Research Labs

Kettering University's labs and facilities provide research skills and experiences to undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate students have the unique opportunity to engage in research projects in their area of interest as soon as they arrive on campus. 

Power Electronics

Advanced Power Electronics Lab

The Advanced Power Electronics Lab (APEL) is solely devoted to the power electronic area including:
  • Power electronics with motor drive system
  • Power supply
  • Battery charger
  • Novel material based semiconductor switches
  • Renewable energy
  • Battery and battery management system 

For more information, contact  Dr. Bai, Director of APEL,  


Applied Physics Acoustics Lab

This lab has a number of ongoing research projects involving the acoustics of musical instruments (trombone, kalimba, and djembe) and sound quality and localization, areas of psychoacoustics.  The workstations here feature software for modeling and analysis of acoustic problems, with high-end monitor speakers and audio hardware. 

The lab supports research into vibrational characteristics of a variety of structures. Once dedicated to the study of softball and baseball bats under former faculty member Daniel Russell, this lab continues to serve students interested in experimental modal analysis. This technique obtains the vibrational mode shapes and frequencies of a vibrating object, offering a great deal of insight into performance and behavior in actual application. Expanding upon this capability, a large optical table is now in place in the lab, intended to be used for electronic speckle pattern interferometry and various other acoustic and vibration tests. During the last several years many students have assisted with vibration research on subjects as varied as acoustic and electric guitars, archery bows and hockey sticks.

For more information, contact Dr. Dan Ludwigsen, Director of Applied Physics Acoustics Lab,


The Brain-Inspired Intelligent Systems (BI2S) Lab houses the Internet-Enabled Robotic Microscope (IEROM) powered by Knife-Edge Scanning Microscope (KESM) technology.

Brain-Inspired Intelligent Systems Lab

The Brain-Inspired Intelligent Systems (BI2S) Lab houses the Internet-Enabled Robotic Microscope (IEROM) powered by Knife-Edge Scanning Microscope (KESM) technology. The IEROM is a robotized sectioning and sub-micron imaging instrument for investigating biological tissue volumes. BI2S Lab’s research interests include:

  • Computational Neuroscience and Neuroanatomy
  • Teravoxel Image Processing
  • Imaging Device Instrumentation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Intelligent Mobile Robotics

For more information, contact Dr. Kwon, Director of BI2S Lab,


Professor Gillian Ryan and a student collaborate on a project in the Computational Physics Laboratory.

Computational Physics Laboratory (CPL)

The Computational Physics Laboratory (CPL) provides a dedicated workspace for theoretical and computational research within the Kettering University Department of Physics. The CPL research group seeks to directly involve students in computational physics research. During the course of their work student researchers:

  • Learn to conduct quantitative analysis of experimental images
  • Develop mathematical models
  • Implement models using computer simulation
  • Analyze large data sets - Given the opportunity to aid in the dissemination of their work via their written theses, conference presentations, and may contribute to peer-reviewed journal articles.

For more information, contact Dr. Gillian Ryan, Director of the Computational Physics Laboratory,

Crash Safety Center

Crash Safety Center

The Kettering University Crash Safety Center has conducted research, testing and field data mining involving adult and pediatric vehicle occupants in frontal, side, rear and rollover crash modalities. The expertise of the Kettering Research Team has been sought for research, education and training throughout the mobility industry. We are a non-profit laboratory operation at Kettering University.

Kettering University Crash Safety Center supports three key endeavors:

  • Educating undergraduate, graduate, and practicing engineers
  • Research, consulting , and testing for industry
  • Awareness and education for the community
The main area houses the deceleration sled. The sled, built by Global Test and Engineering Services (formerly VIA), runs on pneumatic power. The system can carry a 2,000 pound payload to a speed up to 42 miles per hour. The impactor is hydraulic and is easily tuned to generate various deceleration pulses. Everything needed for frontal, side or rear impact occupant protection testing is available including high speed digital video, anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs), data acquisition and airbag deployment capabilities.
The second area is the component test area. This area houses a linear impactor as well as other component testing equipment. The linear impactor allows for the testing of steering columns, instrument panels, and vehicle interior structure.

The third area is a dedicated computer and community classroom. The room seats 40 students and is outfitted with state-of-the-art computational equipment so students can perform virtual crash testing and complete testing data analysis. The classroom is also a gathering place for community seminars and K through 12 programs dedicated to vehicle occupant protection and safety.

