Research Centers & Institutes
Engineering faculty participate in ground-breaking research at these and other interdisciplinary research centers. To learn more about research at UW engineering, search for faculty and research topics at Find a Faculty Member.
The ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change is a campus and national resource for best practices in academic leadership development, cultural change and policy transformation, and increasing the advancement and number of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. ADVANCE offers leadership development workshops, career development resources for pre-tenure faculty, and mentoring programs.
The Boeing Advanced Research Center (BARC) represents a new paradigm in the execution of industrial research at the University of Washington. Boeing-employed affiliate instructors work in the lab side by side with faculty and students on joint research projects in the manufacturing and assembly of aircraft and spacecraft structures. Our goal is to foster collaborative basic and applied research, translational research and development, and student education-related activities.
The Center for Collaborative Systems for Security, Safety, and Regional Resilience (CoSSaR) is a multi-disciplinary center where professionals from a wide range of entities team with university experts to align strategies, processes and investments in systems for security, safety and resilience.
Flagship project: Enhanced Regional Traffic Incident and Congestion Management (TIM-CM). In collaboration with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), Seattle Police, Seattle Fire, King County Metro, Washington State Patrol, and Challenge Seattle, CoSSaR is conducting foundational research towards the design and delivery of a Virtual Coordination Center (VCC) for enhanced regional traffic management.
The Center for Design of Analog-Digital Integrated Circuits (CDADIC) is one of the few research consortiums in the country that address problems associated with analog and mixed-signal research.
The Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching (CELT) combines two missions: to conduct internationally recognized research in engineering learning and to promote teaching effectiveness in UW engineering classrooms.
The Center for Game Science at the University of Washington focuses on solving hard world-scale problems that neither people nor computers alone can solve by themselves. We do this by discovering unique tech-enabled learning pathways that drastically accelerate human learning and mastery; and by developing self-adapting algorithms that optimize joint outcomes. The Center studies ways to engage and inspire people reaching their potential through team work and symbiotic collaboration with computational methods. We have produced scientific discovery games that enabled novices to publish numerous world class scientific discoveries, games that discover optimal learning pathways and can teach algebra to all elementary school learners, games that change academic mindset and enable people to be more persistent when facing an obstacle. We primarily focus domains of scientific discovery and K-12 education, and mental health. To achieve our goals, our research spans many fields of computer science including: data science, crowd-sourcing, computer games, machine learning, intelligent tutors, inductive logic programming, program synthesis, self-adapting HCI, and computer graphics.
The Center for Intelligent Materials and Systems (CIMS) was established by a group of faculty in the College of Engineering and the Department of Botany with the aim of accelerating the research and educational program in the area of design of actuator materials and actuators and the bio-inspired design of intelligent materials and systems. The goals of CIMS are multi-fold: (1) design a series of actuator materials and their devices, (2) learn intelligent sensor and actuation mechanisms inherent in biological species, thus inspiring our brains while the bio-inspired knowledge will be transferred to designing man-made materials and systems, and (3) our research subjects and products remain compatible with healthy functions of the surrounding natural environment.
Center for Neurotechnology (CNT) is an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center launched July 2011 to advance the integration of technologies with human neural systems. The center, formerly named Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering or CSNE, brings together leaders in robotics, neuroscience, computer science, and other disciplines.
The UW CREATE center is led by an interdisciplinary team whose mission is to make technology accessible and to make the world accessible through technology.
The Center for Synthetic Biology (CSB) represents a community of interdisciplinary researchers exploring one of the most exciting frontiers in science and technology: the engineering and evolution of novel life-forms to address technical challenges in health, energy and the environment and to enhance our general understanding of living systems.
The Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials in Transport Aircraft Structures (AMTAS) seeks solutions to problems associated with existing, near- and long-term applications of composites and advanced materials for large transport commercial aircraft.
The Clean Energy Institute (CEI) was founded in 2013 with funds from the state of Washington. Its mission is to accelerate the adoption of a scalable clean energy future that will improve the health and economy of our state, nation, and world. To accomplish this mission, CEI supports the advancement of next-generation solar energy and battery materials and devices, as well as their integration with systems and the grid. The institute creates the ideas and educates the people needed to generate these innovations, while facilitating the pathways to bring them to market.
The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through technology and education. It promotes awareness and accessibility—in both the classroom and the workplace—to maximize the potential of individuals with disabilities and make our communities more vibrant, diverse, and inclusive.
PI/Director: Sheryl Burgstahler
Contact: email@example.com | 206-685-DOIT
The eScience Institute empowers researchers and students in all fields to answer fundamental questions through the use of large, complex, and noisy data. As the hub of data-intensive discovery on campus, we lead a community of innovators in the techniques, technologies, and best practices of data science and the fields that depend on them.
The Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute's (NextFlex) mission is to advance manufacturing of printed electronics on flexible substrates with semiconductor devices in forms that can be attached to skin, vehicles, or other structures; or can be bent, rolled, folded, and integrated physically in ways that traditional rigid electronics cannot. The UW is a founding member of this national institute.
At the Genetically Engineered Materials Science & Engineering Research Center (GEMSEC), an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers works to marry biology and materials sciences and engineering at the fundamental level. The research focus is adapting and developing molecular biology and genetics protocols to engineer peptides and proteins to synthesize, morphogenize, and assemble functional hierarchical structures for use in technologies and medicine. GEMSEC also runs a range of education and outreach activities for high school students, undergraduates, and science teachers.
