Centers and Institutes

Board of Regents Approved UNO Research Centers


Louisiana Board of Regents, Academic Affairs Tracking Database

( or ( This database contains information about academic programs, research units, and various administrative requests that have come before the Academic & Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Regents after January 1, 1998. The purpose of this database is to inform viewers of the current status of institutional requests and reporting requirements related to them; it is *not* the official record of Board actions. If you're interested in the final approval actions taken by the Board of Regents, please visit the Board of Regents Minutes.

Other UNO Research Centers


Other Research Community Members

National Laboratories

National laboratory and user facilities offer scientists access to unique, state of the art facilities, equipment and research capabilities. Some of the instrumentation at these facilities can be operated from remote locations. More information on these facilities and how to gain access to them is available here. You can also visit this NSF page which provides links to national laboratories.

Board of Regents Approved Research Centers and Institutes

Advanced Materials Research Institute 

Board of Regents Approved

Acting Director: Dr. Leonard Spinu
Assistant Director: I. R. (Poncho) De Leon
Telephone: 504-280-6840
Fax: 504-280-3185


Research Areas: The Advanced Materials Research Institute (AMRI) is a multidisciplinary research institute that provides a unique opportunity to develop novel research ideas that ultimately involve the government, private, and academic sectors in the conception and development of research programs. The interactions with corporate laboratories provide a synergistic pathway that promotes technology transfer and private sector involvement in the operation of AMRI.

Areas of Expertise: The research at AMRI is conducted in groups which specialize in the synthesis, fabrication, testing, characterization, development, and nanotechnology of nanomaterials, nanocomposites, and functional materials for the development of advanced materials for use in industry and defense applications. These groups are: Nanosensors Group, Thermoelectrics Group, MultiFerroics Group, AMRI-Engineering Group, and Outreach Summer Research Programs Group.

Special Research Capabilities: The AMRI research laboratories are located in the Science Building at the University of New Orleans, where 10,000 square feet of ample wet and dry laboratory space and over $10.0 M in specialized scientific research instrumentation is available for our research. The majority of our research is conducted at our AMRI facilities by scientists, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students who are developing and working on their research programs. Some components of the research are conducted in the laboratories of our research collaborators at other academic institutions and industrial laboratories.

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Center for Hazards Assessment Response and Technology (CHART) 

Board of Regents Approved

Director: Dr. Monica Farris
Telephone: 504-280-4016
Fax: 504-280-4023


Research Areas:UNO-CHART is an applied social science hazards research center that collaborates with Louisiana communities emphasizing coastal communities including the City of New Orleans. The focus of UNO-CHART is to support Louisiana community sustainability in light of natural, technological and environmental risks to which the state is vulnerable. The Center undertakes applied social science research to understand ways in which Louisiana communities and the coastal region respond to these risks, assists in the development of best practices for reducing risks and helps in implementing these practices to achieve comprehensive community sustainability. The second focus of UNO-CHART is to learn about and help mitigate the reverse dynamic, the impacts of community activity (i.e., social, political, economic), on the ecosystems within the coastal and southeast regions of the state.

Areas of Expertise: Specialties of staff and associated professors include sociology geography, political science, urban studies, planning, and relevant bio/physical sciences and engineering.

Special Research Capabilities: Currently, CHART projects address repeated flood loss, disaster mitigation planning, developing of community resiliency assessments, storm mitigation efforts by coastal communities, scientist/community collaboration on ecosystem health, community continuity, risk literacy, and risk management. 

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Greater New Orleans Center for Information Assurance 

Board of Regents Approved

Director: Dr. Golden G. Richard III
Telephone: 504-280-6045
Fax: 504-280-7228


Research Areas: The Greater New Orleans Center for Information Assurance (GNOCIA) is dedicated to research and instruction in the broad area of Information Assurance (IA). The GNOCIA has several interrelated missions, including facilitating interaction between government, industry, and academia to perform cutting edge research in IA, attracting federal funding to support these research efforts, attracting and retaining highly-qualified students, staff, and faculty, and workforce development through creation of specialized training opportunities. The Center also develops outreach programs to increase awareness of opportunities in IA in a number of communities, from high school students to entrepreneurs. Finally, the GNOCIA will provide a development environment where, in collaboration with industry and government agencies, research ideas in IA are grown into real-world security tools to be used in daily practice.

Areas of Expertise: The primary research agenda of the GNOCIA includes development of state-of-the-art, high-performance tools for digital forensics investigation, reverse engineering, techniques for analysis and mitigation of malware, secure programming, and research in spatio-temporal information systems for homeland security.