For more information, contact Dr. Janet Brelin-Fornari, Crash Safety Center Director at   


Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope Lab

The ESEM laboratory serves as a cross disciplinary research for Kettering University faculty and students, as well as individuals from other universities and industry.

The microscope combines high vacuum, low vacuum and gaseous environments to support a variety of material characterization applications. The instrument allows for examination of non- conducting, contaminated, hydrated and even living samples without significant sample preparation, in addition to those samples that have always been viewable under conventional scanning electron microscopes. It allows for user selection of accelerating voltage, magnification, gas type, gas pressure and detector type. This flexibility promotes cross- disciplinary research for all who utilize the ESEM

For more information, contact Dr. Corneliu Rablau, Director of Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope Lab,

Photonics and Fiber Optics

Photonics and Fiber Optics Lab

The lab is well equipped for a wealth of optics, fiber-optics and electro-optics measurements from UV to the near IR (telecom band) part of the spectrum. The research in the lab is focused on two main areas: fiber optics components and devices for telecommunications and other applications. 

The lab features all the standard equipment found in a modern optical communications lab:

  • Fixed-wavelength and tunable lasers (1310 nm, 1550 nm band, 1600 nm)
  • Optical spectrum analyzers 
  • Optical power meters 
  • Laser diodes and laser diode drivers 
  • Standard and specialized optical fibers 
  • Fusion splicers 
  • Opto-mechanical components

Researchers at Kettering are primarily interested in investigating non-telecom uses of telecom fiber-optics devices (e.g. fiber Bragg gratings as temperature, vibrations and stress sensors, other fiber sensors). Researchers also apply optical techniques for materials science by employing light scattering, optical absorption spectroscopy and other optical techniques to investigate  ferrofluids and other materials.

The Photonics Lab at Kettering University supports the National Photonics Initiative (NPI). The National Photonics Initiative is a collaborative alliance among industry, academia and government seeking to raise awareness of photonics - the application of light - and drive US funding and investment in five key photonics-driven fields critical to US competitiveness and national security: advanced manufacturing, communications and information technology, defense and national security, energy, and health and medicine. Learn more about the National Photonics Initiative.

For more information, contact Dr. Corneliu Rablau, Director of Photonics and Fiber Optics Lab,

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Research in Engineering and Collaborative Haptics (REACH) Lab

Research in Engineering and Collaborative Haptics (REACH) Lab

Haptic research is intrinsically multi-disciplinary, incorporating computer science/engineering, control, robotics, psychophysics, and human motor control. By extending the scope of research in haptics, advances can be achieved in existing applications such as computer-aided design (CAD), tele-surgery, rehabilitation, scientific visualization, robot-assisted surgery, authentication, and graphical user interfaces (GUI) to name a few. Thus, the potential benefits of research in this area are far reaching. Haptic-enabled virtual reality (VR) applications require interactions between humans and computers.

At the REACH lab, we develop new applications of haptics in medicine, industry, education/training, human-computer interaction. In addition, human factor studies are conducted in regards to adding haptics in various applications. CE-470/670: Haptic Systems course provides the required theoretical and practical background to design and development of haptic systems and the necessary foundation to incorporate human factors into various haptic applications.

For more information, contact Mehrdad Zadeh, Director of REACH,


Innovation Center

The Innovation Center at Kettering University provides incubation space for companies looking to grow their business, perfect their underlying technologies and explore potential collaborations with Kettering University faculty, students and corporate partners.

Located on Kettering University's campus, the Innovation Center is a 9,000-square-foot building that includes technology-enabled collaborative space as well as laboratory and office spaces. Lab spaces feature wet and dry research capabilities and have designs that are easily reconfigurable to meet the needs of tenants. Customizable office spaces are also available.

The facility was the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building in Genesee County.

For more information, contact the Office of Sponsored Research at  (810) 762-9616 or

Dr. Hau Bai - Director

Advanced Power Electronics Lab

Dr. Daniel Ludwigsen - Director

Applied Physics Acoustics Lab

Dr. Janet Brelin-Fornari - Director

Crash Safety Center 

Professor Jaerock Kwon is the director of the Brain-Inspired Intelligent Systems Lab.

Dr. Jaerock Kwon - Director

Brain-Inspired Intelligent Systems Lab

Professor Gillian Ryan is the director of the Computational Physics Laboratory.

Dr. Gillian Ryan - Director

Computational Physics Laboratory (CPL)