A Culture of Technological Innovation

The UCSB College of Engineering is a diverse community comprising everyone from wide-eyed first-year undergraduate students to world-renowned faculty researchers, graduate student, postdoctoral researchers, and Nobel laureates. We at the COE are inspired to work for a better future, and to envision how to make the improbable possible in order to address the grand challenges of our time and advance technology that benefits people around the world. From biomedical applications, energy technologies, and resource sustainability to advanced functional materials, next-generation electronics and photonics technology, computing and machine learning, COE researchers at the forefront of their fields conduct leading-edge research, often in close collaboration with colleagues from other department, disciplines, and institutions. 

Areas of Research

Our Approach

Efficient + Effective

There is 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 nation, with some programs boasting nearly a 1:1 patent-to-publication ratio. At UCSB, researchers in engineering and the sciences leverage a tremendous inventory of shared instrumentation, secured and maintained by way of  multiple funding sources, to lower the cost of research across campus. We pursue projects that lead to real solutions to unfulfilled needs in the marketplace. On average, UCSB generates one intellectual property disclosure per $1.8 million in research expenditures, which is nearly twice the average university IP productivity. [source]

Enterprising spirit

In 2014, Forbes ranked UCSB as one of the top schools for entrepreneurship, and the COE has only expanded on its capabilities and achievements since then. More than sixty startups have been launched based on UCSB technology, and as of 2015, 48 percent of UCSB inventions were under a licensing agreement. "Techpreneurial" students can participate in certificate and graduate-degree programs offered in UCSB's Technology Management Department, the university's newest department, as well competing in the annual New Venture Competition, the annual year-long competition that has served as the incubator for several successful tech start-ups.  


UCSB Engineering has been ranked #1 in the world for engineering research citation impact by the Leiden University Rankings for many years running, and has received top rankings from US News and the National Research Council. All five COE departments 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 highest number of National Academy of Engineering members per capita among University of California campuses, six National Academy of Inventors fellows, in addition to numerous other prestigious designations demonstrating that ours is a culture of the world’s foremost experts in engineering.


“Research without walls” isn’t just a phrase at UCSB; it is the very foundation of our institutional culture. While core focus areas of research are determined by each department within the College of Engineering, research efforts often are pursued by interdisciplinary team, which can more effectively and efficiently achieve more ambitious and more comprehensive goals. This is demonstrated especially well in our many research 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.