Maryland Engineering: Another Year of Innovation is Underway

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Another year of engineering innovation in College Park is underway, and the Clark School continues to produce some of the most talented and sought-after engineers—and solutions they create—in the world.

On Monday, August 28, a new class of Terps joined Maryland Engineering, bringing their energy, fresh perspective, curiosity, and spirit of inventiveness to campus. Our returning students resumed their education, applying their ever-expanding knowledge and skills to technical and societal challenges. Our rejuvenated faculty and staff continued sharing their wisdom and latest discoveries.

We are excited to continue our work, especially since Summer 2023 made clear engineering’s foundational importance to our planet’s future.

As we just experienced, July 2023 was the hottest month on record. As you know well, such heat’s continued presence is altering our environment. Our society must combat climate change and, at the same time, adapt to it. Clark School research is achieving both.

In a recent issue of Science, a team of Clark School researchers introduced a high-performance elastocaloric cooling system that could represent the next generation of cooling devices. Research at our Center for Environmental Energy Engineering is revolutionizing the inner workings of forced air systems that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions—like heat pumps, compressors, heat exchangers, and refrigerants—making them smaller, lighter, more efficient, and renewable. Others are working on advancements in critical infrastructure to ensure it is resilient in the face of climate change.

This is what we do at Maryland Engineering: answer society’s call. In AI, we are building a hub that will help industry innovate and improve operations. In bioengineering and medicine, we are embedding engineers with doctors at the University of Maryland, Baltimore to help transition our technological innovations to clinical practice. Our recent battery research has offered a breakthrough that could surpass fast charging requirements set by the United States Department of Energy. From these disciplines to others—autonomy, quantum technologies, semiconductors, and more—we are demonstrating the kind of leadership our society needs to build a more equitable and prosperous future.

Core to our mission and success is empowering community members to turn their research into scalable solutions. It is one reason we support an incredibly successful student-run business incubator, Startup Shell. Startup Shell has supported more than 300 ventures and provides a network containing more than $1 billion in venture value.

For the same reason, we are excited to formally launch our vision for the E.A. Fernandez IDEA Factory this fall. The IDEA Factory will house a new effort to challenge students to solve societal problems through innovation, design, prototyping, and entrepreneurial activities. Led by XPrize founder Amir Ansari, the effort will feature classroom and experiential learning, and a design competition that will encourage our students to create solutions that are ready to transition to startup companies. We are excited to host this unique opportunity at the University of Maryland.

We look forward to sharing our progress during this academic year and partnering with you to achieve it.

Samuel Graham, Jr. (he/him/his)

Dean and Nariman Farvardin Professor

Published September 6, 2023