In 2012, University Research Institute was founded as an interdisciplinary collaboration of industry, academic, and community leaders. The initial mission was to study the AEC Industry in search for increased effectiveness and efficiency.

The University Research Institute has four operational centers:


Define new insights


Improve performance


Disseminate the latest findings


Host interactive exploration

Initial Healthcare Focus

Over the past six years, the work of the institute has focused on the healthcare industry. The strategy has two distinct areas of concern: (1) Assist owners in assembling and managing the complex interdisciplinary teams of experts required to design and construct new medical facilities, (2) Assist owners in developing and implementing more efficient healthcare delivery models.

At this point, the Institute has worked with America’s 12 largest healthcare systems as well as the Department of Defense, Military Healthcare System and the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

A/E/C Industry Competitiveness

What will be required for the next generation of firms in the A/E/C industry to aquire a position of market prominence? We studied this issue for three years and our results were published by John Wiley & Sons, London. This has lead to a national series of seminars marketed specifically to architects, engineers, and general contractors.

Prototype Hospital Initiative

Facilitated for a major West Coast healthcare system, we worked development of a prototype hospital of approximately 60 beds with a focus on achieving breakthrough measures for success.These included improved work and patient flows resulting in a 40% improvement in staffing efficiencies, 30% decrease in required space as compared with like capacity hospitals, 35% decrease in facility energy consumption and 30% decrease in costs per square foot.

This initiative impacted all subsequent development of acute care facilities by that system.

Project Leadership & Management Academy

Our mission is to assemble a brain trust of nationally recognized industry and academic leaders who will determine the definitive knowledge set required by American Healthcare System Owners to effectively envision and lead complex design and construction projects.


Funded Research Projects

Alternative Project Delivery Strategies Healthcare Facilities

The project delivery processes used to build today’s healthcare facilities take too long, cost too much, and often fail to respond to the owner’s ever changing needs.

The URI identified 65 industry leading firms, representing all functional elements of the process, and asked them to participate in a two year program to search for process improvements.

Academic Medical Center Growth Strategies

GE Healthcare funded this survey of 40 American Academic Medical Centers.

United States Department of Defense

The DoD placed a high priority on efficiently building new healthcare facilities and funded four URI research projects:

    Research Project 1 / Project Delivery Comparative Analysis

    The DoD placed a high priority on efficiently building new healthcare facilities and funded four URI research projects.

    Research Project 2 / Process Integration Initiative

    The processes and procedures in place to program, plan, design, and construct healthcare facilities have become fragmented. The purpose of this initiative was to reintegrate relevant architectural, engineering, and construction efforts.

    Research Project 3 / Cost Premium Analysis

    Within the Military Healthcare System, professionals agree that it should cost more to build on American military bases. The question was: What is the acceptable cost premium?

    Research Project 4 / Innovation Workshops

    These were a series of one day events designed to engage the private sector in an ongoing search for process innovation.

    Research Project 5 / Ft. Leonard Wood Replacement Hospital

    Project Team Collaboration Study / US Army Corps of Engineers / Kansas City District

    Research Project 6 / Kansas City Levees Project

    US Army Corps of Engineers / Kansas City District



Joe M. Powell
Vernon G. Young
Chief Financial Officer
Dr. Matthew Cronin
Chief Science Officer
Dr. Marissa Shuffler
Chief Data Analytics Officer

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