Projects & Partnerships


Areas of Focus

Given the interdisciplinary nature of our areas of focus, the links below will direct you to primary programs, but please note that the content may also be relevant to other programs.

Current Applied Research areas of focus and areas of aspirational growth include: 


Industrial Hemp Research Projects

  • Undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctorate researchers explore the manufacturing processes, applications, and life cycle of industrial hemp in consumer and industrial products.

  • In 2018-2020, more than 30 students from across disciplines and degree levels worked together with faculty members of varying expertise to conduct seminal research to establish Hemp Black, an Ecofibre subsidiary. Five provisional patents were submitted, and student ideas were taken to a commercial level. This brand highlights using applied research to elevate industrial hemp into textile and product applications. 

  • Over the past two years, faculty members have established working relationships with local farmers and processors to reimagine the uses of industrial hemp through utilizing its natural properties. Students and faculty studying polymer & industrial engineering, woven & nonwoven textiles, chemistry and business are all researching industrial hemp for applications such as natural polymer additives, home insulation, gardening & construction ground textiles, clothing, and home goods.

Developing New Chemical Reactions Triggered by Blue LED Light

  • This research has been financially supported by Organic Syntheses, a foundation that supports scholarship in organic chemistry.

  • The goal of the project is to develop novel methods to make molecules that have potential utility in medicine and pharmacy. Students have been working in the project throughout the academic year and over the summer months since 2020.


  • Interdisciplinary teams consisting of students from the Industrial Design, Engineering and Business programs are assigned an existing material which Tenneco designed to serve a specific function for a specific application. 

  • Each student team must identify an alternate product application for their assigned material based on the inherent functional and aesthetic characteristics. 

  •  A winner is chosen based on their ability to repackage Tenneco’s material in a completely new application which solves a real problem and generates real value for a specific audience. The winning team is awarded a cash prize and is given the opportunity to present their concept to Tenneco’s Executive Team. 

Established Consortiums


Internal Grants

Faculty Research, Scholarship and Practice-Based Project Grant Guidelines