Energy and Sustainability: Development of new energy sources, alternate forms of energy, feedstock development, advances in clean energy, innovation in energy acquisition (e.g. new fossil fuel extraction techniques), green technologies, and the development of environmentally and economically sustainable energy sources - regionally, nationally and globally.
Water: The world is facing unprecedented challenges from declining water tables, surfaces water quality, and flooding. Research in this area includes conservation, development, and use of water resources to assist planning and regulatory bodies, water conservation and use planning and management, development of best management practices for water protection and conservation, development and demonstration of novel and innovative treatment technologies and approaches for small public drinking water systems, and safety of water resources.
Food and Fiber Production and Safety: Food and fiber security enabled the U.S. to take a true global leadership role. Examples of research in this area include biofuel feedstocks, sustainability and environmental stewardship, enhanced agricultural and forest productivity, agricultural policy development, food distribution systems, anti-terrorism strategies related to food safety, food-borne diseases, and the distribution of and access to food supplies.
Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability: Natural systems face a myriad of stressors, including development, conversion, competing land uses, and changing climate. Within the context of these environmental challenges, interdisciplinary research focused on sustained harvest of renewable natural resources; conversation of ecosystems and the myriad services they provide; and mitigation and adaption to change, enhance quality of life, stimulate economic activity and support ecological functions for humanity.
Health and Education Disparity: Mississippi State University is uniquely positioned to address pressing issues in health and educational disparity by fostering research that results in better understanding of the root causes for health and education disparity, mitigating strategies, quality of life improvements, curriculum development and delivery, and quality of life initiatives. The focus also involves access to goods (including food), services and education for minorities or disadvantage populations whether ethnic, socioeconomic, cultural, disabilities, linguistic, race and gender.
Data to Decisions: Given the vast amounts of data available in today's world, there is a need to acquire, organize, interpret, and deliver information for decision makers in a timely and secure manner to improve the speed and quality of decisions. Research examples include computational biology, information analysis, human machine interaction, data sharing, cognitive science, correctness of data, socio-economic analysis and modeling the decision process.
Public Policy: This area is cross-cutting across all other focus areas for research. It encompasses a purposive and consistent course of action as a response to a perceived problem of a constituency (stakeholder-citizens/voters, political reps), created by a specific political process, and adopted, implanted, and enforced by a public agency.
Mobility Systems: The interdisciplinary area includes all research involving transportation systems - air, sea and land based. Research topics include transportation planning, safety, and security, unmanned aircraft systems, development and utilization, transportation policy, military transport systems automotive, human factors research applied to mobility systems, ergonomics in transportation systems, robotics, and modeling/simulation of mobile systems. It also encompasses physical transportation of goods and people, and system optimization for improved transportation infrastructure.
Material Science and Engineering: MSU has strong and broad-based expertise in understanding the relationship between the structure of materials at atomic or molecular scales and their macroscopic properties, nanoscience and nanotechnology, fundamental properties, and characteristics of materials, bio-based design, metallurgy, forensic engineering and failure analysis, composite materials, and polymers and working with industrial partners.