Special Research Capabilities: The GNOCIA laboratories include state-of-the-art computer equipment running a wide variety of open source and commercial software for digital investigation, reverse engineering, and the analysis of malicious software, in addition to specialized equipment such hard drive analyzers and clean
room facilities.

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Hospitality Research Center 

Board of Regents Approved

Directors: John Alan Williams
Telephone: 504-280-7192
Fax: 504-280-3189
E-Mails: and


The Hospitality Research Center at the University of New Orleans is a collaborative effort of the faculty of the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration (HRT) and the professionals of the Division of Business and Economic Research (DBER). The Hospitality Research Center is recognized for research productivity in the hospitality field. The function of the Hospitality Research Center is to provide a variety of research services to hospitality, travel and tourism organizations.

Areas of Expertise: Visitor profile studies, visitor estimates, perception studies, importance/performance indicators, special events' impact on the economy, tourism industry salary surveys, convention studies, and tourism conversion studies.

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The Merritt C. Becker Jr. University of New Orleans Transportation Institute (UNOTI) 

Board of Regents Approved

Director: John Renne
Telephone: 504-280-6592
Fax: 504-280-6272


Research Areas: The Merritt C. Becker, Jr. UNO Transportation Institute, housed within the College of Liberal Arts, combines the diverse transportation programs and personnel that currently exist at UNO into one entity. UNOTI faculty and staff conduct educational and research activities in key areas relating to the movement of passengers and freight with special emphasis on disaster evacuation, maritime and intermodal transportation, finance, public transit, active transportation and transit-oriented development. The Institute, through its diverse activities, continues to promote innovative policies and practices for the users and providers of transportation at local, state , national and international levels.

Special Research Capabilities: Collectively, UNOTI faculty and staff represent expertise in a wide array of transportation disciplines. UNOTI provides specialized research in the areas of national and international maritime systems; marine terminal facility planning and assessment; maritime economics; freight and passenger rail infrastructure development; transportation finance and economics; transit-oriented development; public transit system planning and development; active transport planning/implementation as well as the linkages between transportation, the environment and land use.

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New Orleans Jazz Institute (NOJI) 

Director of Programs: Stephanie Mayne
Artistic Director: Irvin Mayfield

Phone: 504-377-7403


Mission: The New Orleans Jazz Institute is a partnership between the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and the University of New Orleans that links UNO’s strengths in Jazz education with NOJO’s professional and performance expertise. NOJI serves to promote creative excellence and best practices in Jazz composition, performance, scholarship, importation, exportation and education.

Description: To realize its mission, NOJI has focused on the following initiatives:

  • Invite collaboration among universities in the area.
  • Sponsor & coordinate a Saturday music training school and a summer camp for middle and secondary students.
  • Establish and develop the University of New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (UNOJO) in conjunction with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO)
  • Organize Jazz competitions & festivals
  • Commission new Jazz pieces
  • Create an archive celebrating and documenting Jazz and New Orleans music
  • Host lectures & classes discussing music, culture, leadership, art, literacy, and the New Orleans experience

Areas of Expertise:
Specialties of the involved professors include music education, musicology, Jazz studies, media and those in business and economic disciplines regarding the development of music as an industry.

Special Research Capabilities: The University of New Orleans has developed a faculty and staff with the necessary multidisciplinary expertise to participate in such research and application efforts.

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Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Science (PIES)

Board of Regents Approved

Contact: Interim Director Dr. Ioannis Georgiou
Telephone: 504-280-1373


Research Areas: The Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Science (PIES) provides data and information critical for effective management and restoration of coastal and estuarine resources, with an emphasis on the Pontchartrain Basin - a natural resource of vital economic, social, aesthetic and cultural importance to the New Orleans metropolitan area and the State. PIES also supports an active teacher and K-12 education program that focuses in increasing understanding of coastal systems and how they can best be managed.

Areas of Expertise: The Institute is designed to foster interactions among professionals with expertise in basic and applied environmental research and those skilled in environmental management, social sciences and policy. The Institute works in partnership with both academic and non-academic institutions to provide information critical for the development of effective strategies to support sustainable management of natural resources. Researchers work locally in the Pontchartrain Basin, across coastal Louisiana and on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

Special Research Capabilities: Faculty have developed the first long-term database on the natural resources, water quality, biota and environmental challenges in the Pontchartrain Basin. Faculty are involved in the development of models and decision support tools to make scientific information more accessible to managers, as well as field data collection and monitoring. Additionally, the Institute can draw on expertise in our College of Urban and Public Affairs and the Center for Hazards Assessment Response and Technology (CHART).

