The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) achieved a record $109.7 million in research and development expenditures in fiscal year 2019 (FY19), according to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey.
The university’s federal research expenditures have increased by 24 percent over two years. UAH had active contracts and research partnerships with more than 90 commercial companies during 2019. The university’s five-year contract and grant research total is $489 million.
“This achievement indicates the degree of trust our collaborators place in UAH research endeavors,” says Dr. Robert Lindquist, vice president for research and economic development. “UAH has a long history of science and engineering research and working together with our federal government and private sector partners to find creative solutions for some of the nation’s most challenging technological issues.”
Five UAH research thrusts rank in the top 20 nationally, according to the National Science Foundation:
- 5th in aerospace engineering
- 8th in economics
- 11th in computer and information sciences
- 12th in atmospheric sciences
- 12th in astronomy and astrophysics
Key research areas at UAH include:
- Unmanned Aerial Systems – Working with the FAA ASSURE Program on ground collision severity.
- Directed energy – Working with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command to advance beam quality techniques and perform basic research on high energy lasers.
- Hypersonics — Collaboration with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command on technical issues of hypersonic flight, which generates high temperature and control issues at that speed.
- Aerospace systems engineering – Performing research to advance Nuclear Thermal Propulsion for NASA.
- Artificial intelligence (AI), including machine learning and deep learning technologies – Advancing science in remote sensing, data analytics, text mining, geospatial analysis, cybersecurity and object identification.
- Space science and low temperature plasma (LTP) – A key part of the NASA Parker Solar Probe team that received the NASA Silver Achievement Medal in 2019. UAH leads an NSF 5-year $20 million LTP effort.
- Basic science of the Earth atmosphere system – UAH maintains a leadership role in severe weather with VORTEX Southeast and water resource research.