A Culture of Technological Innovation

UCSB College of Engineering is an institution of world-recognized researchers, from our Nobel laureate faculty to our ambitious undergraduate students. We are people who are inspired by a better future. Our research addresses the grand challenges of our time, advancing technology that benefits society on a global scale: Biomedical applications. Energy technology and resource sustainability. Advanced functional materials. Next-generation electronics and photonics technology. The future of networks, computing and big data. 

Areas of Research


Our Approach

Efficient + Effective

There’s a reason why the research at UCSB Engineering is one of the most heavily invested in the state, and we can tout a high level of innovation efficiency. We are home to one of the most successful public-private research partnerships in the country, with a nearly 1:1 patent to publication ratio in some programs. By leveraging shared instrumentation across multiple funding sources, lowering the cost of research across campus. We pursue projects that lead to real solutions for unfulfilled needs in the marketplace. On average, UCSB generates one intellectual property disclosure per $1.8 million in research expenditures, which is nearly twice as productive as the average university. [source]

Enterprising spirit

According to Forbes (2014), UCSB is one of the top schools for entrepreneurship. More than 60 startups have been launched based on UCSB technology, and 48% of UCSB inventions are under a licensing agreement (as of 2015). "Techpreneurial" students can participate in UCSB's Technology Management Program certificate or graduate degree programs, as well as the annual New Venture Competition - birthplace of several successful tech start-ups.  


UCSB Engineering has been ranked #1 in the world for engineering research citation impact by the Leiden University Rankings many years running, with top rankings by US News and National Research Council. All five departments in the College earned rankings within the Top 10 in the NRC's most recent doctoral program assessment. Our Materials program is consistently ranked #1 in the world for research impact by sources such as US News and Thomson Reuters. We have on our faculty three Nobel laureates, the most number of National Academy of Engineering members per capita among University of California campuses, six National Academy of Inventors fellows, and more prestigious designations that demonstrate this is a culture of the world’s foremost experts in engineering.


“Research without walls” isn’t just a phrase at UCSB, it’s the foundation of our cultural institution. While core focus areas of research are determined by each department within the College of Engineering, research teams are often interdisciplinary to more effectively and efficiently achieve their goals. This is demonstrated through the research at our many centers and institutes, our successful history of grant funding year after year, and our industry partnerships.

Research Centers

Explore the research institutes and centers affiliated with the College of Engineering, as well as the dozens of research centers we count as collaborators at UCSB. Our numerous centers and initiatives are leading their fields in groundbreaking engineering and technology research.

Lab Facilities & Instrumentation

The network of laboratory facilities and instrumentation at UCSB, and our environment of interdisciplinary collaboration, help make great things possible. Explore research facilities and labs, as well as a directory of shared instrumentation.

Industry Partnerships & Technology Licensing

Learn more about UCSB Engineering corporate partnerships and our commitment to protecting and licensing technological discoveries. We partner with companies, government agencies, and start-ups to facilitate beneficial relationships and to advance technology that serves society.