Stories and Impact

For the Division of Research and Innovation success is a measurable goal. We are committed to seeing The University of Memphis achieve R1 Carnegie Classification by 2023; in support of this we are pleased to provide measurable impacts and evidence of the world-class research conducted every day on our campus. In the spirit of transparency, we provide metrics and data that showcase our progress and the efforts of our faculty, students, and administration in achieving this goal.

UofM Research in the News

UofM Partners with City of Memphis to Win $418k "Map901" Grant

A collaboration between the City of Memphis and UofM Computer Science and Electrical Engineering faculty has netted a $417,953 grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Over the next year, UofM's Map901 team, led by Drs. Lan Wang and Eddie Jacobs, will use novel 3D Lidar technology to survey nearly 2 million sq. ft. of city and university building space. They will use the data to develop a 3D visualization application that will help first responders navigate buildings in an emergency situation where access to such systems in real-time is critical.

For more information, read the NIST Press release here.  

UofM CAESAR Lands 5-Year, $5M Contract with MLGW to Identify and Address Water Quality Issues with the Memphis Aquifer

The Center for Applied Earth Science and Engineering Research (CAESER) at the University of Memphis has been selected to receive a $5 million contract for a five-year period to conduct extensive research addressing water quality issues with the Memphis aquifer.

Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) has grown increasingly concerned over water quality impacts to our sole source of drinking water, the Memphis aquifer. Above the Memphis aquifer is a protective clay layer which shields our drinking water from pollution, but gaps, or "breaches" in the clay have been discovered.

The five-year, $5 million budget infused with University dollars will allow CAESER to support at least 30 graduate students to investigate breaches within the MLGW water service area. The contract currently covers the MLGW Memphis water service area. CAESAR is working with other municipalities towards potential expansion to cover the broader Memphis metropolitan area.
"These breaches pose a risk to the excellent water quality of the Memphis aquifer whereby contaminants are able to bypass the protective nature of the confining clay and enter the aquifer," said Dr. Brian Waldron, director of CAESER. "Over the next five years, we will bring the brightest student minds from around the world to the University of Memphis to tackle the problems we face."

Read entire press release here. For more information on CAESAR, visit their website at


UofM Inks Research Collaboration with Prestigious Czech Academy of Sciences

On Oct. 25, the University of Memphis became the first university in the U.S. to sign a Research Collaboration Agreement with the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS). Comprised of 54 research institutions, the organization is responsible for leading research in the Czech Republic across a range of natural, technical, social sciences and humanities topics. The agreement will pave the way for interactions among research faculty and students in areas of mutual interest with the goal of developing high-impact projects sustained through grant funds. It is expected to significantly enhance the UofM's research and innovation profile in the European Union.

"Internationalization of our research portfolio is a key strategic priority for us as we move rapidly toward the highest research classification in the Carnegie system," said UofM President M. David Rudd. "Strong partnerships like this with the Czech Academy of Sciences will allow us to leverage research funding on both sides of the Atlantic based on our respective strengths."

For more information on this collaboration, click here.

NSF Awards $7M in STEM Grants to Collaborative Teams of Researchers that Feature UofM faculty Ivey & Haddock

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $7 million for two major Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) grants to collaborative teams of researchers that include UofM faculty.

The “Urban S-STEM Collaboratory” is a $5M project studying the impact on student success of scholarships, development of STEM identity and other support on low-income, academically talented engineering and mathematics majors. Dr. Stephanie Ivey, professor of Civil Engineering and associate dean for Research in the Herff College of Engineering, will lead the UofM team in partnership with the University of Colorado at Denver and Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. Collaborators on campus include colleagues from the College of Engineering, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Communication and Fine Arts. The full press release is available here.

“Promoting Success in Undergraduate Mathematics Through Graduate Teacher Training” is a $2M project to implement and study a specialized training program for graduate students. Dr. John Haddock, professor of Mathematical Sciences, will lead the UofM team in partnership with scholars from University of Colorado Denver and Auburn University. Collaborators on campus include colleagues from the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the College of Education. For more news about this project, click here.

Rus and Fleming Awarded $759K NSF grant to enhance skills and retention in Computer Science

Drs. Vasile Rus and Scott Fleming, Department of Computer Science, along with their collaborator Prof. Peter Brusilovsky at the University of Pittsburgh, have been awarded a three-year, $759,136 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Funded through NSF’s Cyberlearning for Work at the Human-Technology Frontier Program, the project titled "Investigating and Scaffolding Students' Mental Models during Computer Programming Tasks to Improve Learning, Engagement, and Retention," will infuse educational technology in early computer science courses and is expected to have significant impact on students’ programming skills, self-efficacy and retention rates in computer science.