Sustainability & Energy Research
To make an impact on the world, we have to start at home. That’s why we use our campus as a living lab for sustainability and energy research. The University’s grounds and structures are where we study and implement sustainable practices in stormwater management, biodiversity, food and materials waste reduction, and recycling.
Researchers at UL Lafayette’s Energy Institute are developing systems that can convert human waste into clean water and other usable byproducts. Their work is beneficial for heavily populated cities and countries around the world, but also on other planets — the group is using its discoveries to develop a biorefinery system that will supply water and oxygen for NASA’s 2030 Mission to Mars.
UL Lafayette is leading the country in solar energy research. Our Photovoltaic Applied Research and Testing Laboratory has six acres of solar panels, and we’re working to understand how the sun degrades the modules.
We’re one of only a few universities that can examine solar technology outside and in a controlled, laboratory space. Our findings will improve solar panel manufacturing as the world uses more and more renewable energy in the coming years.
Life & Health Sciences Research
UL Lafayette’s researchers are working across disciplines to develop new treatments and options. We are:
Our biological research doesn’t stop with people. Our faculty are exploring biological diversity, ecology, and evolution. From mapping the ocean floor to studying capybaras in Colombia, our researchers are traveling the world to reveal more about it. And we’re excited to share what we’re learning — we recently donated the world’s largest collection of preserved crustaceans to the Smithsonian Institution for future research on marine systems.
Big Data Research
As more industries produce more data, our researchers are leading cybersecurity efforts in health data, renewable energy, and other forms of big data. Our Center for Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity is an interdisciplinary group of researchers that is working to prepare the country for cyberattacks that impact our critical infrastructure, like ports, pipelines and power grids.
Our Center for Visualization and Decision Informatics uses big data and visualization technology to help industries explore all factors in their decision-making. It’s the only NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center in the country doing this data visualization work, with partners including the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Capital One, and Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
Our work on improved materials spans health care, transportation, and environmental industries. The Institute for Materials Research and Innovation is home to interdisciplinary research in advanced and specialized metals, polymers, ceramics, and composite materials.
Those advanced materials are used in prosthetics and artificial hearts, infrastructure including roads and bridges, and pharmaceuticals.
Coastal & Water Management Research
UL Lafayette’s proximity to the Gulf Coast and the rapidly disappearing Louisiana coastline make research in coastal and water management a natural choice — but our findings can be applied to any coastal region in the world.
Researchers at the Institute for Coastal and Water Management are working along Louisiana’s coast and marshes to reduce erosion and protect the ecosystem.
Researchers are monitoring our barrier islands and testing the effectiveness of different restoration efforts, along with studying how the degradation of saltmarsh ecosystems disrupts food webs. They’re categorizing and modeling native species and how they respond to changes in the environment, along with the effects of oil spills on these ecosystems.