Welcome to the Spring 2024 issue of Resolve—a magazine dedicated to research and educational innovation in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science at Lehigh University.

Lehigh Mountaintop

Resolve Magazine, Spring 2024This issue gives us a chance to reflect on the rapid advancement of robotics at Lehigh and the investments made by the university, the college, and our community of supporters that made it happen.

Forward-thinking philanthropy led the way in transforming the massive Building C into a state-of-the-art technology hub and establishing our Autonomous and Intelligent Robotics Laboratory (AIR Lab) as a center for exploring the “science of autonomy.”

In the six years since Building C opened its doors, our robotics faculty numbers have quadrupled, we have created five new student robotics competition teams, and our research community is staking its claim in aspects of the field with the potential for meaningful social and technological impact.

Our rapid growth in this area emulates the built-from-scratch drone pictured on this issue’s cover. Each part of the design—building on existing faculty strengths and bringing in new expertise, investing in facilities, and engaging students from middle to graduate school—was integrated into something that is distinctly Lehigh. The building’s unique high bay structure even contributed to making our campus the obvious choice to host a recent national-level university competition in aerial robotics.

As the AIR Lab and robotics at Lehigh continue their ascent, this issue of Resolve celebrates the accomplishments of this research community growing in Building C.

Research, after all, is all about impact. So I am delighted to also report on some recent recognition of our efforts to nurture and promote research endeavors that translate into real-world application.

In December, the National Science Foundation granted Lehigh a four-year, $6 million award to increase the scale and pace of advancing academic research into solutions that benefit and serve the public. The 16-member team behind the proposal, led by John Coulter, senior associate dean for research, represents all five Lehigh colleges and includes four co-principal investigators and 11 senior personnel.

Forward-thinking philanthropy led the way in transforming Building C into a state-of-the-art technology hub.

Lehigh was one of five institutions, out of 18 awardees, to secure full proposal funding—an indication that our team was among the best in the country at putting forth a university-wide plan with a truly interdisciplinary focus.

The award will help us speed up and scale our research activities in engineering, health, biological sciences, humanities, business, education, and myriad other areas to generate products and services for the general good. Lehigh is also innovating in associated graduate-level academic programs, training graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in translational research and commercialization who work closely with companies seeking to solve technical challenges.

Elsewhere in the issue, we delve into intriguing work—connecting our college and Lehigh’s College of Health—that is improving accessibility of indoor spaces for people with vision and mobility challenges. We also catch up with Kathleen Taylor ’87, a tireless supporter of the Rossin College throughout her years at Johnson & Johnson and, most recently, Kenvue.

I hope you enjoy this edition of Resolve; please drop me a line with your thoughts and comments.

Stephen P. DeWeerth, Professor and Dean
P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science