Director, Institute for Resilient Environmental and Energy Systems (IREES)
Pillar 5 of the Lead On, University Strategic Plan contemplates the creation of university-wide, multi-campus, multidisciplinary centers of excellence (institutes) focused on real-world challenges. During FY21, a dedicated team of faculty, working with strategy consulting firm Thinkenomics, completed our strategic research framework with detailed strategies and tactics for each of OU’s four vertical areas of research and creative activity focus (Pillar 5, Strategy 2, Tactic 1). These verticals form the foundation for the launch of four new university-wide institutes and provide the basis for incentivizing the convergence of transdisciplinary teams of OU faculty, staff, and students to tackle and contribute solutions to some of the defining societal challenges of our time such as social inequality, climate change, energy, health pandemics, national security and global stability, and others.
The Institute for Resilient Environmental and Energy Systems (IREES) addresses sustainability grand challenges for Oklahoma, the nation and the world. Our goal is to develop equitable solutions that help drive the transformation of the U.S. energy sector toward a net-zero carbon economy, that provide access to clean water, air, and safe built environments and do so without degrading our planetary ecosystems and climate.
With this focus on challenges at the intersection of society, the environment, and energy systems, IREES works to create inclusive, collaborative and convergent research ecosystems that leverage the strengths of OU’s research faculty and our public and private sector partners. Our efforts will build on and expand research programs across three key areas:
The Institute for Community and Society Transformation (ICAST) is guided by a vision to transform societies by setting the national standard for convergent, community-engaged research and creative activity. ICAST addresses grand challenges facing communities and society today in the realms of:
Addressing community and societal challenges in transformative ways requires us to bring together the skills, expertise, and understanding from multiple disciplines in unique ways to better understand and define problems and to identify novel, creative and effective ways of addressing them. This requires understanding individuals, groups, societies, and cultures using a wide range of approaches and methods that expand our basic, applied, and community-centered research and scholarly footprint. ICAST encourages OU faculty to bring forward their unique expertise and engage across disciplines to work toward solving these grand challenges.
The Oklahoma Aerospace and Defense Innovation Institute (OADII) brings together the full range of the university’s capabilities and resources to provide holistic solutions addressing the aerospace, defense and global security challenges of today and tomorrow. By uniting the vast resources of a major research university with a network of industry and government partners, OADII advances security, liberty and prosperity for our state, nation and world. We are growing in national prominence in four crucial areas:
Global challenges that affect human health and well-being are rooted in a complex and ever-evolving web of sociodemographic and biospheric systems. Building on existing strengths across our three campuses, the University of Oklahoma is poised to be at the forefront of transdisciplinary convergent research endeavors that will drive fundamental discoveries focused around three core areas of research: