Youngstown State University is committed to fostering high quality, nationally competitive research to promote faculty and student development in support of the teaching mission of the University. As noted in its mission statement, “The College of Graduate Studies supports the continued development of faculty scholarship and serves as the principal point of coordination for both internally- and externally-funded programs at Youngstown State Univer­sity.” These coordination efforts are directed at obtaining the resources necessary to mount and maintain scholarly and educational programs of excellence and, in some cases, to target specific areas for regional and/or national prominence.

Youngstown State University faculty members are heavily invested in scholarship on an individual ba­sis. Graduate faculty research interests are listed for each degree program in the catalog and also individual faculty members web pages accessible from departments/websites.

The Center for Applied History

Established in 1997, this center’s activities draw upon the expertise of faculty members from the Butler Institute of American Art and several University departments, including History, Ge­ography, Sociology and Anthropology, and Art. The Center for Historic Preservation is committed to making the most of existing resources by celebrating and safeguarding our nation’s historic architecture, industrial and engineering sites, and cultural resources. Students are included in all aspects of the Center’s activities, which include:

  • Historic American Building Survey/Historic American Engineering Record documentation,
  • National Register and National Historic Land­mark nominations,
  • Historic Resource Surveys and Determination of Eligibility Reports, and
  • Transcribing oral history interviews.

The Center collaborates with:

  • The Mahoning Sanitary Dis­trict on the Youngstown Water Works,
  • The Institute for History of Technology and Industrial Archeology,
  • The Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, and
  • The Mahoning Valley Historical Society.

The Center has received external funding from:

  • The Ohio Historic Preservation Office,
  • Battle of Homestead Foundation,
  • Carnegie Mellon University, and
  • The Ohio Humanities Council.

Center for Urban and Regional Studies

This Center is a part of Youngstown State University’s Public Service Institute. It provides research and technical assistance that focuses on challenges to urban and regional development. Seven programmatic areas include:

  • reduction in poverty,
  • local government assistance,
  • economic development,
  • urban and environmental planning,
  • urban data (including census) services, and
  • crime reduction. 

Center for Human Services Development

The Center is a resource for health and human service organizations and community leaders. It works with the community to identify problems and needs, develop solutions, and evaluate activities in the health and human services field. 

Center of Excellence in Applied Chemical Biology

The Center for Applied Chemical Biology (CACB) at Youngstown State University (YSU) represents a Center of Excellence having highly skilled, research-active faculty and students from a variety of disciplines who are making very significant contributions to the intellectual infrastructure of Northeastern Ohio. The investiga­tory tools used by these investiga­tors, which largely define the term ‘biotechnology’, not only include the traditional techniques of chemistry (biochemistry, organic chemistry, pharmacology, etc.), but also in­novative genomic (gene-related) and proteomic (protein-related) approaches to dissect biological phenomena. The discoveries derived from chemical-biological inves­tigations are applied to develop processes and materials that generate economic, sociological, and public health benefits (e.g., biomaterials, drug discovery, development of biofuels, bioreme­diation methods, etc.). By driving workforce development and providing broad-based technological expertise in chemical biology, the Center is a potential engine of economic development. The CACB welcomes opportunities for collaborative partnerships that are not just local or within the Cleveland-Pittsburgh TechBelt, but also those that actively engage regional, national, or international biotech ventures.

Center of Excellence in International Business

Designated as one of YSU's four Centers of Excellence, the Williamson College of Business Center of Excellence in International Business encompasses global learning experiences for students, research in international business, the study of emerging markets, and training and consulting services for businesses. Components of the Center include: the Williamson Center of International Business, the Emerging Market Initiative, and the Ohio Small Business Development Center at YSU.

The Emerging Markets Initiative was awarded the 2007 Governor's Excellence in Exporting Award for increasing  awareness of exporting as a vital component of the state's economy. The Emerging Markets Initiative supported international study tours, curriculum development, faculty research projects, several outreach seminars, and the design and delivery of an International Business Scholars Workshop for high school students.

The Center of Excellence in Materials Science and Engineering (CEMSE)

The CEMSE at Youngstown State University is devoted to the preparation, advanced characterization, and development of a variety of materials for enhanced educational experiences, advancement of basic research, and practical applications of benefit to society. The CEMSE is distinguished by state-of-the-art materials characterization facilities, dedicated personnel, and a strong commitment to engaging industrial participants in collaborative research and educational initiatives towards the primary goal of fueling economic growth of the greater Youngstown region.

One major funding award in the CEMSE, a Wright Capital Projects grant, in the amount of $2.1 M through the Third Frontier Program of the Ohio Department of Development was to the Department of Chemistry in collaboration with Fireline TCON, Inc. These funds were used to establish a state-of-the art electron microscopy facility within the College of STEM to conduct research on advanced composite materials for applications ranging from parts for molten aluminum processing to conformal body armor for U.S. troops. The new facility has greatly expanded YSU’s capabilities for materials research by permitting analysis at the nanoscale to atomic levels.

