Applied Research

From the molecular to the global, we work to solve problems, resolve differences & dissolve doubt.

From 2-D materials to 3-D printing, nano particles to big data, social media to social change, artificial intelligence to real time information, the FedEx Institute of Technology is an engine for exploring the frontiers of human endeavor, discovering new pathways and transforming how we live, work and communicate. The research we support spans the entire spectrum of science and is lead by faculty at the forefront of their fields who pursue next-level understanding of emerging technologies, including: 

  • Intelligent systems & artificial intelligence
  • Unmanned & autonomous systems
  • Cybersecurity testing
  • Biologistics & smart biomaterials
  • Robotics and machine learning
  • Virtual reality and immersive environments
  • Blockchain technologies and cryptocurrency
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Mobile health and precision medicine
  • Big data analytics & design thinking
  • Smart cities &spaces
  • Quantum computing
  • Augmented analytics
  • AI-driven development
  • Digital twins
  • Empowered edge
  • Immersive technologies
  • Digital ethics and privacy


Our Formula for Success

The FedEx Institute of Technology creates and supports groundbreaking interdisciplinary Research & Innovation Clusters at the University of Memphis. Made up of leading researchers across the campus, these clusters are committed to addressing a wide range of technical issues that are critical to the success of our communities, our governments, our national security and our corporate partners. Cluster members work together to apply for research funding, seek external research partners and create training and certification programs for the community. All the while, our clusters find ways to encourage junior and senior faculty, students and community organizations to contribute their ideas and to be a vital part of our efforts.

To learn more about a Research Cluster, click on a subject below.


Electric Vehicles 

Electric vehicles will define the roadways of the United States in the coming decades. Researchers from across the UofM are addressing the myriad infrastructure and adoption challenges that this exciting transportation transformation presents. 


The faculty from Engineering, Marketing & Supply Chain, Biomedical Sciences and the Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute (IFTI) collaborates to develop joint research projects to deliver novel solutions.

Cyber Security & Testing (CAST)

Innovative partners and collaborators from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines provide proactive leadership of the region's response to constantly shifting cyber security challenges.

Data Science

Data Science Research Initiative at the University of Memphis and the local community provides a vibrant research environment and training future to build a Data Science community of practice that includes academia, government and industry in West Tennessee, the Mid-South and beyond.

Drones, RObotics, and Navigation Enabled Systems (DRONES)

The FedEx Institute is committed to the development of innovative research, corporate partnership, an community engagement in all aspects related to Drones, Robotics, and Navigation Enabled Systems (including autonomous vehicles).


The University of Memphis and the City of Memphis are partnering on a SMART City Initiative (as part of a larger national-level MetroLab Network program) to address the needs of Memphis citizens utilizing emerging technologies and arising innovations.

Additive Manufacturing 

This cluster focuses from advanced 3D printing technology to modern manufacturing and is among a new generation of advanced technologies enabling degrees of manufacturing precision, efficiency and flexibility never before possible.

Agriculture and Food Technologies

The world population is estimated to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. This raises critical supply issues, along with environmental concerns, and points to the need to engage in fundamental and applied research that will improve innovation and efficiency in food production while protecting our environment.


Energy, Defense, AgriTech innovation research, sustainable modernization, tech, and evolving. Human endeavors are always connected. 

Institute of Intelligent Systems (IIS)

The Institute for Intelligent Systems is dedicated to advancing the state of knowledge and capabilities of intelligent systems, including psychological, biological, and artificial systems.

Mobile Data 2 Knowledge (MD2K)

The MD2K Center brings together the top brains in Computer Science, Engineering, Medicine, Behavioral Science, and Statistics to help develop innovative tools to make it easier to gather, analyze and interpret health data generated by mobile and wearable sensors.