UNT forms four research institutes

Oct. 15, 2015

Dear faculty and staff,

As you know, UNT has set our sights on reaching national prominence as a public research university. We have the expertise ― and the will ― to steadily work toward making this a reality. Our focus now is to find ways to marshal our talent, leverage our strengths and put our innovative, interdisciplinary research to work.

We’re excited to announce that we’ve launched four Institutes of Research Excellence that capitalize on our strengths. They also will create solutions and applications through partnerships with industry to further contribute to the North Texas region’s economic growth ― and to better serve the greater good.

These institutes bring together a critical mass of knowledge and faculty who already are making remarkable achievements in key research areas. They now will have a stronger platform to conduct their work and collaborate on important projects with industry leaders. By creating these institutes, we’re also expanding our research infrastructure to better enable our faculty and student researchers to have an impact in their fields, to be more competitive as they seek federal funding and to be go-to resources for public and private partnerships.

The institutes are:

  • Advanced Environmental Research Institute, led by Sam Atkinson, Regents Professor of biology. This institute stems from our well-established environmental and water research. The institute will conduct environmental research that provides an understanding of how human actions impact the environment and will support scientific, engineering, policy and/or educational solutions for environmental problems.
  • Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Processes Institute, led by Rajiv Mishra, professor of materials science and engineering. This institute builds on our fast-growing materials science research. The strength of the institute’s members lies in designing high-performance materials for the aerospace, automotive and energy sectors.
  • BioDiscovery Institute, led by Rick Dixon, Distinguished Research Professor of biology and member of the National Academy of Sciences. This institute will further advance our innovative bio-based products research. The institute will operate through a pipeline linking sustainable plant production platforms, metabolic engineering and the development of new materials.
  • Logistics Systems Institute, led by Terry Pohlen, associate professor of logistics and director of UNT’s Center for Logistics Education. This institute stems from our highly ranked and regarded logistics program. The institute will conduct research in a wide array of areas related to logistics and transportation ranging from the modeling, planning and management, economic impact studies, technology development and more.

We encourage you to read more about the institutes and their missions.

We’re excited about these institutes because they represent an important step forward in how we are working to transform our research enterprise. If we are going to reach national prominence, then we must be more collaborative, entrepreneurial and competitive. These institutes will help us accomplish these goals and give us the building blocks to do more ― and go farther.  

UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk, president

Tom McCoy, vice president for research and economic development