Research Centers & Institutes

The College’s current research thrusts include computerized medical imaging, electric power systems, environmental engineering and materials science. Interdisciplinary research is being conducted in biomedical engineering, environmental and water quality, communications and signal processing, materials science, spacecraft guidance and control, power systems, software metrics, fault tolerant processing, and robotics and automated manufacturing and systems engineering. Large-scale and interdisciplinary research is being conducted in the following centers.

Center for Energy Systems and Control (CESaC)
CESaC research is directed to enhancing the efficiency and economics of power system operation through the application of expert knowledge systems and programs and power utilization analysis. CESaC research has been largely supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Bonneville Power Administration, the Department of Water and Power of the City of Los Angeles, and NASA (Lewis). CESaC is a member of the National Center for Research in Electrical Power Systems (PSERC), which also includes Cornell, California/Berkeley, U. of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign and U. of Wisconsin/Madison. CESaC Director: Dr. James H. Johnson, Jr. while Dr. James A. Momoh is on sabbatical leave.

Center for Urban Design in Transportation
The goal of this center is to develop standards for streetscapes and to perform streetscape area studies for application of Center -developed methodologies. Director: Professor Harry G. Robinson, III.

CREST Center for Nanomaterials Characterization Science and Processing Technology (NCSPT)
The CREST Center for Nanomaterials Characterization Science and Processing Technology (NCSPT) engages a cluster of research faculty in independent and collaborative research investigations to advance the chemical knowledge base underpinning the unequivocal comprehensive determination of the chemical status of nanomaterials. This research center generates chemical information that provides the intellectual foundation for verification of the directed synthesis, and fabrication of nanomaterials. The development of methods for processing new nanomaterials with clearly definable chemical identities and technologically useful properties also depends on characterization research. Predictably, the placement of the nanosciences and engineering on a platform for practical exploitation and impact on the US economy strongly depends on the advancement of the state of the frontiers of characterization science.

Keck Center for the Design of Nanoscale Materials for Molecular Recognition
The Keck Center focuses on the exploration of the fundamental science and engineering necessary for designing nanoscale materials for molecular recognition. Research activities in the Center are both basic and applied. The basic component includes the synthesis and characterization of the new materials, and explores the development and validation of a computer-aided molecular design (CAMD) framework for identification of novel target nanomaterials with molecular recognition capability. The applied component consists of bench-scale evaluation of the performance of the new materials as sensors, drug delivery vehicles, and separation media for water treatment. The research is structured around the following thrust areas: molecular recognition sites, nonporous and porous polymeric surfaces, dendritic nanoparticles, nanocharacterization of surfaces, and modeling and simulation. The scientists and engineers involved in the Center’s work come from a variety of disciplines including the Departments of Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Pharmacy. Director: Dr. Paul Hudrlik (Chemistry); Deputy Director: Dr. Kim Jones (Civil Engineering).

Materials Science Research Center of Excellence
Concentrated research efforts have been applied to studies related to the understanding of aluminum gallium arsenide, aluminum arsenide, gallium arsenide and silicon carbide epitaxial layers used in the fabrication of resonant tunneling devices, microwave transistors and solar cells. MSRCE is also committed to educating minority researchers who can fill academic, government and industrial positions. The Center provides faculty and students he opportunity to engage in research which will receive universal recognition in the relevant scientific community. This multidisciplinary program includes faculty from Electrical and Chemical Engineering and the departments of Physics and Chemistry at Howard. MSRCE, along with Cornell, Penn State, UCSB and Stanford, is a member of the NSF-sponsored National Nanofabrication User's Network. Director: Dr. Gary L. Harris.

Howard University Institute for Multimedia Applications (IMA)
The Institute for Multimedia Applications is a collaborative effort between Howard University and leading companies in the graphics and multimedia industry. The hardware is supplied by Silicon Graphics. IMA provides an environment in which faculty from computer science, engineering, architecture, business, communications, education, medicine, fine arts and other disciplines can interact with students and colleagues from the research and development, communications, entertainment, and business communities to find multi-disciplinary approaches to projects. Director: Dr. Todd Shurn.

Howard University Transportation and Research Center (HUTRC)
HUTRC, funded by the District of Columbia government, provides students an opportunity to embrace the challenges of public service and transportation research in an urban environment as well as discovering career experiences and opportunities in the industry. In addition, the Center will play a key role in assisting the District of Columbia in identifying multi-modal transportation needs through active research participation of Howard’s faculty and students. Director: Dr. Errol Noel.

