Existing programs that bring together law and engineering generally focus narrowly on patent law. Penn State LPE will lead this area by reflecting more broadly and creatively about complex societal problems that require combined engineering, law, and policy solutions. 

Potential Areas for Research and Scholarly Collaboration 

Energy (e.g., sources of energy, secondary systems that use energy – electricity and transportation, energy transition; etc)

  • Sustainable buildings
  • Human habitat and planetary stewardship
  • Smart transportation and infrastructure
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Transformational robotics
  • Nuclear security
  • Election security and protecting democracy
  • Internet security
  • Intellectual property in the global information age
  • Technology of controlling space
  • Health technologies (e.g., 3-D printed biomedical devices)
  • Human identity and privacy
  • Food production and security
  • Water availability and security
  • Sonic/acoustic issues
  • Big Data and the engineering of numbers
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Legal technology
  • Sports safety
  • Space waste
  • Mining asteroids


The Law, Policy, and Engineering (LPE) initiative is an interdisciplinary academic and research initiative between Penn State's College of Engineering, Penn State Law, and Penn State's School of International Affairs. The initiative will provide a transformative educational experience for students by actively integrating components of all three disciplines into the curriculum to prepare students for the competitive, interdisciplinary, global workplaces of the future. 

Law, Policy, and Engineering Initiative

The Pennsylvania State University

157 Hammond Building

University Park, PA 16802