UTEP has made accelerated progress in developing its research capacity. With the University’s recent investments in state-of-the-art equipment, laboratories and buildings, it is an exciting time to be a part of the research community at UTEP.
The University has more than $91 million in annual research expenditures and a $315 million total grant portfolio. It is ranked No. 4 in Texas for federal research expenditures by public universities, after The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University and the University of Houston.
Research will soon be enhanced by a new Interdisciplinary Research Building. This $85 million project, funded largely through Tuition Revenue Bonds, is expected to be completed in early 2020. The building will add 150,000 square feet of critically needed space for continued growth in research activity, and enhance UTEP’s competitiveness for the funding that supports it.
One addition already making a difference in aerospace, manufacturing and energy research is the Technology Research Innovation Acceleration Park (tRIAC) in Fabens, Texas, about 30 minutes from El Paso’s city limits. The University announced its partnershiwith the County of El Paso on the venture in fall 2016. Once complete, tRIAC will consist of multiple sites, including a test site and data center, a rocket tower and incubator facilities for small businesses.
Research opportunities abound for students, beginning at the undergraduate level through the Campus Office of Undergraduate Research Initiatives, or COURI. COURI’s goal is to prepare students to compete effectively for admission to the best graduate and professional programs in the world and join a globally engaged 21st-century workforce. Forty-three percent of graduating seniors in 2016-17 said they had participated in an on-campus research or scholarly/creative project with UTEP faculty.
Faculty researchers and students are actively engaged in research in key strategic areas. Recent projects in the health and biomedical sciences aim to combat cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, create vaccines for HIV and Chagas disease, prevent obesity in children, reduce tobacco use and understand the neurochemistry of drug addiction. In the areas of energy and the environment, UTEP researchers are working to make water desalination more affordable and efficient, test and certify alternative energy projects, and document climate change in the Arctic. Through the Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness, researchers study cross-border economic and social development. Other projects range from enhancing bilingual education to monitoring earthquakes, advancing 3-D printing technology and improving the safety of human space flight.