NASA NSCORT* Center of Excellence in Advanced Life Support (ALS)
A collaborative team of investigators from Purdue University, Howard University and Alabama A&M University comprise this Center that will address, evaluate and resolve an important range of key ALS issues, covering four major technical areas: (1) solid waste, water, and air processing and revitalization plus related resource recovery, 2) food production and safety, 3) systems engineering, and 4) complementary center outreach activities. Howard Director: Dr. Kim Jones (Civil Engineering).

Other Centers

Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education
Howard University is a member of Center for Advancement of Engineering Education that is also comprised of the University of Washington (lead institution), Colorado School of Mines, Stanford University and the University of Minnesota. It was funded by National Science Foundation for $10 million from January 2003-December 2007 to achieve the following goals:

  • Expand the community of leaders in engineering education
  • Embrace diverse perspectives in research and teaching innovations
  • Emphasize teaching in the professional development of engineering graduate students
  • Increase the number of engineering faculty who teach effectively for ALL students
  • Strengthen the engineering education research base

Dr. Lorraine Fleming, Civil Engineering, is the Howard principal investigator.

Computer Learning and Design Center (CLDC)
CLDC, the College’s centralized computing facility, provides the full spectrum of computer resources from high-end engineering-oriented workstations PCs and Macintoshes, housed in three labs. The Computer Learning and Design Center, located within the College, provides the full spectrum of computer resources from general graphics and CAD/CAM to programming to engineering problem-solving and thesis and report publishing. The College’s computers are linked together in a local network with access to the Internet. Augmenting the CLDC are several special purpose computer labs including a multimedia center, a CAM lab with computer-controlled robot systems and a virtual classroom for distance learning. Director: Dr. Sonya T. Smith

Environmental Engineering Research Group
The Howard University Environmental Engineering Research Group is an interdisciplinary group consisting of faculty from the Departments of Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Civil Engineering. Faculty conduct research in their areas of expertise and teach courses in environmental engineering which are a part of the Environmental Engineering Program that is designed to provide a comprehensive knowledge of the fundamental science and engineering principles necessary to solve environmental problems.

Historically Black Colleges and Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI) Environmental Technology Consortium
Established in January 1990, the HBCUMI Environmental Technology Consortium consists of 17 HBCUs and minority institutions. In October 1990, the Consortium received a cooperative agreement from the Department of Energy, with Clark Atlanta University as the lead institution. The goal of the agreement was to develop environmental technologies and increase the number of scientists, engineers, and other professionals in the field. In the 13 years since the Consortium has been in existence, it has developed new courses, initiated new graduate programs, purchase new equipment and provided training for K-12 teachers and government industry employees. Under a new agreement signed in September 2002, Howard University became the lead institution. In December 2002, the United States Department of Energy awarded the HBCU/MI a $3 million grant to continue its work.

HBCU/MI Environmental Technology Consortium Members

See: HBCU/MI ETC Kickoff Meeting, March 10-11, 2003

  • Alabama A&M University
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Howard University
  • Hampton University
  • Florida A&M University
  • Florida International University
  • Jackson State University
  • New Mexico Highlands University
  • North Carolina A &T State University
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Prairie View A&M University
  • Southern University
  • Texas A&M University-Kingsville
  • Texas Southern University
  • Tuskegee University
  • University of Texas/El Paso
  • Xavier University

Howard HBCU/MI Management Team

  • James. H. Johnson, Jr. - Principal Investigator and Executive Director
  • Ramesh Chawla -Technical Director• Andre’ Harris, Program Manager
  • Gannelle Moultry-Gloster - Quality Assurance and Control Manager
  • NAFEO - Outreach and Technology Transfer

Nanobiotechnology Center
Based at Cornell University, the Nanobiotechnology Center (NBTC) was established in January 2000 as a science and technology center, with core funding from the National Science Foundation. Nanobiotechnology is an emerging area of scientific and technological opportunity that integrates nano/microfabrication and biosystems to the benefit of both. The Nanobiotechnology Center is characterized by its highly interdisciplinary nature and features a close collaboration between life scientists, physical scientists, and engineers. It has a fully integrated education and outreach effort in which all NBTC faculty participate.

The Center brings together experts in their fields from Cornell University, the Wadsworth Center (New York State Health Department in Albany), Princeton University, Oregon Health & Science University, Clark Atlanta University, and Howard University.

NBTC also involves the active collaboration of K-12 educators and partners in a wide range of organisations in academia, education, government, industry and other fields..

Howard University participants in the NBTC are Kimberly Jones, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, and Mamadou Diallo, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering.

The mission of the NBTC is related to the Howard University Keck Center for the Design of Nanoscale Materials for Molecular Recognition.

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