Labs and Facilities


SHARED RESEARCH LABORATORIES AND FACILITIES are an integral part of research and education at Penn Engineering. From nanotechnology to fluid mechanics to robotics to entrepreneurship, dedicated space exists for all forms of research in which our students and faculty engage. Featured labs and facilities include:

MEAM Design and Prototyping Laboratories

meam shop The objective of the Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM) Design and Prototyping Laboratories is to give our students access to the tools and resources they need to create and experiment with ideas and inventions so to better enhance their educational experiences. In addition to providing resources for Penn students during the school year, the student shop also helps conduct the Robotics program of the School of Engineering's Summer Academy in Applied Science and Technology (SAAST). SAAST offers a unique opportunity for a selective group of high school students to experience rigorous and challenging college-level coursework. The Design and Prototyping Laboratory also offers services to professors and students who are interested in having projects fabricated for them.


SIG Center for Computer Graphics

The SIG Center for Computer Graphics is the result of the largest corporate gift to date for the computer graphics program, from The Susquehanna International Group, LLP, better known as SIG. This gift,combined with other generous donations, has resulted in new facilities supporting the CG@Penn programs. The new center contains the H. Stone Animation Studio, the largest academic motion capture studio in the region. This center provides a state-of-the-art Vicon Motion Capture system and laboratory for projects such as 3D motion picture special effects, computer graphics and animation, simulation and modeling of large-scale human crowds, and research into the interrelationships of human movement, language and communication.

NBIC Scanning and Local Probe Facility

The Nano-Bio Probe Facility is a unique lab that serves as an incubator for new probes of nanostructure behavior and associated instrumentation development. It is equipped with a suite of nine advanced scanning probe systems, opto-electronic/transport tools, and optical probes operating in fluid, ambient, or vacuum environments. The Facility is currently used by approximately 100 investigators from within Penn, industry labs, and educational programs.

Several atomic force microscopes, an electrical probe station, a scanning tunneling microscope, and an interfacial force microscope are available for imaging and characterization. The facility includes two Asylum MFP-3D AFMs: one with an inverted optical microscope and total internal reflection fluorescence with four laser frequencies, the other capable of electrical measurements up to the GHz range, and equipped with a drift-reducing environmental chamber. Two other AFMs support larger samples and scan areas in ambient, fluid, or purged-gas environments. The facility's most recent addition is a dual-stage AFM with integrated confocal Raman spectroscopy and near-field scanning optical microscopy.


Nanoscale Characterization Facility

The Nanoscale Characterization Facility (NCF) is a full-service center equipped with a wide range of state-of-the-art instrumentation for materials analysis. Nanoscale characterization of polymers, ceramics, composites, metals, electronics, and thin films is conducted using scanning, transmission, and scanning-transmission electron microscopes, atomic force microscopes, and ion scattering techniques. A wide range of specimen preparation equipment is used, including cryo-ultramicrotomy, jet electrolytic polishing, mechanical dimpling, ion beam thinning, tripod polishing, vacuum evaporation, sputter-coating and replication. Both analog and digital output are produced and in-house hardware and software are available for a wide range of image and spectrum processing tasks and for the calculation/simulation of electron-beam specimen interactions and microscope performance. The NCF is setup to accommodate both academic and corporate users.

The Weiss Tech House

The Weiss Tech House is a student-run hub of technological innovation that encourages and supports students in the creation, development and commercialization of innovative technologies. Students with a broad range of technological interests and skill can explore, collaborate, and access resources like the Garage Lab, reservable meeting space, funding, educational workshops and a network of industry mentors as they learn how to turn their innovative ideas into realities.  More than $20,000 in funds and in-kind services is awarded to students each year from our in-house, mini-venture capital Innovation Fund and PennVention student invention competition.

Quattrone Nanofabrication Facility

The Quattrone Nanofabrication Facility resides in the Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology.  By providing core nanofabrication capabilities, their mission is to enable research and development in a number of areas.  As embodied in the Penn Compact, QNF focuses on increased access as well as integrating knowledge by engaging the Greater Philadelphia Region and far beyond.  Their core endeavors are to support teaching, research, service and commercialization at the micro- and nanoscale.