The Institute for Nano-Engineered Systems (NanoES) catalyzes innovative, interdisciplinary, and industry relevant research in the design, processing, and integration of scalable nano-engineered devices and systems. NanoES leverages UW’s component-level expertise in nanoscale processing, materials, physics, and biology to collaboratively develop engineered devices and systems that can be scaled to positively impact global challenges in information processing, health, energy, and related areas. As the Pacific Northwest node in the National Science Foundation’s National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), NanoES links publicly accessible nanotech facilities in the region to the NNCI network, further expanding the breadth of equipment and expertise available to scientists with diverse research interests and needs. PNW NNCI facilities include the Washington Nanofabrication Facility (WNF) and the Molecular Analysis Facility (MAF) at UW, as well as the Microproducts Breakthrough institute (MBI) and Materials Synthesis & Characterization Facility (MaSC) at Oregon State University.
The Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation (JCATI) supports the aerospace industry in the state of Washington by pursuing industry-university research, helping develop internship and research opportunities at aerospace firms for engineering and computer science students at all of Washington's public four-year colleges and universities, and identifying research and tech transfer opportunities that benefit the State's aerospace industry.
The Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute (MolES) supports cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research and education related to the design and assembly of molecules for biotechnology and clean energy applications. MolES is home to the Molecular Analysis Facility (MAF), a state-of-the-art user facility with extensive microscopy, spectroscopy, and surface science capabilities.
The National ESCA Surface Analysis Center for Biomedical Problems (NESAC/BIO) is a state-of-the-art surface analysis instrumentation and research facility serving the biomedical research community. Their mission is to develop and apply new surface analysis technologies for biomedical research.
The NHERI RAPID Facility is a NSF shared use major equipment facility that houses state-of-the-art equipment to support the collection of perishable data during and after the occurrence of natural hazards. High-quality reconnaissance data is crucial to improving our understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of communities to natural hazards. The facility supports the collection of high-quality scientific, engineering and social data.
The Pacific Marine Energy Center (PMEC) is a consortium of universities focused on the responsible advancement of marine energy, including wave, tidal, riverine, and offshore wind resources. Researchers from the University of Washington, Oregon State University, and University of Alaska Fairbanks work closely with marine energy technology developers, academic and National Laboratory researchers, coastal community members, ocean users, federal and state regulators, and other government officials to address key challenges in the sector and accelerate its emergence.
The Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans) is a Regional University Transportation Center (UTC) administered by the United States Department of Transportation. PacTrans acts as a hub for transportation research and education in the Pacific Northwest.
The Plasma Science and Innovation Center develops predictive capability for emerging concept experiments, allowing new experiments in fusion science and in other areas of plasma science without actual construction.
The UW Space Policy and Research Center is an interdisciplinary hub of faculty, researchers, policymakers, organizations and facilities operating at the intersection of technology, science, and policy in the Pacific Northwest. The UW convenes resources and knowledge to meet the emerging challenges and opportunities of expanding human interest and exploration in space. SPARC is organized by the William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics and the Jackson School of International Studies and convenes space related faculty, research, and initiatives from all over the UW and the region, including the departments of Astrobiology, Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, the iSchool, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Human Centered Design and Engineering, Industrial Systems and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Earth & Space Sciences, the Law School, Environmental Sciences, Math, UW Medicine, the Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation, and more.
PI/Director: Kristi Morgansen
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | 206-543-6736
The Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics (SCTL) Center is a world leader in supply chain, transportation and logistics research and education serving the powerful nexus of industry, transportation infrastructure agencies, and policy makers. The Center is the go-to place to analyze and solve urban goods delivery, sustainability, logistic hubs and ports, and freight system performance management problems that overlay private and public spaces and control. The Center pilots and tests research concepts in its Urban Freight Lab. The SCTL Master’s program is an interactive online program that prepares working professionals to lead end-to-end management of transportation in global supply chains. It is anchored in engineering, focused on business results, and starts the year with an intensive week at the Seattle UW campus.
The UW Biofabrication Center is a unique service laboratory operating through the EE department at UW. Clients use Aquarium software to store sample information and remotely submit molecular biology and microbiology jobs. Technicians in the BIOFAB execute the protocols and upload the results to Aquarium. Your cloning, strain construction, next generation sequencing prep, and flow cytometry projects can be executed from start to finish, without your ever having to touch a pipette! Records of all jobs and samples are permanently stored in the Aquarium inventory database, eliminating the need for messy lab notebooks and complex inventory systems.
The Washington Nanofabrication Facility (WNF) is part of the Institute for Nano-Engineered Systems and a user facility in the National Science Foundation’s National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI). WNF is a full-service micro and nanotechnology user facility focused on enabling basic and applied research, advanced R&D, and prototype production. Renovated in 2017, WNF is the largest public access fabrication center in the Pacific Northwest, with 15,000 sf of laboratories, cleanrooms, and user spaces.
The Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC) is a collaboration among Washington State University, the University of Washington, and the Washington State Department of Transportation to coordinate both state and commercial transportation research efforts and to develop research opportunities nationally and locally.