The UMRP community is built around a strategic set of 5-year research projects, each led by a MIT faculty PI and comprising the dissertation research of a dedicated graduate student. These MIT project teams collaborate closely with colleagues at UM6P to expand the scope of the research in ways that leverage the strengths of both institutions. In particular, they take advantage of  UM6P's "Living Laboratories," like it's experimental farm, mine, chemical processing plant, and even the urban co-evolution of the university within its host city of Ben Guerir. In all, UMRP generates targeted, tangible progress in research on a range of issues critically important to sustainable development in Africa, even as it also nurtures the evolution of UM6P with a growing community of transatlantic cooperation.

Current projects identified by PI include:

barton project


Optimal Industrial Symbiosis for the Jorf Lasfar Platform

Optimizing the sustainable operational efficiency of one of the largest chemical processing facilities on Earth.

cummins project


Synthesis of Fine Phosphorus Chemicals from Wet Process Phosphate

Developing efficient, scalable methods of producing high-value phosphorus chemicals directly from phosphoric acid.

eltahir project


Improving Water Management and Agricultural Productivity in the Oum-Er-Rbia Watershed

Enhancing long-term water management in a region of low, highly variable rainfall under threat from climate change.


fernandez project


Urban Metabolism and Resources: City of Ben Guerir and UM6P

A case study in understanding resource intensity in African cities to promote sustainable urban development.

marelli project


Advanced Seed Technology: Controlling Seed Microenvironment through Biomaterials

Using biopolymer seed coatings to deliver targeted rhizobacteria innoculation for enhanced crop germination and resilience.

surendranath project


Elucidating the Process of Electro-chemical Phosphate Reduction in Molten Salts

Creating a sustainable electro-chemical means of producing commodity chemicals directly from phosphate rock.