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Impacting societal change through interdisciplinary strength

Lehigh's three new Interdisciplinary Research Institutes (IRIs) build upon existing strengths in areas in which Lehigh can make broad societal impact

Lehigh has announced the formation of three Interdisciplinary Research Institutes (IRIs): the Institute for Functional Materials and Devices, the Institute for Data, Intelligent Systems, and Computation, and the Institute for Cyber–Physical Infrastructure and Energy.

Lehigh’s IRIs will create communities of scholars and will catalyze crucial research in areas in which Lehigh can take a leading position on the national and international stage and make lasting societal contributions.

The IRIs are one of the ways the University will realize its vision to build a stronger, more dynamic Lehigh. These Institutes will be supported by a portion of Lehigh’s commitment of more than $150 million toward interdisciplinary research and education with investments focused on faculty and student talent, new research and academic programs that collaborate across colleges, and the expansion of campus facilities dedicated to interdisciplinary research and learning.

“The power of interdisciplinary collaboration is central to Lehigh’s vision and culture,” said Lehigh President John D. Simon. “Interdisciplinary research is society’s best hope for addressing our most vexing challenges. Lehigh’s investment in this space is a critical component of our commitment to educate students and create knowledge that will have a lasting impact on society.”

The themes and structure of the IRIs emerged through a faculty-led envisioning process initiated in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science. The process included faculty participation from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business and Economics.

Lehigh’s three new IRIs are:


Institute for Functional Materials and Devices (I-FMD)
Himanshu Jain, Director
Diamond Distinguished Chair and Professor of Materials Science

Steven McIntosh, Associate Director
Associate Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering


Institute for Data, Intelligent Systems, and Computation (I-DISC)
Hector Muñoz-Avila, Co-Director
Class of 1961 Professor, Computer Science and Engineering

Katya Scheinberg, Co-Director
Harvey E. Wagner Endowed Chair and Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering


Institute for Cyber–Physical Infrastructure and Energy (I-CPIE)
Richard Sause, Director
Joseph T. Stuart Professor of Structural Engineering

Shalinee Kishore, Associate Director
Iacocca Chair and Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering


Each Institute has already begun the process of building specific teams, hosting workshops and connecting with key industry and academic personnel. For more information on each Institute, including Lehigh faculty listings, research highlights and more, visit  www.lehigh.edu/IRI.

Read the full story at the Lehigh University News Center.

April 17, 2018

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