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Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Innovation 2016

Tackling the Grand Challenges

Washington State University research is uniting the best minds across disciplines and addressing ambitious goals known as the Grand Challenges.

The Grand Challenges came out of a University-wide effort to encourage faculty and academic leaders to identify and think about how we might help solve our society’s biggest problems. The five broad inspirational research themes aim to focus University priorities and encourage collaboration and multidisciplinary work across the University.

Read Dean Bender’s message.

What problems can we solve?

Sustainable Resources

Professor Darrin Griechen works with students on solar decathlon design.

Students compete for solar home prize

Washington State University students have begun designing a solar home for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition. The contest, set for fall of 2017 in Denver, Colorado, will award $2 million in prize money.


PACCAR Building Dedicated

Key improvement made in solar cell voltage technology

Smart Systems

School of Design and Construction students developed smart city design ideas for the University District.

Holistic approach to developing smarter cities

Researchers in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture are leading a five-year, $1.5 million initiative to develop a framework to monitor, predict, and control energy and air quality in an urban environment, and record resulting health impacts in Spokane’s University District.


State advances as hotbed of energy innovation

Sustaining Health

Emily Willard, right, and Katherine Brandenstein created the sterilized injection project, Engage.

Students engage to save lives

Washington State University engineering students Emily Willard and Katherine Brandenstein are hoping to save lives someday with a product they developed to make injections safer in the developing world.


New alternative to antibiotics

Strategic funding leads to community health analytics research institute

National Security

WSU engineering student Matthew McDaniel demonstrates the lift fixture to move a sample into a detection instrument system.

Students partner with PNNL on nuclear safety

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is partnering with Washington State University students to develop new instruments, tools, and methods to support nuclear nonproliferation and international safeguards.


Out the hack door: Simulating cyber attacks to protect the smart grid

Opportunity and Equity

Five students standing in a row with their arms around each other's shoulders.

Reach for the STARS

The Washington State Academic RedShirt (STARS) program equips motivated first- year engineering students with the tools and community they need to be successful in engineering.


Bringing more women to computer science

Walls made from trash