Research Clusters

History of UNT Research Clusters

UNT Research Clusters are collaborative, cross-disciplinary teams composed of leading researchers, faculty and students, which promote the synergistic exchange of ideas and resources. Research aims solve complex scientific, technological, environmental and societal problems through interdisciplinary collaborations and innovation.

During the legislative session of 2009, the State of Texas approved an ambitious plan to support its seven emerging research universities, including the University of North Texas, into the ranks of National Research Universities. In April 2010, UNT submitted a ten-year “Strategic Plan for Research” to the State that envisions the university as a comprehensive research institution with the aspiration to be ranked as a Carnegie Very High Research Activity University. The Plan centers on the following:

  • Facilitating and maximizing the success of current faculty
  • Hiring highly accomplished senior and junior faculty
  • Expanding research space, infrastructure and funding
  • Enhancing research collaborations and partnerships
  • Increasing philanthropic funds for research (to be matched by the State)
  • Increasing number and quality of doctoral students
  • Improving quality of freshmen class

As part of the implementation of the research plan, UNT has created fifteen research clusters and has selected six additional strategic areas for investment. The Department of Engineering Technology participates in the following strategic areas and research clusters:


Advanced Bio-Sensor Technology, Development and Applications Strategic Area

Research in the strategic area of Advanced Bio-Sensor Technology, Development and Applications aims to investigate the following areas of bio-sensors:

  •  design and fabrication of biosensors
  •  low-power sensor interface circuits
  •  distributed intelligent sensor networks
  • energy-efficient sensor data collection
  • fusion
  • bio-security
  • public health
  • environmental monitoring
  • biodiversity
  • explosives detection

Learn more about Advanced Bio-Sensor Technology, Development and Applications at the University of North Texas. 


Entrepreneurship Strategic Area

Entrepreneurship efforts aim to disseminate knowledge for the fostering of a new generation of business leaders who value the social as well as the profit potential of business. Researchers are from the following areas:

  • business management
  • marketing
  • accounting
  • social sciences
  • public policy
  • engineering

Learn more about Entrepreneurship at the University of North Texas.


Renewable Energy and Conservation Research Cluster (REAC)

Providing ­­­abundant, cheap, renewable energy for homes, businesses and other end users is a global, conservation imperative that requires innovative research strategies across disciplines. Next generation renewable energy and energy conservation solutions are needed to address complex scientific, technological, environmental, and societal problems. The Renewable Energy and Conservation (REAC) research cluster combines expertise in materials science, mechanical and energy engineering, electrical engineering, engineering technology and other physical and social science fields to conduct research in three thrust areas: Distributed Renewable Power Generation, Smart Grid Transmission and Building Energy Conservation.


  • Clean rooms
  • Micro/nano fabrication
  • Wind tunnel
  • Zero-energy house
  • UNT high performance computing systems (Talon, Eagle)

Technology Outcomes:

  • Affordable PV systems and wider utilization of wind power
  • Cost effective, high energy efficient building products
  • Key grid-tie solutions for wide penetration of distributed renewable energy

Visit the Renewable Energy and Conservation Research Cluster (REAC) website. 


Renewable Bio-Products Research Cluster (REAC)

A new discipline of engineering is emerging based on green chemistries. Plant scientists and other biologists in the Renewable Bio-Products research cluster forge intellectual partnerships with academic colleagues, industries, government agencies and international colleagues. They design, develop and implement sustainable, multifunctional biosolutions and discover how to harness the unique chemical properties of plants, bacteria and various bioagents to achieve ecologically safe, green solutions that outperform their non-renewable counterparts.  

Multifucntional Bio-products:

  • Building materials
  • Lubricants
  • Adhesives
  • Composites
  • Concrete
  • Packaging
  • Textiles
  • Insulation
  • Tissue Scaffolds
  •  Drug delivery

Compostability and Biodegradability:

  • Plants
  • Fiber and biomass
  • Seeds
  • Fermentation and polymerization
  • Processing

Visit the Renewable Bio-Products Research Cluster website.


Initiative for Advanced Research in Technology and the Arts Research Cluster (IARTA)

In the Initiative for Advanced Research in Technology and the Arts Research Cluster (IARTA), researchers in the arts, engineering and sciences partner to create new media experiences through innovative uses of technology: dancers wired with sensors perform an interactive concert; media artists incorporate robotics and surveillance hardware in a social context; musicians compose complex scores based on math equations; computer-artists animate visual models from biological data. These experiments at ethe intersection of art and science serve as a laboratory for many industrial and commercial applications.

Visit the Initiative for Advanced Research in Technology and the Arts (IARTA) Research Cluster website.