Materials With Intelligence

Materials With Intelligence Graphic

Smart Materials

Smart materials react to their environment. They can change by exposure to stimulus, like friction or temperature. Possible applications are endless.

Applications that Improve Lives

Our faculty researchers are focused on finding practical ways to advance sensor technology, to create new materials that can reconfigure themselves to react to environmental conditions, and to improve the lifecycle management of infrastructure through sensor systems and predictive modeling. Watch the video to learn more.

Research in Action

Materials with intelligence

Advancing Materials

Sensors are increasingly embedded in everyday technology such as lights, thermostats, security systems, smoke alarms, refrigerators, and automobiles. Voice-activated personal assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa connect with some of these devices, but the smart homes of the future will have fully integrated sensor technology that can be managed from a single device. What’s more, they’ll use artificial intelligence and machine learning to adapt to your patterns and recognize changes that could predict a safety hazard.

Water sensor

Pushing the Limits of Technology

Researchers in the Texas State Materials Science, Engineering, and Commercialization program (MSEC) develop advanced materials for innovative solutions in the areas of energy, environment, health and security. A unique resource available to the program allows researchers to push the boundaries of new technologies and make improvements in specific fields like solar power, computer speed, infrared imaging and many others.

Podcast Join the Conversation

Dr. Eddie Piner discusses materials with intelligence that hold the potential to transform infrastructure and make sense of the massive amounts of data.

Funding Opportunities


  • Sponsor a collaboration between industry and faculty/students to solve a challenge or advance new applied knowledge
  • Provide undergraduate scholarships to help Texas State recruit high-achieving students to collaborate with faculty on research
  • Endow graduate fellowships and scholarships to fund student research opportunities


  • Invest in faculty fellowships to recruit visiting experts in materials science to collaborate with students
  • Sponsor opportunities for students, faculty, and industry to showcase their innovative sensors-based projects
  • Establish an endowed professorship to support faculty in continuing cutting-edge research
  • Name an endowed chair to support departmental leadership in the future of teaching and research in these areas


  • Endow a Materials with Intelligence Program Fund to provide flexible resources to implement and sustain this initiative
  • Seed and accelerate projects that focus on materials with intelligence research
  • Direct grants to support the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment and training for advanced sensor development and testing
  • Fund a Materials with Intelligence Innovator Award that encourages new research collaborations and highlights innovative sensor development
  • Support boot camps to teach sensors-based entrepreneurship and commercialization

For More Information

To learn more about Big Ideas, please contact the Office of Development at or call 512.245.2396.