focuses on the design, selection, and development of materials. It is a field that deals with “stuff” -- the metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites that surround us. It looks beyond the question of what materials these things are currently made from and imagines what they should be made from.

    School Facts

    • MSE has the highest average combined SAT scores in engineering at Georgia Tech.
    • MSE has small classes which gives you personal instruction and direct interaction with faculty. No T.A’s teach our classes.
    • Undergraduate program ranked 6th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Mechanical Engineering

    A researcher adjusting their laser machine.

    Mechanical Engineering

    Mechanical engineering (ME) is the broadest of the engineering disciplines, combining principles from mechanical systems, thermal systems, manufacturing, and design. Thanks to their creativity and multidisciplinary skill set, mechanical engineers work in virtually every industry. They are critical to the transportation industry, working on everything from the development of hybrid and electric cars to autonomous cars and underwater vehicles.

    School Facts

    • ME undergraduate program ranks 2nd in the nation and the graduate program ranks 6th according to U.S.News & World Report.
    • We have 96 full-time, tenure-track faculty in 12 research areas.
    • The School is the oldest department at Georgia Tech; classes began in October 1888.
    • Nuclear and Radiological Engineering is part of ME and the NRE graduate program is ranked 9th in the country.
    Mechanical engineers are the foundation of today’s technological world. Mechanical engineering, the first degree program at Georgia Tech, is consistently ranked among the top ten in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
    More Info
    A researcher adjusting their laser machine.

    Mechanical Engineering

    Mechanical engineering (ME) is the broadest of the engineering disciplines, combining principles from mechanical systems, thermal systems, manufacturing, and design. Thanks to their creativity and multidisciplinary skill set, mechanical engineers work in virtually every industry. They are critical to the transportation industry, working on everything from the development of hybrid and electric cars to autonomous cars and underwater vehicles.

    School Facts

    • ME undergraduate program ranks 2nd in the nation and the graduate program ranks 6th according to U.S.News & World Report.
    • We have 96 full-time, tenure-track faculty in 12 research areas.
    • The School is the oldest department at Georgia Tech; classes began in October 1888.
    • Nuclear and Radiological Engineering is part of ME and the NRE graduate program is ranked 9th in the country.