Interdisciplinary Research Institutes

The themes and structure of Lehigh’s inaugural Interdisciplinary Research Institutes (IRIs) emerged through a faculty-led envisioning process that was initiated in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, and included faculty participation from across the campus. Each of them is in the process of developing strong academic, industrial, and governmental partnerships that will serve to amplify the impact of Lehigh’s research teams while connecting them to colleagues addressing similar issues.

The university’s inaugural IRIs are as follows:


Institute for Functional Materials and Devices

The Institute for Functional Materials and Devices (I-FMD) focuses on synthesis, fabrication, processing, and characterization of materials, devices and related systems. Existing research interests include photonics and electronics, metals, ceramics, biomaterials, polymers, and composites, and incorporate devices ranging in size from the nanometer and micrometer scales and beyond. Learn more >


Institute for Data, Intelligent Systems, and Computation

The Institute for Data, Intelligent Systems, and Computation (I-DISC) is devoted to the study of problems that involve massive amounts of data and/or large-scale computations, and developing the science that enables the extraction of useful and actionable information across disciplines and research fields. Learn more >


Institute for Cyber Physical Infrastructure and Energy

Research within the Institute for Cyber Physical Infrastructure and Energy (I-CPIE) underpins all aspects of modern society. The demands and impacts of society’s reliance upon energy, communications, structural, and transportation systems requires a broad approach that’s focused not only on engineering systems, but on improving people’s lives. Learn more >


Institutes for Greater Impact

Lehigh announced the formation of IRIs to solidify and further develop strength in focus areas where faculty and students are poised to make significant academic and societal contributions. Read story >

Why IRIs

Lehigh’s IRIs enable the University to solidify and further develop its strengths in key areas that resonate with our academic community and have significant impact upon the world around us. The complexity, scale and breadth of research required in these areas is staggering: consider the interdependencies that exist in advancing the equitable provision of healthcare and medicine, or the development of “smart” infrastructure and the resilience and sustainability of energy systems, or even in the enabling technologies, materials, and computational expertise that allows for rapid innovation that improves lives and the world we share.

Across academia, industry, and government, scientists and engineers are joining together to develop multifaceted solutions that attack problems from every angle—interdisciplinary team science is our best hope for solving today’s most vexing challenges, and Lehigh’s IRIs are poised to help lead the way.

External Partners & Affiliates

Lehigh’s IRI are actively recruiting collaborators from across academia, industry, and government. Contact to learn more. A sample of current IRI partners and affiliates includes:

  • Argonne National Laboratory
  • Google Research
  • IBM
  • Ingersoll-Rand
  • OSIsoft