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Other UNO Research Centers

Center for Austrian Culture and Commerce (Center Austria)

Director: Dr. Guenter Bischof, University Research Professor & Marshall Plan Professor of History

Project Coordinator: Gertraud Griessner

Telephone: 504-280-3223
Fax: 504-280-6439

Research Areas: Austrian and European Studies 20th and 21st Century

Areas of Expertise: World War II, Cold War, Post-Cold War, Austria in the European Union

Special Research Capabilities: Library and Records relating to “areas of expertise”; networked with most major Austrian universities and research institutions

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Division of Business & Economic Research (DBER) 

Director: Dr. Janet F. Speyrer
Telephone: 504-280-6981
Fax: 504-280-6094


The Division of Business and Economic Research (DBER) at the University of New Orleans is a widely sought authority in the New Orleans area for economic and demographic information, analysis and forecasts. The DBER developed a sophisticated forecasting model for the New Orleans metropolitan area. The results of this model are published in the Metropolitan Report: Economic Indicators for the New Orleans Metropolitan Area and are widely used by the New Orleans business community.

Areas of Expertise: Economic analysis and forecasts, tourism research and forecasts, workforce analysis and forecasts, demographic analysis, industry/market analysis, gambling research, and survey design and socio-economic analysis.  The DBER provides a wide range of research-related services to businesses, government agencies, media, non-profit organizations, and concerned individuals.

Principally known for its economic analysis and forecasts, the DBER has also conducted research studies on a number of other important issues. Examples of such work include visitor profile studies, economic impact studies, event studies, importance/performance indicators, impact of gambling and customer satisfaction surveys. The DBER provides statistical information from local, state, and federal governments and private sector sources.

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Institute for Economic Development and Real Estate Research

Director: Dr. Ivan J. Miestchovich, Jr.

Assistant to the Director: Thomas G. Suydam

Assistant to the Director: Tracey Gremillion
Telephone: 504-280-1408
Fax: 504-280-3952


The Institute for Economic Development and Real Estate Research combines the resources of the Center for Economic Development and Real Estate Research Center to provide technical assistance and applied research for public, private and nonprofit organizations throughout its service area.

Center for Economic Development

The Center for Economic Development was established in 1978 as a joint effort of the state and federal government to work cooperatively with local agencies and non-profit organizations to create an environment which encourages economic diversification and growth. The Center at UNO is part of a network of over 65 university center programs funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration throughout the United States which help direct the technical and human resources of institutions of higher education to their surrounding communities. The Center has been engaged in a wide variety of research and technical assistance programs involving resources from within the College of Business Administration as well as other colleges and community service units at UNO.

Areas of Expertise: Assist local community and economic development agencies in preparing strategic plans to direct their growth and development programs and in preparing demographic and market studies of the opportunities that may exist to attract new business and retain and nurture existing firms; economic impact studies; assist in the preparation of grant applications and sponsors conferences and seminars which present concepts, information and techniques that are helpful to local agencies and non-profit organizations whose focus is economic development at the state, regional or local level.

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Real Estate Research Center

The Real Estate Research Center was established to serve the real estate community as well as the general public. The three main areas of services offered by the Center are professional real estate education through continuing education courses (including the Annual Economic Outlook and Real Estate Forecast Seminar), primary real estate market data (published annually Metropolitan New Orleans Real Estate Market Analysis and Northshore Real Estate Market Analysis) and contract research.

Areas of Expertise : Primary real estate market research in the New Orleans Metropolitan area and
Northshore region.

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The Ethel and Herman Midlo International Center for New Orleans Studies

Director: Dr. Connie Zeanah Atkinson

Midlo Endowed Chair: Dr. Mary Niall Mitchell

Telephone: 504-280-6611
Fax: 504-280-6883

Research Areas: The Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies was created by an act of the Board of Regents in 1992. The Midlo Center sponsors projects to write new general histories of New Orleans and Louisiana based on new research and findings. The Center promotes understanding of New Orleans history, culture, politics, and public policy issues through sponsored events and coordination of interdisciplinary courses and seminars at the University of New Orleans. The Center sponsors and participates in conferences and colloquia that bring together popular scholars on special topics relating to New Orleans, and helps direct associated scholars to research material about New Orleans. The Center serves as an institutional home for individuals who collect and preserve the vibrant folklore of the city, and who circulate New Orleans history and culture in lectures, publications, performances, documentaries, and exhibits.

Areas of Expertise: Specialties of staff and associated professors specializing in New Orleans history and culture include slavery, civil rights, popular music, public education, tourism, historical memory, and urban studies.

