Major College Centers and Labs

The College of Engineering operates centers and labs serving a variety of engineering disciplines through research, education, industry collaboration, and outreach. A sample of these research units is listed below.

To find out how to partner with Penn State Engineering on research initiatives, contact us at

Battery & Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Center

The BEST Center was formed in 2011 to bring together the campus-wide expertise in energy storage, foster collaboration, and provide a focal point for research and education activities. The expertise of Penn State researchers within the BEST Center spans from materials to cells to systems. These BEST researchers have made and continue to make significant and pioneering contributions to the most important aspects of energy storage technology. More

Center for Acoustics and Vibration

The Center for Acoustics and Vibration's mission is threefold: focus on acoustics and vibration research; foster strong graduate education in those areas; and work with industry to translate research into practice. More

Center for Combustion, Power, and Propulsion

Due to its ability to evolve as the role and impact of combustion in society changes, the combustion research program at Penn State has been and continues to be one of the top combustion programs in the United States. Penn State researchers have made important contributions to the field of combustion, both in terms of improved understanding of combustion fundamentals and the application of combustion science to the development of advanced combustion technology. More

Center for Engineering Design and Entrepreneurship

A vehicle for faculty and students in both the College of Engineering and the Smeal College of Business, the Center for Engineering Design and Entrepreneurship works with industry to find, build, and test engineering problems. More

Center for Information and Communications Technology Research

Merging fundamental research with real world applications, the Center for Information and Communications Technology Research (CICTR) attempts to improve the performance and reliability of communications networked systems. CICTR researchers team with industry and government partners to generate solutions for the current and future technical challenges in those areas of technologies, systems, and network architectures that enable the vision of the information age. More

Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Desposition

Penn State, along with its partners, operate the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) as a world-class resource for advancing and deploying additive manufacturing (AM) technology for critical applications. With a broad mission to advance and deploy AM technology of metallic and advanced material systems to industry, CIMP-3D seeks to advance enabling technologies, provide technical assistance to industry, and promote AM’s potential through training and education. More

Center for Innovative Sintered Products

A unique partnership among universities, industry, government agencies, and professional and trade associations, the Center for Innovative Sintered Products focuses on the development of cutting-edge technology for the processing of sintered material, particulates, refractory, and hardmaterials. More

Center for Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems

The Center for Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems seeks to transform health systems through applied transdisciplinary research, education, and outreach. More

Center for Multiscale Wave-Materials Interactions

With support from Penn State's College of Engineering, Applied Research Laboratory, Electro-Optics Center, and Materials Research Institute, this center brings together faculty and students interested in interactions occurring when materials are exposed to individual wavelengths and novel combinations of waves. More

Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization

The Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization is dedicated to research, development, and education across all aspects of micro- and nanotechnology. The Center resources are focused on addressing the incorporation of nanotechnology into secondary education, into post-secondary education, and into industry applications. More

Center for Neural Engineering

The Penn State Center for Neural Engineering, an intercollege center bridging the Colleges of Engineering, Medicine, and Science, was created to develop active educational, research, and outreach collaborations with scientists and physicians who are working on developing the next generation of smart devices for the clinical treatment of dynamical diseases of the brain. More

Center for Research in Design and Innovation

The Center for Research in Design and Innovation provides the resources to facilitate interdisciplinary research in design that is required to understand design-related challenges and create solutions for them. The Center focuses on two research themes: human contexts and design technologies and tools. More

Center for Service Enterprise Engineering

The Penn State Center for Service Enterprise Engineering (CSEE) is the first U.S. academic center devoted solely to the study and practice of service engineering. CSEE takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study, design, and implementation of service enterprises, emphasizing revenue management, workforce planning, enterprise collaboration, and service quality management.

