The Past
  is Prologue

UH Drives Toward Global Preeminence

The Past
is Prologue

UH Drives Toward
Global Preeminence

Photo of VP for Research

From the Vice President for Research

The University of Houston has experienced impressive growth over the last decade. With the vision of its leadership and the passion of its faculty, UH’s research enterprise has taken giant strides in an increasingly competitive funding environment. With the goal of becoming a globally preeminent research university, UH continues to integrate and innovate, thus impacting the quality of life in the region, the nation and the world.

I was fortunate to be named vice president and chancellor of research and technology transfer for UH and the UH System, respectively, in summer 2017. UH’s rapid ascent to a top tier research-intensive institution has captured the attention of corporate, academic and government leaders and researchers. Being part of this ambitious, dynamic and upwardly-mobile university was one of the main reasons I joined UH.

As we chart our path to global preeminence, we reflect on the past 10 formative years of progress in research and development in this visual annual report. We also articulate our conceptual strategic direction of combining institution-led, deliberately managed research as well as faculty-led research where the institution acts as a facilitator. Our passion is to address societal challenges and enhance the quality of life through impactful applied research that is underpinned by world-class fundamental discoveries.

Amr Elnashai, FREng
Vice President for Research

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Over the Last Decade...

NSF expenditures doubled

IP Income grew 2898%

UH became a Carnegie-designated

Tier One Public Research University 2011

UH added four national research centers


Advanced Superconductor
Manufacturing Institute

ASMI Image


Subsea Systems Institute

SSI Image


National Center for
Airborne Laser Mapping



Borders, Trade, and
Immigration Institute

BTI Image

UH was designated an Innovation
and Economic Prosperity University


Top royalty-earning
institution in the U.S.
(without a med school)


National Academy Of
Inventors Members


Top 100 Global
Universities for U.S.
Utility Patents


UH became home to
National Academy Members

UH became home to 19
National Academy Members


Research & Innovation FY17...



Research Expenditures (NSF)


Total Funds Requested


Proposal Submitted


% of Proposals Awarded


Total Amount from New Award FY17


Number of New Awards in FY17



Licensing Income





In the News

Photo of New VP For Research

Introducing Amr Elnashai

With an extraordinary passion for serving and a distinguished pedigree to lead, Amr Elnashai has taken the helm of UH’s dynamically growing research organization as the new vice president for research and technology transfer.

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Dissolvable tech photo

Dissolvable tech addresses global concerns

Cunjiang Yu, Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering, along with colleagues from UH and the University of Science and Technology of China, has successfully modeled electronic components that can be triggered by ambient moisture changes to self-destruct.

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Neuromths Photo

Even with education, neuromyths persist

Kelly Macdonald, Ph.D. student and member of the Developmental Neuropsychology Lab at UH, shares the surprising results of her team's study on the persistence of neuromyths among the general public as well as those educated in neuroscience. A survey of statements reflecting commonly held misconceptions about the brain revealed that even those with neuroscience training believed 46 percent of the myths.

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Security Camera Photo

New security cameras see threats

Shishir Shah, computer science professor and member of the Borders, Trade, and Immigration Institute at UH, is developing security cameras that can analyze movement patterns in real time. The cameras can detect the presence of unusual movement — like fights in a crowd — and alert users to anomalies, which may indicate security threats.

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Photo of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle

New strides in alternative energy

A UH research team has discovered a new catalyst for generating hydrogen from water splitting. Their low-cost, high-performance solution makes important steps toward developing hydrogen fuel cells as an efficient and economical energy source.

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Photo of Zachary Turpin holding a child while pointing at laptop screen

A lost work from an American legend

UH doctoral candidate Zachary Turpin recently unearthed an early novel by Walt Whitman, thought lost for 165 years. Here Turpin shares the journey of his discovery, which marks his second major contribution to the body of the beloved author's recovered works.

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Mars volcano photo

Two billion years of volcanoes on Mars

Analysis of a Martian meteorite found in Africa in 2012 has uncovered evidence of at least two billion years of volcanic activity on Mars. UH geologist Tom Lapen analysis of the sample shows that it to be much older than other samples from the same source.

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Photo of person typing on a laptop

Writing the histories of women researchers

Honoring the anniversary of the historic National Women’s Conference held in Houston in 1977, UH librarian Bethany Scott led an all-day Wikipedia-editing session at the university. The event focused on issues of representation on the platform, where women make up only 17 percent of the biographic entries and 10 percent of the site's content editors.

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What the Future Holds...

UH Research Thrusts

We have engaged our community in the development of four Institutional thrusts to address a number of research challenges aimed at boosting economic development and improving the quality of life.