For over a decade, water has been identified as a potential new direction for research and scholarship at CWRU. The National Academy of Engineering cites access to clean water as a grand challenge. Issues such as algal blooms in Lake Erie and deteriorating water infrastructure in legacy cities are particularly important in the Great Lakes region.


Recently, the Great Lakes Energy Institute (GLEI) engaged with CWRU faculty, benchmarked CWRU assets against other regional universities with water institutes, and conducted a strategic analysis of opportunities. The results of that study identified significant and diverse faculty interest, and suggested that our established strengths in sensors, materials, data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), and health could be leveraged as strengths in water.


GLEI together with the Institute for Smart, Secure and Connected Systems (ISSACS), is broadly exploring the relationship of the CWRU community with water. Through the Provost’s Office Seed Sprint program, we are evaluating the interest and potential direction for a formalized water initiative at CWRU.