Communications and Space Sciences Laboratory

Communications and Space Sciences Laboratory's educational and research activities center on electromagnetic phenomena either directly or as tools for probing the structure and dynamics of the atmosphere and ionosphere. Truly interdisciplinary, the lab traditionally has provided research opportunities for graduate students not only from electrical and computer engineering, but also from physics, meteorology, mathematics, aeronautics, and engineering science and mechanics. More

Electro-Optics Center

The Electro-Optics Center is a hybrid between the best components of a university and those of private industry, allowing access to the university's researchers and scientists, its state-of-the-art facilities, and leading edge research. Our staff, comprised primarily of former industry and DoD personnel, brings experience in exceeding sponsor and corporate expectations. Through the application of this hybrid model, the Center is able to provide its sponsors with solutions that combine leading edge research with on-time and on-budget deliveries. More

Electrochemical Engine Center

Funded by sponsors from both industrial and government sources, the Electrochemical Engine Center has collaborating faculty and researchers from academia, national laboratories and vehicle manufacturers focused on fundamental and applied research on fuel cells and advanced batteries for electric propulsion, stationary power generation and portable electronics. More

High Pressure Combustion Laboratory

Research at the High Pressure Combustion Laboratory has historically been concentrated in the area of combustion of gaseous, solid, liquid, and gelled propellants for rocket and gun propulsion systems, solid fuels for ramjets and hybrid propulsion systems, and metal combustion. Recently, the scope has been expanded further to cover combustion of airbag propellants, flammability/explosion limit determination of gaseous reactants for commercial applications, and study ablation/erosion of rocket nozzle, internal insulation, and heat-shield materials. More

Hydrogen Energy Center

Hydrogen energy research is one of several important energy-related topics at Penn State. Many faculty, staff, and students at the university are working with collaborators in industry and our National Laboratories on hydrogen storage, production, and utilization. They are inventing new hydrogen technologies and contributing to the growth of a hydrogen infrastructure in Pennsylvania, the United States, and at various locations around the world. More

Indoor Environment Center

The Indoor Environment Center conducts interdisciplinary research, development, and education in the areas of indoor air quality, aerobiological engineering, illumination, and acoustics within a sustainable design context to support the attainment of indoor environments that are healthier, safer, more comfortable, and energy efficient. More

Microsystems Design Laboratory

With research projects supported by NSF, DARPA, Honda, Toyota (and many more), the Microsystems Design Lab focuses on specific architectural and system-based research fields, ranging from the design of thermal and power aware circuits and systems, reliable systems, and embedded systems to nanotechnology. More

Mid-Atlantic Clean Energy Application Center

The Mid-Atlantic Clean Energy Application Center helps organizations to locate, design, and implement economically viable distributed energy projects that make appropriate use of their recoverable waste heat. All buildings need electric power for lighting and operating equipment and appliances, and are good candidates for benefiting from integrated energy systems. More

Northern Mid-Atlantic Solar Resource and Training Center

The mission of the Mid-Atlantic Solar Resource and Training Center, located at The Philadelphia Navy Yard, is to transform the solar energy market by facilitating translational research, commercialization, and workforce development in state-of-the-art solar photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies. More

Penn State Vertical Lift Research Center

The Penn State Vertical Lift Research Center - also one of three Vertical Lift Research Centers of Excellence in the United States - engages in a wide range of research and education activities related to vertical flight technology, including dynamics, aerodynamics, acoustics, icing, flight control and simulation, and smart structures. More

Pennsylvania Housing Research Center

The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center serves the home building industry and the residents of Pennsylvania by improving the quality and affordability of housing. The Center conducts applied research, fosters the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, and transfers appropriate technologies to the housing community. More

Protective Technology Center

The Protective Technology Center is a multidisciplinary center focusing on protecting civil infrastructure from natural or man-made threats and dealing with the aftereffects of an event. The Center fosters and expands collaboration amongst faculty and students to facilitate finding solutions to these problems, be it at a smaller scale that focuses on specific chemical compounds or material constituents or a larger scale that focuses on a large transportation grid. More

Radiation Science and Engineering Center

The Radiation Science and Engineering Center (RSEC) was established to manage Penn State's comprehensive nuclear research facilities, including the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, Gamma Irradiation Facility, radioactive sources and radiation measurement resources. The RESC provides safe nuclear analytical and testing facilities in support of the research and education activities of faculty, staff, and students at Penn State, while educating the general public about the application of nuclear energy in society. More

Wireless Communications and Networking Laboratory@Penn State

The mission of Wireless Communications and Networking Laboratory@Penn State (WCAN@PSU) is to conduct fundamental research to achieve high capacity, highly reliable, secure communication through the radio channel. Specifically, we devise the design principles of next generation wireless networks from physical layer up. More