Special Research Capabilities: The Midlo Center actively creates and supports research collaboration between and among the University of New Orleans, international scholars, and the New Orleans community. The Midlo Center serves as educational home to visiting scholars and associates from around the world. The Midlo Center actively facilitates the educational components of a number of New Orleans public events, including the French Quarter Festival, the Satchmo Summerfest, lecture series at the Louisiana State Museum and the National Park Service.

Currently the Midlo Center is sponsoring events and research building on grants related to the Orleans Parish School Board records and partnering with the Library of Virginia and the Historic New Orleans Collection on a two-city symposium on the interstate slave trade. In addition, Dr. Mitchell is serving on the executive board of Freedom on the Move, a digital collaborative collecting runaway slave advertisements, and University of New Orleans students are collecting and cataloging advertisements for the database from Louisiana.

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Eisenhower Center for American Studies

Director: Allan R. Millett

Telephone: 504-280-6138
Fax: 504-280-6883

Research Areas: 20th Century American Military History
Areas of Expertise: American Military History; World War II

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Energy Conversion & Conservation Center (ECCC) 

Director: Dr. Ting Wang
Telephone: 504-280-7183


Research Areas: The University of New Orleans Energy Conversion & Conservation Center (ECCC) was established in 1999. The mission of ECCC is to promote clean energy research and education, to enhance regional economic growth, and to develop national and international energy programs that are environmentally friendly and sustainable with improved conservation and energy efficiency.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Conduct innovative research and development (R&D) in energy conversion and conservation with special interests in (a) improving energy efficiency of gas turbine systems, internal combustion engines, power plants, industrial plants, and buildings, (b) producing clean energy by employing gasification technology using coal, petroleum coke, and biomass as feedstock, and (c) reducing emissions in prime movers and boilers.
  • Promotes interaction between academia, industry, and government to collaborate in energy R&D and education. ECCC is a founding member of the Clean Power and Energy Research Consortium (CPERC) which is a named National Center of Excellence for Clean Energy and Power Research in the U.S. Energy Bill.
  • Provides services (workshops, short courses, energy audits, infrared thermography analysis) to advocate clean energy and energy conservation.

Special Capabilities and Facilities: ECCC laboratories consist of three primary groups: Aerothermal Laboratory, Energy Conversion Laboratory, and Energy Conservation Laboratory. ECCC labs are capable of providing measurements and tests in thermal-fluid and power systems including air/steam pressure, flow rates, temperatures, two-phase flow characteristics, flow structures, energy component efficiency, combustion, emissions, HVAC, wind tunnel testing, Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), inverse liquid crystal thermography, and infrared thermal imaging. Four wind tunnels are available for aerothermal research for providing a wind speed up to 100 mph. The temperature of one wind tunnel can be cooled to 10C (50F) and heated up to 60C (140F). The measurement systems include two 3-D automatic traversing systems, a four-channel hot wire anemometer, a 96-channel thermocouple acquisition system, a 288-channel pressure scanning system, a laser Doppler anemometer (LDA) and a phase Doppler particle analyzer (PDPA). ECCC also has a set of professional software to conduct studies on thermal flow and energy systems. Computational fluid dynamics code Ansys/Fluent and StarCD are used to simulate the details of the fluid flow, heat transfer, combustion, and gasification. GateCycle and THERMOFLOW are used to design or improve the efficiency of energy systems and power plants. AspenPlus is used for designing chemical process and energy system simulation. TRANE is used for designing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC).

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National Center for Advanced Manufacturing (NCAM) 

UNO Contact: Norman Whitley, Dean - College of Engineering
Telephone: 504-280-7120

UNO Contact: Karen Thomas, Associate Dean - STEM Outreach, Recruitment, & Retention, College of Sciences
Telephone: 504-280-7491

NCAM Director: Jorge Ledo
Telephone: 504-257-5431

NCAM Coordinator: TJ McKeough
Telephone: 504-257-5404


Research Areas: The National Center for Advanced Manufacturing (NCAM) is a partnership of the University of New Orleans (UNO), the UNO Research and Technology Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Louisiana State University (LSU), and the State of Louisiana. NCAM is a research and production center focused on applying advanced manufacturing technologies to lightweight metallic and composite materials for use in aerospace and adjacent industries. The facilities at the center focus on the following advanced manufacturing processes: friction stir welding, automated fiber placement, high speed machining, non-destructive evaluation, and dimensional inspection.

Areas of Expertise: NCAM also has a strong educational role, sponsoring a coalition of seven Louisiana research universities - UNO, LSU, Tulane University, Southern University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, McNeese State University, and Louisiana Tech University - to develop advanced materials and manufacturing technologies. In partnership with UNO, the center sponsors STEM K-12 outreach initiatives and workforce development programs. NCAM facilities are available for school field trips and offer hands-on courses and training for researchers, college and university students, and members of advanced manufacturing industries. 

