Research carried out by COE faculty is often collaborative and is carried out in partnership with other academic colleges and Research Centers on campus. Overall research led by faculty in the College of Engineering at UAH spans three major National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges (see: These are: 

Secure Cyberspace, Restore and Improve Urban Infrastructure, and Engineer the Tools of Scientific Discovery

A partial listing and description of the facilities available to COE faculty and students is provided below.

Engineering Tools of Scientific Discovery

Autonomous Tracking Optical Measurement Laboratory (ATOM)

The ATOM laboratory provides high-speed, low-latency real-time three-dimensional tracking of objects moving freely in a 50' x 30' x 12' unobstructed volume. Thirty-three Vicon T40 infrared cameras can track 50 unique objects at up to 370 frames per second with a latency of 5 milliseconds, and a spatial resolution of 1.5 mm. The ATOM lab allows testing and analysis of systems in disciplines as diverse as robotics, biomimetics, human factors engineering, and virtual engineering. The facility allows freedom to test and analyze whatever can be built.

Charger-1 Pulsed Power Generator

A team of researchers from UAH, The Boeing Company, and Marshall Space Flight Center are engaged in repurposing a facility originally built for nuclear weapons research into a test facility called Charger – 1 for a spacecraft propulsion system based on nuclear fusion. The 50-ton device will produce a powerful, but extremely brief, pulse of plasma created by an equally brief nuclear fusion reaction. An engine producing these pulses could in principle reduce a trip to Mars from six months to six weeks.

Advanced Robotics Laboratory

Research in this laboratory leads to the development of hardware and software systems required for control of groups of autonomous vehicles, designed to operate cooperatively. This facility includes model autonomous boats, helicopters, mobile robots, underwater robots, robotic arms, and humanoids. Applications include military systems, and systems for geophysical survey, and for patrol of underwater pipelines and land power lines.

Plasma and Electrodynamics Research Laboratory

PERL is located in the Johnson Research Center and conducts experimental research on plasmas, combustion, and propulsion. The lab has three vacuum chambers or different sizes capable of pressures down to 1E-6 Torr to emulate the space environment, various power systems to generate high and low pressure plasmas, a tunable dye laser system, and fast ICCD spectrometer and camera for nanosecond scale measurements. Some projects have included miniature ion and Hall thrusters, plasma purification of water, plasma treatment of seeds and plants, plasma-assisted combustion, laser produced plasmas, magnetized plasmas, and rotating detonation engines.

Advanced Propulsion, Energy and Combustion Science Laboratory

Secure Cyberspace

Software Testing and Security

Network Intelligence, and Security

Autonomous Cognition and Control Laboratory (ACCL)

Our group focuses on research at the convergence of control theory and artificial intelligence and their applications in robotics, energy storage, and fault diagnostics and prognostics. We aim to develop resource-aware control, computationally efficient real-time learning, and smart battery management systems for health-conscious decision-making.

  • Control of Cyber-Physical Systems: With the recent development of spatially distributed systems, the spatiotemporal behavior, significant communication requirements, inevitable network constraints, and exposure to vulnerabilities (privacy and security) added another layer of complexity to developing control algorithms.  Autonomous systems connected over communication networks must learn uncertain dynamics and environments, detect impending failure or attacks, swiftly isolate the compromised component, modify control, and resume stable operation.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Control:  AI is a broad area of research. Real-time learning for control is notoriously challenging. The resource constraints of the edge devices, lack of dependable, high-confidence, or provable behaviors, safety, security, and verification in human-in- or human-on-the-loop systems make it more difficult to implement.

Research within the UAH Center for Cybersecurity Research and Education

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Restore and Improve Urban Infrastructure

Structural Composites Laboratory

The Structural Composites Laboratory is designed to adequately support research in the behavior and manufacturing of advanced fiber composites and cementitious composite materials. The laboratory comprises storage facilities for aggregate, sand, cement, and steel, carbon, aramid and glass fibers, several conventional and special-purpose concrete mixers, and a climate control chamber. In terms of testing, the laboratory possesses 2 MTS servohydraulic material test systems with closed-loop capacity and a high load capacity Forney testing machine. Data acquisition is performed using several modern computer-driven systems. The Structural Composites Laboratory conducts research on the fundamental behavior, analysis, design, processing, fabrication, and testing of advanced composite materials and structures. The broad areas of research conducted at the laboratory are fatigue and fracture of composites, sustainable composites for structural applications, and the interfacial bond strength between composites and concrete substrate.

