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Fast Facts about Research at UMBC

  • UMBC is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a Research University with High Research Activity. UMBC’s key research strengths comprise Environmental Sciences – including atmospheric physics, High-performance Computation – including cybersecurity and big data, Life Sciences – including marine biotechnology, health sciences, and Public Policy and Social Sciences.
  • UMBC is home to 657 full-time faculty and 13,979 enrolled students, including 2,600 graduate students.
  • UMBC has a leadership role on the recently awarded Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) for Cybersecurity under the NIST National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence  – a partnership between the University System of Maryland (UMBC and UM College Park) and MITRE.  The contract for this FFRDC has a maximum value of $5 billion over 25 years.
  • UMBC is among the fastest-growing research universities in the nation.  Annual research expenditures in FY2015 were $75.2 million, a remarkable growth from only $20 million in 1996. These overall expenditures include $63 million provided by federal funded programs.
  • UMBC ranked #158 in federal research and development expenditures, and #165 in overall R&D expenditures in 2013 out of 645 institutions surveyed, according to the current NSF Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey.
  • UMBC faculty have secured 28 NSF CAREER Awards since 1995, including a 2015 CAREER Award to Dr. Christopher Hennigan in Chemical, Biochemical & Environmental Engineering. Over the past decade, two UMBC researchers have received the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) awards – one from NSF in 2005 and one from NSA in 2014.
  • UMBC’s Dr. Curtis Menyuk in Computer Sciences and Electrical Engineering is the recipient of a 2015 Humboldt Research Award for his work in nonlinear optics and “self-similarity” in light propagation.
  • UMBC’s Dr. Jeffrey Gardner in Biological Sciences received a 2015 DOE Early Career Award for his work in understanding the degradation and regulatory modeling of plant biomass for renewable energy production.
  • UMBC’s Dr. Carlos Romero-Talamas in Mechanical Engineering received a 2014 DARPA Young Faculty Award for his work on new computational models for nuclear fusion technology.
  • UMBC’s Dr. Michael Summers, Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry is one of only two Howard Hughes Medical institutes (HHMI) investigators at a public university in Maryland.  His research is aimed at under-standing how retroviruses assemble and how they specifically recognize and package their genetic material.
  • UMBC is a member of the prestigious NSF Engineering Research Center on Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE). Anthony Johnson at the Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research (CASPR) leads the UMBC effort. Princeton University serves as the lead institution; other members include Johns Hopkins University, Rice University, City College of New York and Texas A&M.
  • UMBC is listed among the nation’s “Top 100 Public Universities,” according to Kiplinger’s list of Best Values in Public Colleges.
  • UMBC is one of just eight US universities listed among “100 International Universities under 50,” as compiled by Times Higher Education in the UK.
  • UMBC is ranked among the Top 20 US universities in NASA funding. UMBC’s NASA-funded centers at NASA Goddard are the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET), the Goddard Planetary Heliophysics Institute (GPHI) and the Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science and Technology (CRESST).
  • UMBC has been named the #1 Up-and-Coming University in 2014 – for the sixth year in a row – by U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges Guide, recognizing universities that “consistently find innovative ways to improve students’ educational experiences.” Other institutions among the Top Ten include Arizona State University, Clemson University, Northeastern University, University of Central Florida, and University of Southern California. This category was first established in 2008.
  • UMBC also is ranked #5 among the top national universities “where the faculty has an unusual commitment to undergraduate teaching,” ahead of such schools as Brown, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Yale.
  • UMBC’s Research Park – bwtech@UMBC– comprises 525,000 square feet, houses 120 tenants providing 1,200 jobs and three incubators (cybersecurity, life sciences, and clean tech). Over half of the companies are working in the cyber realm.