Special Research Capabilities: Located within the Michoud Assembly Facility, NCAM consists of 80,000 sf of high bay manufacturing space which houses large scale, multi-axis robotic equipment and deepwater access that enables transportation of large space systems and hardware. NCAM equipment is available at no cost for University research efforts and at a daily rate for commercial or industry use. 

More information on NCAM’s facilities, technologies, projects, outreach, and educational programs is available at

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Robert E. Nims Center for Entertainment Arts, Amusements & Multimedia Industries   

Director: Dr. Roger Benischek


Research Areas: The formation of the Nims Center for Entertainment Arts, Amusements and Multi-media Industries will enhance the full potential of the Department's film and video program and UNO's Studio Center through professional and economic partnerships with national and international producers of film, video and multimedia.

Special Capabilities and Facilities: Studio Center, acquired in 1998 by UNO, is a 70,000 square foot production facility with three sound stages, a scenic shop, production offices and learning labs. The Center offers the same cutting-edge production as used by such media innovators as DreamWorks, Warner Brothers, Imagica and
Sony Pictures

The Center enhances the full potential of the Department's film and video program and UNO's Studio Center through professional and economic partnerships with national and international producers of film, video, and multimedia. Teaching these advanced technologies to UNO students heightens the reputation of the Department's film, media and multi-media production curriculum while expanding Studio Center's academic and production opportunities.

This Center is supported by state-of-the-arts production equipment, national and international awards, industry resources, professional graduate programs, highly motivated students, successful alumni, and a record of public service to the University and the State of Louisiana. The Center supports the department's ability to attract top regional and national students, and enhance faculty teaching practices for film and video production.

The expansion of the UNO Studio Center curriculum initiatives for undergraduates and graduates students in advanced technologies of 3D animation, special effects, digital film and motion capture.

The creation of a professional guest-director-in-residence program targeting the country's top multi-media producers, filmmakers and special effects artists. Guest directors would teach specialized courses in a wide range of formats.

The UNO-based operation parcipates in collaborative activities with the region's television stations, video producers, post-production houses, independent production companies and advertising agencies.

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Survey Research Center

Director: Ed Chervenak
Telephone: 504-280-3217


Research Areas: The Survey Research Center (SRC) exists to serve the research, teaching and service needs of the University and of the larger community. The SRC promotes socially significant research with public policy implications as well as research of theoretical or academic interest. Since 1985, the Center has collected information about public opinions, beliefs and values on a wide range of social, economic and political issues. In that time it has gained a reputation for accuracy and integrity in public opinion research.

Special Capabilities and Facilities: The SRC offers data collection and analytic capabilities in various research areas. Specifically, its survey resources include questionnaire design and survey methodology, elite interviewing, personal interviewing, telephone data collection utilizing a 20 station Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system, and advanced data preparation. The SRC is also recognized for its in-depth analysis of survey data. In addition, written final reports explaining survey methods, results and important policy implications
are provided.

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Other Research Community Members

UNO Horizon Recovery Initiative

Technical Contact:

John L. Renne, Ph.D., AICP
Early Research Professor of Planning and Urban Studies
University of New Orleans
New Orleans, LA 70148


Mission Statement:

The mission of the UNO Horizon Recovery Initiative is to develop and implement a comprehensive recovery effort in the Gulf Coast region that addresses economic, environmental and social survivability and sustainability resulting from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Recognizing that the recovery from such a massive disaster will require a broad range of expertise, our interdisciplinary team utilizes a systems approach that recognizes the critical interdependencies of social, political, technical and business systems in ensuring a viable recovery. We capitalize on UNO's long-term commitment, involvement and record of community trust in creating outcome-focused teams to address the challenges of living and working in disaster prone communities.

We recognize that stakeholder communication, cooperation, and coordination are essential elements of effective response to disasters. The UNO Horizon Recovery Initiative will include efforts to engage the following stakeholder groups, with a focus on impacted communities along the Gulf Coast: Impacted residents, Impacted businesses, Local governments, Regional governments, State governments, Federal government, Non-governmental organizations, External scholars and consultants

We advocate a holistic, comprehensive vulnerability management approach directed toward reducing susceptibility to disasters and building resilience. In a holistic approach, social, physical and environmental scientists; planners; economists; administrators and engineers play an important role in assessing these risks and contributing to the development of strategies for community protection.

Our goals are to address the following key dimensions of this disaster: Social, Political, and Business.

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