Centers and Institutes
Our interdisciplinary research centers and institutes span across all departments in Penn Engineering and foster collaborations across different schools throughout the university. The physical connectivity of engineering buildings and our proximity to each of the other schools enables exciting collaborations with faculty, students and postdocs in the Schools of Medicine, Arts and Sciences and Wharton Business School, just to name a few. From biotechnology and robotics, to computer animation and nanotechnology, Penn Engineering's centers and institutes are at the forefront of research on each scientific and technological frontier.
|Chris Chen, Director
Cellular Engineering, Tissue Engineering, and Regenerative Medicine are all part of a new science that seeks to understand how cells, tissues, and organs undergo adaptive or maladaptive responses to stimuli whose effects may be beneficial (e.g., in natural or engineered nutritive microenvironments) or harmful (e.g. in aging, stress, or injury). This multidisciplinary center pushes the frontiers of our understanding of cells as control systems, how the individual subcomponents can be retooled to alter cell function, and how cells interact with each other and their microenvironment to form tissues. Learn more.
|Norman I. Badler, Director
The Center for Human Modeling and Simulation exists to investigate computer graphics modeling and animation techniques for embodied agents, virtual humans, and their applications. Major foci involve developing behavior-based animation of human movement, especially for gesture, gait, and facial expression, constructing a parameterized action representation for real-time simulation and animation, and understanding the relationship between human movement, natural language, and communication. Learn more.
|Dan Lee, Director
The General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab is a truly inter-disciplinary research center at the University of Pennsylvania. Founded in 1979, the lab has grown today to be one of the premier research centers focusing on fundamental research in robotics, vision, perception, control, automation and learning. Learn more.
|The mission of the Institute for Medicine and Engineering (IME) is to stimulate fundamental research at the interface between biomedicine and engineering/physical/computational sciences leading to innovative applications in biomedical research and clinical practice. Learn more.|
|John Trueswell, Director
The Institute for Research in Cognitive Science fosters the development of a science of the human mind through the interaction of investigators from the disciplines of Linguistics, Mathematical Logic, Philosophy, Psychology, Computer Science, and Neuroscience. Learn more.
|Arjun G. Yodh, Director
The Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM) is the intellectual focal point of materials research at Penn. It hosts the Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC), which consists of five Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) plus selected seed projects. The MRSEC provides crucial support for faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students drawn from different disciplines, to tackle complex materials science projects that can only be addressed in a truly collaborative mode. Learn more.
|Charlie Johnson, Director
The Nano/Bio Interface Center at the University of Pennsylvania is a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) that exploits Penn's internationally recognized strengths in design of molecular function and quantification of individual molecules. The Center unites investigators to provide, not only new directions for the life sciences, but also for engineering in a two-way flow essential to fully realizing the benefits of nano-biotechnology. Learn more.
|Maya Bucan and Lyle Ungar, Co-Directors
The Center for Bioinformatics focuses on research and education in the rapidly emerging fields of bioinformatics and computational biology, disciplines which deal with the analysis and management of data generated by high-throughput techniques in genomics, molecular and cellular biology. The ultimate goal of our collaborative research is to integrate all levels of information, including the genome sequence, the state of the cell (e.g., transcriptome and the proteome) and the phenotype. Learn more.
|Scott Diamond, Director
The Penn Center for Molecular Discovery (PCMD) is a multi-disciplinary center that screens small molecules from around the world in search of new, potentially useful biologically effective agents. The Penn Center for Molecular Discovery is housed within the Institute for Medicine and Engineering. Learn more.
|Cherie Kagan and Andrew Rappe, Co-Directors
The Penn Center for Energy Innovation (Pennergy) brings together world-class researchers to solve scientific and technological problems enabling the efficient use of current energy sources, the practical use of more sustainable energy, and the facile conversion of energy to different forms. The Center researchers and educators integrate and share their knowledge through energy research, educational, and outreach activities that impact researchers, students, and our community. Learn more.
|James Eberwine and Junyhong Kim, Co-Directors
The Penn Genome Frontiers Institute (PGFI) is a university-wide institute dedicated to the advancement of the interdisciplinary field of genomics research. PGFI fosters collaborations and scientific exchange across biology, veterinary medicine, pharmacology, medicine, genetics, microbiology, engineering, physics, chemistry and psychology. Learn more.
|David J. Srolovitz, Director
The formation of the Penn Institute for Computational Science derives from the observation that computing is an important tool for research in essentially every field of study today; from the physical and biological sciences to every part of engineering to linguistics to medicine to psychology. Computing's rapidly changing landscape, while presenting immense opportunities, makes it a challenge for researchers to stay at the state-of-the-art. PICS is formed to address these challenges and opportunities across the University of Pennsylvania. Learn more.
|Insup Lee, Director
PRECISE is the point of convergence for several related research efforts by the affiliated faculty in the areas of cyber-physical systems, distributed, real-time, and embedded systems, formal specification and verification, control theory, and trust management. Comprised of researchers from the departments of Computer and Information Science and Electrical and Systems Engineering, the center also collaborates closely with researchers in Robotics, Bioengineering, the School of Medicine, and Wharton. PRECISE research is being applied to several application domains, including embedded software-intensive medical devices, embedded software design and verification, wireless sensors, and robotics. Learn more.
|The need to analyze and make effective use of the vast amounts of data has made Machine Learning indispensable in many fields of science, medicine and engineering, as well as technology powering modern high-tech industry. Machine Learning addresses the fundamental problems of extracting models and patterns from data. PRiML's focus is on both theoretical and applied aspects of machine learning, especially dealing with fundamental challenges of large scale learning: high dimensionality, very large datasets, limited supervision, adversarial settings, structured outcome spaces. Learn more.|
|Michael Kearns, Director, and Rakesh Vohra, Co-Director
The Warren Center for Data & Network Sciences is an incubator of forward-thinking research, culturally impactful innovation, and potent interdisciplinary collaboration that challenges how the world views technology. High-caliber faculty members from across the university have a place to centralize, share and develop their wide range of approaches to network science, from economics to sociology to cryptography and more. Here, the brightest data-centric minds at Penn spearhead collaborative research projects, generating collective solutions from once disparate schools of thought. Learn more.