Center for Transportation and Materials Engineering

The Center for Transportation and Materials Engineering (CTME) at YSU was established in late 2006 as a result of funding received from the United State Department of Transportation (USDOT). The funding was included in the 2005 Federal Transportation Efficiency Act of the 21st Century. That legislation authorized the U.S. DOT to fund 22 Tier II University Transporta­tion Centers [UTCs] throughout the nation. Youngstown State University was one of the four sites selected in Ohio; the other three are Cleveland State University, the University of Akron, and the University of Toledo. The YSU CTME has chosen to respond to the national strategy for surface transportation as delineated in the U.S. DOT Strategic Plan and the U.S. DOT Research, Development, and Technology Plan. Building on YSU’s established expertise in the areas of materials research and engineering for infrastructure enables the Center to focus its efforts on applied research and applications through the use of materials engineering and increases and innovations in advanced manufacturing of materials to increase the longevity, mobility, and sustainability of the Nation’s Transportation Infrastructure. The YSU CTME is partnership driven by and includes students, faculty, stakeholders, and transportation and transit agencies and organizations. All of the efforts at the YSU CTME will address the goals of the UTC Program through research, educa­tion, and technology transfer activities.

Center For Innovation in Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) is also known as 3D printing. It is a layer-by-layer fabrication process that provides distinct advantages in producing complex, customized, and/or low-volume time-critical parts. AM is being used to fabricate fully functional final parts, prototypes, and tooling. There are seven different categories of AM process technologies and within those categories metal, ceramic, plastic, and even biological tissues can be printed.

YSU’s Center for Innovation in Additive Manufacturing (CIAM) was created to advance research, education, workforce development, and industry partnerships in this emerging field. CIAM is the focal point for additive manufacturing activities providing a resource for the College of STEM but also for other academic divisions including the arts and health sciences.

Center For Working-Class Studies

The Center for Working-Class Studies is the first center of its kind in the United States focusing on working-class life and culture. The mission is to foster multidisciplinary research in the area, support the development of courses that focus on work and class, and serve the greater Youngstown community by providing public programs as well as education. The Center has been funded by grants from the Ford Foundation and the Ohio Humanities Council.

Institute For Applied Topology & Topological Structures

The Institute, located within the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, promotes, facilitates, and supports topological research, education, and application at the University, in the State of Ohio, and throughout the world, and helps implement the University's role as an Urban Research University. This mission includes the growing and strengthening the topology group at Youngstown State University and its alliance with other topologists in the United States and abroad, particularly with the topology groups at Slippery Rock University and other universities in the region. Toward that end, the Institute supports any activity that facilitates research and scholarly growth or funding for the topology group and its collaborating organizations.

Natural Gas & Water Resources Institute

The YSU Natural Gas and Water Resources Institute will provide bachelor’s degree level courses in science and engineering that will lead to an academic minor in gas technologies and also will provide research opportunities for industry focusing on analysis of water used in the shale gas extraction process. Because of YSU’s location in the Utica shale region of Ohio, this new Institute will meet the educational and research needs of this new and growing industry.
 
The Utica shale is a large rock formation thousands of feet below the surface spanning an area from eastern Ohio to Pennsylvania and across the Canadian border. Gas contained in the Utica shale is expected to become a dominant source of natural gas for the United States in this decade. A recent study showed that more than 200,000 jobs, including nearly 9,000 in professional and technical services, will be created or supported by 2015 due to exploration, leasing, drilling and pipeline construction for the Utica shale reserve.

Third Frontier Advanced Energy Program

A second Wright Project involves research collaboration with Catacel. Catacel Corp. has re­cently developed a compact flexible fuel reformer (FFR) based on an accordion-style corrugated metal foil heat exchanger; the exchanger is a standardized low-cost foil module that can toler­ate temperatures up to 900˚C. Researchers from YSU will be working with Catacel engineers to improve their understanding of catalyst stability, a key step in the commercialization of the heat exchange platform system for use in fuel processing. Without knowledge of the performance of these catalysts for extended periods of time under real operating conditions, Catacel cannot pro­vide performance guarantees to its customers. Enhancement of existing systems and construc­tion of additional test units will be completed and transferred to YSU through the funding from this project, and these units will be used for extended time testing of selected catalyst systems.

Economic Development Activities and Applied Research

A recent initiative within YSU is the provision of a formal system of support within the College of Graduate Studies for economic development by providing access to University research expertise and research facilities to the regional business community. A Business Com­munity Liaison coordinates access to faculty expertise and research facilities by industries in the Valley, and the University has embarked on a new role of community support to help local companies identify resources to expand or redefine their businesses through the activities of the Garden Club Angels of Youngstown, a community based educational initiative, sponsored by YSU through the College of Graduate Studies and the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI). These activities are also coordinated with the YSU Metropolitan College for workforce development and with other established economic development organizations, such as the YSU Small Business Development Center and the YBI. 

As a lead member of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation institute (NAMII) located at the YBI, Youngstown State University is participating in a national/regional network of industrial companies, government agencies/organizations, and universities and colleges focused on industry/manufacturing support, workforce training, and applications research for additive manufacturing. YSU’s main role will be workforce development and applied research as appropriate. The University is also the lead institution and fiscal agent for a recent U.S. Department of Energy Grant establishing the Tech Belt Innovation Center, a business incubator in Warren Ohio, focused on developing clean and advanced energy technologies for commercial application.