Innovative Water Research and Technology

Our research centers on physicochemical methods for water and wastewater treatment. The goal of our group is to develop innovative water treatment/reuse technologies that can help our society address critical water quality challenges and promote water sustainability. Our current research focuses on advanced oxidation, electrodisinfection, synergistic integration of multiple treatment processes, contaminants of emerging concern.

Resilient Civil Infrastructure Systems Laboratory (RCIS)

At RCIS, we aim to develop methods to reduce the magnitude and duration of disruptions caused by natural hazards to civil infrastructure systems and communities.

Our current research focus includes (1) natural hazards modeling (hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, flooding, ice storms, tsunamis, etc.), (2) infrastructure resilience (electric power systems, transportation systems, water and wastewater systems, gas networks, etc.), and (3) community resilience.

The Regional Traffic Management Center

The Regional Traffic Management Center (TMC) is headquartered in Olin B. King Technology Hall on the campus of The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). The TMC is responsible for monitoring conditions across 12 counties that make up the ALDOT’s North Region: Cherokee, Cullman, Colbert, Dekalb, Etowah Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marshall, and Morgan.

The results from the TMC are free online (, via Twitter (@algo_hvl), and in the app store.


Materials Laboratory in Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

This teaching laboratory facility is used to introduce students to standard laboratory experiments to evaluate physical and mechanical properties of various Civil Engineering materials. These laboratory exercises are supportive to the lecture material in the Civil Engineering Materials course (CE 380). The laboratory is equipped with: a compression testing machine fitted with digital load monitor, cement mortar mixer, cement mortar molds, Blaine air permeability apparatus, Vicat apparatus, asphalt penetrometer, sieves sets and mechanical shakers, unit weight test sets, specific gravity test sets, concrete vibrator, slump test sets, air content test sets, curing tank, electric water bath, electric programmable oven, rebound hammer, alkali-silica reactivity test set, manual Marshall compaction test set, and digital loading system for Marshal tests.

Other Research Areas

Anisotropic Colloidal Suspensions Laboratory (EB 140)

This laboratory includes an inverted microscope to real-time imaging and measurements of anisotropic particle suspensions. It also contains a rheometer with the Modular Microscope Accessory to characterize of suspensions composed of micro-scaled anisotropic particles. Furthermore, it includes a magneto-rheological cell to characterize colloidal suspensions composed of magnetic nanoparticles. Additionally, the lab contains computational capabilities to model the multi-scale response due to the interactions and collective behavior of suspensions composed of anisotropic particles.

Catalysis and Reaction Engineering (EB 244 and 252)

The catalysis laboratory (EB 244) is a 1200 sq. ft laboratory designated for heterogeneous catalysis that has been developed over the last 12 years. This laboratory has been equipped using contracts and grants funding from NSF, DOE, ARI, Lockheed Martin and UAH. It has facilities for the study of direct coal liquefaction, biological analysis and heterogeneous gas phase reactions over bulk or supported metal catalysts. Some equipment includes: a fully instrumented 1 liter Autoclave Engineers mixed reactor with magnetic drive; fluidized sand bath with plunge micro-reactors; tubular reactors in controlled furnaces; an HP 5890 gas chromatograph complete with FID and TCD detectors; associated capillary and packed columns, and auto sampling; rotary evaporator; solvent extractors; and ultra filtration. EB 252 contains a reduction furnace, high vacuum faculties, and wet lab facilities that support catalysis design.

Electrochemical Energy Diagnostics & Design Laboratory (EB 149, 149a)

This laboratory is for research and education on diagnostics and design of advanced electrochemical energy systems (batteries and fuel cells) for electric vehicle, smart electronics, aerospace and renewable energy storage applications. Main facilities include ARBIN 32-channel battery tester, MTI hydraulic driven battery crushing & nail penetration tester, HIOKI battery internal resistance tester, Tenney Environmental chambers, MBRAUN glovebox, BRANSON ultrasonic welding machine, MTI vacuum battery sealing machine, LABCONCO fume hood, Thermo Scientific bath circulators, and Keysight data acquisition.

