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National Centers

The University of Houston currently leads five nationally-funded centers, comprising numerous collaborations with other universities and industry, and supported by nearly $20 million in funding to conduct research the areas of energy (subsea engineering), psychology, superconductivity, laser mapping and homeland security.  

Advanced Superconductivity Manufacturing Institute (ASMI)

Established: 2016 as 501 (c) (3) Organization
Current Funding:National Institutes of Standards and Technology | $500,000 Planning Grant, , Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office | $4.5 million, three-year award
Lead PI:Venkat Selvamanickam, Ph.D.
Department: Advanced Manufacturing Institute | Mechanical Engineering | Texas Center for Superconductivity's Applied Research Hub

ASMI is an industry-driven consortium to overcome the major technological barriers that inhibit the growth of High Temperature Superconductor (HTS)-based advanced manufacturing in the U.S. to achieve the enormous market potential and create high-tech jobs. Several institutions across the entire value chain of manufacturers of superconductor wire, processing and test equipment and superconducting components as well as Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and end-users as well as other stakeholders in industry, academia, national laboratories and local organizations are being brought together to assess the challenges, barriers, aspirations, technology risks and market adoption risks in each application type of superconductors and develop roadmaps and collaborative projects to address these issues. The roadmap of ASMI is being supported by the Advanced Manufacturing Institute at UH along with its industry partners through advanced manufacturing of HTS wires for applications such as next-generation electric machines.

Borders, Trade, and Immigration Institute (BTI)

Established: 2015
Current Funding:U.S. Department of Homeland Security | $3.4 Million, Five-Year Grant
Lead PI:Ioannis Kakadiaris, Ph.D.
Department:Computer Science

The Center for Borders, Trade and Immigration Research will address national challenges related to borders, trade and immigration through innovations in technology, data-enabled approaches to informed policy and mission-focused education and training programs.

National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM)

Established: 2003 (Transitioned to UH in 2010)
Current Funding: National Science Foundation | $2.4 Million Continuing Grant (>$10M Total)
Lead PI: Ramesh Shrestha, Ph.D.
Department:Civil and Environmental Engineering

The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping is a collaborative effort between the University of Houston and the University of California, Berkeley. NCALM uses Airborne Laser Swath Mapping (ALSM) system to acquire research quality LiDAR observations to NSF funded PIs. So far over 150 projects for 70- PIs and 91 graduate students have been funded covering some 35,000 square kilometers areas in over 100 locations in 27 states including Alaska and Hawai plus 7 countries (Antractica, Belize, Guatemala, Hondurus, Mexico, New Zealand and Puerto Rico). Currently NCALM collects LiDAR data using its third generation state-of-the-art multi-wave LiDAR system - Titan MW which collects up to 300 kHz each Lidar returns using 532, 1064 and 1550 nm wavelengths simultaneously. Therefore up to 900 kHz data collected to cover seamless coverage of terrain and bathymetry up to 10 m deep. The center moved to the University of Houston in 2010, becoming the University's first NSF-funded center.

Subsea Systems Institute (SSI)

Established2015
Current Funding:Texas Commission on Environmental Quality via the RESTORE Act | $4.1 Million
Lead PI:Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Ph.D.
Department: UH Energy

The Subsea Systems Institute is led by the University of Houston and a collaborative effort with Rice University and NASA to improve the sustainable and safe development of energy resources in the Gulf of Mexico. The mission of the center is to develop engineering, science and policy standards for the identification, validation and implementation of best available and safest technologies and practices for exploration of hydrocarbons in the ultra-deep Gulf of Mexico and extreme environments.

Texas Center for Learning Disabilities

Established: 2006
Current Funding: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development | $9 Million, Five-Year Grant, 2001-2016 (>$16 Million Total)
Lead PI: Jack M. Fletcher, Ph.D.
Department: Psychology | Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics (TIMES)

The Texas Center for Learning Disabilities is a collaborative effort between the University of Houston, The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. It's one of four centers nationwide funded as part of NICHD's Learning Disabilities Research Centers (LDRC) research center program. The center focuses on multidisciplinary research that addresses learning disability definition, measurement, and research synthesis; the role of executive functions in reading comprehension, interventions for students with reading difficulties; and the functional and structural correlates of learning disabilities and intervention response.