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Engineering  |  The Polytechnic School

Labs and Facilities

Because our classes are hands-on and project-based, they tend to be taught in labs, workshops and studio spaces rather than typical classrooms and lecture halls.


Director: Erin Chiou

The Automation Design Advancing People and Technology (ADAPT) Lab focuses on human-automation interaction and technology design that improves productivity, quality, and safety in a variety of human work systems. Students will learn about what influences people’s behaviors with different types of computerized technology, and how to show that these patterns of interactions can lead to desirable (or undesirable) system outcomes. ADAPT

Alternative Fuels Lab

Researchers in the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI), the largest algae test bed in any university or national lab, examine algae’s potential for various uses, from producing algal oils for biodiesels to removing carbon dioxide from power plant emissions to harvesting nutrients from various wastewaters.


Director: Nancy J. Cooke

The Cognitive Engineering Research on Team Tasks (CERTT) Lab is host to a number of team simulators for team decision making research and command-and-control research relevant to teamwork in domains of cyber security, intelligence analysis, remotely piloted aircraft systems, emergency medicine, sports, and more. Students learn how to measure and improve team effectiveness.


Director: Scotty Craig
The Cognitive –based Applied Learning Technology (CoBALT) lab conducts research at the interdisciplinary intersection of human cognition, learning sciences, and technology to provide research based training and learning solutions within applied settings.

Device & Usability Learning Lab (DULL)

Brainstorm, design, develop and test your website and web apps in this state-of-the-art lab. Our device wall features over a dozen devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers, a smart TV and wearables from Apple, Android, Kindle and Windows. It instantly populates all devices with your website or web app to facilitate testing. Interact with your website or web app instantly on multiple browsers and operating systems on our monitor wall which includes MAC OS, Windows and Linux systems running (where applicable) Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Chrome and Firefox. Or collaborate with your team using our whiteboard wall, markers and design stencils. Learning and research topics include user-centered design, user experience, usability testing, heuristic evaluation, accessibility testing, and click tracking analytics.

Engineering Studios and Labs

The engineering studios and labs provide students with the unique opportunity to work with prototyping equipment. In our manufacturing labs, students gain experience in machining and metrology. In our software development lab, students build applications.

Flight Simulators and Aviation Lab

The Simulator Building houses our state-of-the-art flight simulators that prepare students to take flight before setting foot in an airplane. The building also has an air traffic control simulator room, which displays a virtual 315-degree view of an airport area, depicting operational movement areas, taxiing aircraft, ground vehicle movement and arriving and departing aircraft.


Director: Nathan Johnson
Description: LEAPS creates technical and business solutions that facilitate the global transition to a resilient low-carbon economy. The cross-disciplinary team takes academic research through to prototyping and deployment for projects in energy access, grid modernization, microgrids, and critical infrastructure. The lab also has an extensive training and workforce development program. Facilities include a one-acre Microgrid Test Bed, simulation-based design studio, and mobile research and training equipment. More details are available at LEAPS


Director: Rob Gray
The Perception & Action Lab (PAL) is focused on understanding how performers use perceptual-cognitive information to execute complex motor actions like those involved in aviation, sports and driving. Performance models are then used to develop novel training methods and technologies to speed skill acquisition and reduce human error. The lab includes flight, driving and sports task simulators.

Print and Imaging Lab

The Print and Imaging Lab (PIL) provides students with hands0on educational experience using the most advanced hardware and software in graphic design and printing. Students in the PIL prepare and publish commercial print and marketing collateral, books and manuals, signage, billboards and more. Read more about PIL.

Robotics and Automation Lab

In the Robotics and Automation Lab, students operate industry-standard equipment, investigate emerging technologies and develop robots that interact with people. Students engage in applied research on manufacturing automation, micro-manufacturing and human machine integration.

Innovation Hub

An entrepreneurial prototyping and collaboration space, the Innovation Hub is the place where students learn, make and launch new ideas. Constructed with walls made of dry-erase boards and outfitted with bright, comfortable furniture, the Innovation Hub is an innovation commons. Read more about Innovation Hub.

User-Experience Lab (X-Lab)

Students apply knowledge of human learning, memory and emotion to the design of products to make them easy to learn, efficient to use and satisfying. Students also learn to apply the senses of touch and vision to the design of medical and virtual environments.