Molecular and Cellular Immunoengineering Laboratory (EB 238, 145)

This laboratory space is designed for interdisciplinary research activities spanning from synthesis, processing, and characterization of biomaterials to basic biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology experiments. Various projects performed in the laboratory aim to develop novel biomaterial platforms for cellular and molecular immunotherapies of cancers and other diseases. The list of equipment in the lab includes a multi-color fluorescent microscope system (the EVOS FL Auto, Invitrogen), a rotary evaporator (Buchi), a lyophilizer (Freezone, Labconco), NanoDrop UV-Vis spectrophotometer, an electrohydrodynamic jetting setup, a Class A2 biosafety cabinet (NuAire), CO2 incubator (ThermoFisher Heracell), a benchtop flow cytometer (BD Accuri C6), an RT-PCR machine (QuantStudio 3, Applied Biosystems), a rheometer (Mars 60, Haake), and a convection oven.  For more information: 

Cellular Bioengineering and Tissue Engineering Laboratory

The ability to manipulate the strength and specificity of protein-binding or cell-substrate events provides tremendous leverage for the development of novel biological products and processes at a molecular level. We are motivated by the desire to solve problems in biology and medicine, and the challenge to develop models and systems based on scientific and engineering principles as applied to biological systems. My broad interests include the areas of bioseparations, biomaterials and functional tissue engineering. Current research efforts are focused on developing clinically translatable cartilage-repair therapies using ultrasound. We are also working to develop an organotypic model for oral cancer. The laboratory has access to equipment that includes: CO2 incubators, custom-built ultrasound-assisted bioreactor, biosafety cabinets, Nanodrop, Electroforce 5500, light microscopes, centrifuges, cell counter, freezers, autoclave and other equipment for cellular research.

Real-time Physiological Monitoring Laboratory

The Real-time Physiological Monitoring Lab is run collaboratively by COE and the College of Nursing at UAH. The Laboratory integrates: Beat-by-beat non-invasive blood pressure monitor Nexfin from Bmeye, Bedside monitor Dash 3000 from GE Health, Physiology Suite from Thought Technology, Hidalgo Equivital physiological monitors, Zephyr BioHarness physiological monitors, and custom sensors developed at UAH. The Laboratory allows a comprehensive evaluation of activity of the heart, brain, muscles, blood oxygen saturation, and autonomic nervous system using state-of-the-art sensors and monitoring equipment. Custom developed software integrates data from individual devices and automatically store time-stamped data into unanimous research databases to protect the privacy of subjects.

Heat Transfer and Two-Phase Flow Laboratory

This laboratory includes instrumented millimeter-scale and micron-scale flow facilities designed to study the fundamentals of heat transfer into highly confined two-phase flows. Instrumentation includes temperature measurement via digital liquid crystal thermography and high-speed video imaging.

Multiscale Transport and Energy Conversion

The primary pursuit of the Multiscale Transport and Energy Conversion (MTEC) research group is understanding how the multiscale geometry of energy storage and conversion devices affects their performance and reliability.

Our projects address a diverse set of energy storage and conversion technologies including:

  • Lithium ion and sodium ion batteries
  • Fuel cells and electrolyzers
  • Porous materials for aerospace applications
  • Enzymatic batteries and fuel cells
  • Thermoelectric materials

Nonlinear and Complex Systems Laboratory

Complex Systems Integration Laboratory

Located at UAH's Von Braun Research Hall, the Complex Systems Integration Laboratory (CSIL) is a facility for advanced systems engineering with a focus on Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) and Model-Based Acquisition (MBA) research. The Rotorcraft Systems Engineering and Simulation Research Center (RSESC) and the Industrial Systems Engineering and Engineering Management academic department (ISEEM) are partnered within UAH to educate students at all levels and to work from fundamental research to practical applications of interest to the community.

Smart Nanocomposites Advancements and Innovations Laboratory (SNAIL)

SNAIL is an interdisciplinary research lab in which structure-property function relationships of reactive polymer blends, nanocomposites for toxic metal detection, environmental remediation, circular food packaging solutions, and radiation proof composites are studied.

Labaratory for Advanced Computer Architecture and Systems at Alabama (LaCASA)

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