Research Objectives

NIC greenhouse

University communications

The primary research objectives are to conduct theoretically-based, problem-solving investigations in anticipation of, rather than in response to, issues and concerns in the areas of:

  • Biomedical engineering
  • Bioprocess engineering for adding value
  • Environmental engineering
  • Site-specific crop management
  • Water resources and ecosystems engineering

The specific objectives for biomedical engineering:

  • Apply engineering skills to problems in medicine and biology resulting in reduced morbidity, lower healthcare costs, and enhanced quality of life.
  • Develop tools and technologies to (1) aid in diagnosis of disease and (2) monitor physiology and health, with minimum effect to healthy tissues.
  • Develop bioimagery and biosignal systems to quantify cardiovascular function.

The specific objectives for bioprocess engineering for adding value:

  • Continue to develop and disseminate food and biopolymer processing technologies using starches, proteins and lipids.
  • Synthesis of biochemicals and biomaterials.
  • Process operation models for safety and efficiency.
  • Process development to support new or improved products.

The specific objectives for environmental engineering:

  • Enhance sustainability of rural communities through improved environmental infrastructure systems for drinking water supplies, wastewater treatment, and solid waste management.
  • Development of new tools and techniques that utilize site specific, imprecise and subjective information in measurement, design, analysis, and management of environmental systems.
  • Development of new odor measurement systems that are able to respond to odors in a manner similar to human response.
  • Conduct research and deliver educational programs that respond to the needs of rural community leaders, industrial decision makers, public and private agencies and service providers, and public policy makers.

The specific objectives for site-specific crop management:

  • Develop methods to use non-intrusive sensors and control systems.
  • Define agronomic processes, engineering design, and management criteria.
  • Develop accurate, precise and responsive equipment systems.
  • Develop decision support tools which utilize real-time information on soil, plant, machinery management databases, and weather and economic forecasting to enhance profitability, carbon sequestration, and environmental protection.
  • Continue to build partnerships with industry to develop site-specific tools and implement their use through educational programs and industrial partnerships.
  • Foster multi-disciplinary programs that develop engineered and agronomic solutions.

The specific objectives for water resources and ecosystems engineering:

  • Protection of ground and surface water resources from fertilizer, pesticides, sediment, and organic residues to ensure high quality water for society's needs.
  • Enhancement of the efficiency of water use by matching cultural operations and irrigation water applications to field conditions and variability, water supply constraints, and economic situations.
  • Reuse and recovery of solid, hazardous, and organic residues to sustain and protect environmental resources.