National Centers - University of Houston
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The University of Houston currently leads eleven externally-funded centers, comprising numerous collaborations with other universities and industry, and supported by nearly $20 million in funding to conduct research the areas of energy (subsea engineering), psychology, superconductivity, laser mapping and homeland security.

Advanced Superconductivity Manufacturing Institute (ASMI)

Established: 2016 as 501 (c) (3) Organization
Funding: National Institutes of Standards and Technology | $500,000 Planning Grant, , Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office | $4.5 million, three-year award
Lead PI: Venkat Selvamanickam, Ph.D.
Department: Advanced Manufacturing Institute | Mechanical Engineering | Texas Center for Superconductivity's Applied Research Hub


ASMI logo
ASMI is an industry-driven consortium to overcome the major technological barriers that inhibit the growth of High Temperature Superconductor (HTS)-based advanced manufacturing in the U.S. to achieve the enormous market potential and create high-tech jobs. Several institutions across the entire value chain of manufacturers of superconductor wire, processing and test equipment and superconducting components as well as Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and end-users as well as other stakeholders in industry, academia, national laboratories and local organizations are being brought together to assess the challenges, barriers, aspirations, technology risks and market adoption risks in each application type of superconductors and develop roadmaps and collaborative projects to address these issues. The roadmap of ASMI is being supported by the Advanced Manufacturing Institute at UH along with its industry partners through advanced manufacturing of HTS wires for applications such as next-generation electric machines.

Center for Building Reliable Advances and Innovations in Neurotechnologies (BRAIN Center)

Established: 2022
Funding: National Science Foundation | $758,331
Lead PI: Jose Contreras-Vidal, Ph.D.
Department: Electrical Engineering


The Center for Building Reliable Advances and Innovations in Neurotechnologies (BRAIN Center) develops safe, effective and affordable personalized neurotechnologies for diagnostics, restoration, enhancement, and rehabilitation of sensory, motor, affective and cognitive functions.

Borders, Trade, and Immigration Institute (BTI)

Established: 2015
Funding: U.S. Department of Homeland Security | $3.4 Million, Five-Year Grant
Lead PICraig Glennie, Ph.D.
Department: College of Technology
Status: DHS Emeritus Center of Excellence, 2021


BTI logo
The Center for Borders, Trade and Immigration Research will address national challenges related to borders, trade and immigration through innovations in technology, data-enabled approaches to informed policy and mission-focused education and training programs.

Center for Integrated Catalysis (CIC)

Established: 2020
Funding: National Science Foundation | $1.8 Million
Lead Co-PILoi Doi, Ph.D.
Department: Chemistry


The Center for Integrated Catalysis (CIC) develops the fundamental chemistry needed to prepare synthetic plastics from pools of abundant feedstocks in a single reactor using spatially separated and temporally switchable catalysts.

Center for Success of English Learners (CSEL)

Established: 2020 
Funding: Institute of Education Sciences | $9.9 Million
Lead PI: David Francis, Ph.D.
Department: Psychology


The National Research and Development Center for English Language Learners will undertake a focused program of research aimed at identifying and removing barriers related to school tracking through analysis of administrative and newly collected data using a mixed-methods approach. In addition, the center develops and tests interventions that leverage four transdisciplinary approaches to improve instruction for English Learners (ELs) in Grade 6 and Grade 9 Science and Social Studies that make up the central tenets of effective strategies for instructing ELs identified by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine

National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM)

Established: 2003 (Transitioned to UH in 2010)
Funding: National Science Foundation | $2.4 Million Continuing Grant (>$10M Total)
Lead PI: Craig Glennie, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering


NCALM logo
The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping is a collaborative effort between the University of Houston and the University of California, Berkeley. NCALM uses Airborne Laser Swath Mapping (ALSM) system to acquire research quality LiDAR observations to NSF funded PIs. So far over 150 projects for 70- PIs and 91 graduate students have been funded covering some 35,000 square kilometers areas in over 100 locations in 27 states including Alaska and Hawai plus 7 countries (Antractica, Belize, Guatemala, Hondurus, Mexico, New Zealand and Puerto Rico). Currently NCALM collects LiDAR data using its third generation state-of-the-art multi-wave LiDAR system - Titan MW which collects up to 300 kHz each Lidar returns using 532, 1064 and 1550 nm wavelengths simultaneously. Therefore up to 900 kHz data collected to cover seamless coverage of terrain and bathymetry up to 10 m deep. The center moved to the University of Houston in 2010, becoming the University's first NSF-funded center.

National Center for Research on Educator Diversity (NCRED)

Established: 2022
FundingChan Zuckerberg Initiative | $750,000 
Lead PIConra Gist, Ph.D.
DepartmentCollege of Education


The National Center for Research on Educator Diversity (NCRED) serves as a research hub committed to dismantling inequity in teacher development systems through supporting the academic and professional advancement of ethnoracially, culturally, and linguistically diverse educators. The aims of the center are to: (a) Establish the knowledge base - NCRED serves as the institutional home for the generation of knowledge grounded in evidence-based outcomes; (b) Disseminate the knowledge base - NCRED facilitates the dissemination of research and practitioner scholarship across a wide range of researchers, scholars, and practitioners; and (c) Apply the knowledge base - NCRED operates as an organizing hub for innovate research-practice partnerships (RPPs) committed to educator diversity.

HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention (RCMI)

Established: 2020
Funding: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities | $11.9 Million
Lead PIEzemenari Obasi, Ph.D.
Department: HEALTH Research Institute | Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences (PHLS) | College of Education


The HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention is designed to establish a national exemplar for how community-engaged research can accelerate scientific breakthroughs that can be rapidly disseminated and implemented directly into the targeted community by trained laypersons or paraprofessionals.

Subsea Systems Institute (SSI)

Funding:Texas Commission on Environmental Quality via the RESTORE Act | $4.1 Million
Lead PI: Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Ph.D.
Department: UH Energy


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The Subsea Systems Institute is led by the University of Houston and a collaborative effort with Rice University and NASA to improve the sustainable and safe development of energy resources in the Gulf of Mexico. The mission of the center is to develop engineering, science and policy standards for the identification, validation and implementation of best available and safest technologies and practices for exploration of hydrocarbons in the ultra-deep Gulf of Mexico and extreme environments.

Texas Center for Learning Disabilities (TCLD)

Established: 2006
Funding: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development | $9 Million, Five-Year Grant, 2001-2016 (>$16 Million Total)
Lead PI: Jack M. Fletcher, Ph.D.
Department: Psychology | Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics (TIMES)


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The Texas Center for Learning Disabilities is a collaborative effort between the University of Houston, The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. It's one of four centers nationwide funded as part of NICHD's Learning Disabilities Research Centers (LDRC) research center program. The center focuses on multidisciplinary research that addresses learning disability definition, measurement, and research synthesis; the role of executive functions in reading comprehension, interventions for students with reading difficulties; and the functional and structural correlates of learning disabilities and intervention response.

Transportation Cybersecurity Center for Advanced Research and Education (CYBER-CARE)

Established: 2023
Current FundingU.S. Department of Transportation | $2 million Tier 1 Center Grant
Lead PIDr. Yunpeng (Jack) Zhang
DepartmentInformation and Logistics Technology


This project will focus on reducing transportation cybersecurity risks. The sub-fields include Supply Chain coordination, testing, mitigation, Positioning, Navigation and Timing and other communication technologies systems integration, testing and reliability; Testing tools, distributed environments, and systems; Automated and Connected Vehicles simulation, testing, systems design; Internet of Things security and monitoring.