Research Centers

Active Computational Thinking (ACT) Center

Serving as a hub to help incorporate computation into disciplines across Illinois Tech, the Active Computational Thinking Center is a place where faculty can collaborate on computational research and educational needs. The ACT Center also works to physically connect Illinois Tech’s campus to regional and national computing facilities and research networks through a robust cyberinfrastructure.


Biophysics Collaborative Access Team (BioCAT)

The Biophysics Collaborative Access Team is a National Institutes of Health Biotechnology Research Resource located at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. It provides access to the most intense X-ray beams in the western hemisphere for the study of non-crystalline biological materials such as muscle, connective tissue, amyloids, viruses, proteins, and other large biological molecules and their complexes, in order to understand the structural underpinnings of human maladies such as heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s. BioCAT’s muscle research programs, as well as other fibrous systems, are unique in the United States, and its solution scattering facilities are world leading. Researchers come from all over the country, as well as internationally, to use the facilities.

Director: Thomas Irving


Center for Accelerator and Particle Physics (CAPP)

The Center for Accelerator and Particle Physics provides a locus for interdisciplinary activities at Illinois Tech aimed at the continued development of research in elementary particle physics, at the development of new particle-accelerator technologies, and at education and outreach to educational institutions and to the wider business, philanthropic, and general public sectors. It serves as a base to coordinate the activities of a group of Illinois Tech faculty, graduate students, and staff from various departments currently involved in a number of research programs, and will promote substantial increases in such involvement through a close working relationship with other universities in the region and with Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratory.

Director: Daniel Kaplan


Center for Assured and Resilient Navigation in Advanced Transportation Systems (CARNATIONS)

The Center for Assured and Resilient Navigation in Advanced Transportation Systems (CARNATIONS) is a federally funded Tier 1 University Transportation Center and consortium of universities that focuses on transformative research in resilient transportation systems. It is addressing this issue by using advanced algorithms and enhancing GPS receivers. This initiative is crucial for intelligent transportation systems, especially in the context of self-driving cars and potential fully connected systems in the future.

Director: Boris Pervan

Center for Complex Systems and Dynamics (CCSD)

The Center for Complex Systems and Dynamics provides an interdisciplinary collaborative environment for fundamental and applied research with an emphasis on understanding and mathematically describing complex systems; developing mathematical and computational techniques for simulating, analyzing, and modifying their behavior; and applying these methods to various complex systems of national interest. Many systems that affect our daily lives are complex and difficult to study within the confines of specific disciplines, and further require understanding, modeling, and modifying the behavior of these systems among interdisciplinary and interprofessional teams.

Director: Fouad Teymour


Center for Cybersecurity and Forensics Education (C²SAFE)

The Center for Cybersecurity and Forensics Education serves as a collaborative space where business, government, academia, and security professionals intersect. Collaborators work on projects, conduct research, educate, and train to advance the field of cyber security and forensics. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency have designated Illinois Institute of Technology as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, and the C²SAFE is at the core of Illinois Tech’s designation.

Director: Maurice Dawson


Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research (CHEER)

The Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research (CHEER) is dedicated to addressing health challenges that are worsened by disparities. CHEER does this through multiple research and training programs located within the Department of Psychology at Illinois Tech and funded by various government and private funders. The center's focus is on solutions, especially at the level of an active community. Although its roots are with challenges wrought by mental illness, CHEER has broadened to health and health disparities in general over the past decade.

Principal Investigators: Patrick Corrigan


Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Neuroengineering Research (CINNR)

The mission of the Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Neuroengineering Research is to foster research in systems and behavioral neuroscience coupled with neural engineering. The center is managed by the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology and enables interactions with collaborating institutions.

Director: David Mogul


Center for Interdisciplinary Scientific Computation (CISC)

Established in May 2017, the Center for Interdisciplinary Scientific Computation is devoted to the development and use of computational methods for scientific discovery in all branches of the sciences and engineering disciplines. The mission of the center is twofold: to intensify computationally driven scholarship and education, and to support discovery and dissemination of knowledge in core computational science; and to facilitate collaboration and enhance connections to related fields in which computational science plays an important role. Since its founding, the CISC has been leading, coordinating, and engaging faculty to pursue external funding opportunities, and facilitating collaboration toward successful interdisciplinary research.

Director: Maggie Cheng


Center for Nutrition Research (CNR)

The Center for Nutrition Research conducts human nutrition and clinical studies to determine the health benefits of foods and food components in a variety of specialty areas. Its team of internationally recognized scientists substantiates health claims through interdisciplinary research and is dedicated to developing food-based solutions that improve human health and reduce the risk of disease. The center’s pre-clinical and clinical studies utilize cost-effective test designs with state-of-the-art analytical chemistry, genome sequencing laboratories, and bioinformatics tools to advance knowledge at the diet-gut-disease/health nexus. The unit also manages projects within the Institute for Food Safety and Health’s nutrition research arm. Working collaboratively with the FDA, the CNR assesses food choice relative to consumers’ knowledge and understanding of food labeling terms as well as personal trade-offs when making food choices.

Director: Britt Burton-Freeman


Center for Processing Innovation (CPI)

The Center for Processing Innovation provides the food industry and government agencies with applied research capabilities for process validation of thermal and emerging technologies that lead to new and value-added products. The center capitalizes on innovative research methods developed collaboratively with U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists co-located at the National Center for Food Safety and Technology, part of the university’s Institute for Food Safety and Health. State-of-the-art research facilities include a high-bay pilot plant designed for novel food technologies, a GMP food-processing pilot plant and kitchen suite, a BSL-3 laboratory with a fully operational bio-containment pilot plant, a BSL-2 laboratory that specializes in food microbiology, and a thermal processing laboratory.

Director: Alvin Lee


Center for Research and Service

Housed within the Department of Psychology at Illinois Tech’s Lewis College of Science and Letters, the Center for Research and Service is one of the country’s premier, university-based research and consulting services firms. The center’s unique practice in human resource and educational assessment and consultation integrates data science with the expertise of internationally recognized faculty in fields of behavioral and organizational science. This approach has proven to help clients gain insight into different aspects of their employees’ perceptions and engagement, develop strategies to leverage employee potential, and optimize competencies of the leadership team.

Director: George Langlois


Center for Smart Grid Applications, Research, and Technology (CSMART)

The Center for Smart Grid Applications, Research, and Technology, which is affiliated with Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research, is dedicated to researching, testing, and analyzing the latest smart grid technology innovations in a real-world environment. CSMART leverages the unique capabilities of academia, utilities, and private enterprise in an effort to manage the distributed smart grid planning, operation, and control in a secure, reliable, economic and sustainable environment. CSMART works particularly on issues pertaining to the growing amounts of renewables, energy decarbonization, proliferation of electric vehicles and charging stations, and energy storage technologies for vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-vehicle transactive energy technologies.

Director: Zuyi Li


Center for Specialty Programs (CSP)

The Center for Specialty Programs provides laboratories and businesses with innovative proficiency testing and method validation programs. The center has expertise in the preparation and distribution of naturally incurred and artificially contaminated samples in a variety of food matrices for chemical as well as microbiological analysis. Located within the university’s Institute for Food Safety and Health, which has linkages with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the center is uniquely positioned to prepare against public health threats, and also to satisfy specific provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act. The center also manages the development and oversight of government contracts with the FDA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security, and other regulatory agencies associated with food protection and nutrition.

Director: Jason Wan


Center for Synchrotron Radiation Research and Instrumentation (CSRRI)

The Center for Synchrotron Radiation Research and Instrumentation promotes, coordinates, and fosters collaborative research and educational activities in synchrotron radiation science and related fields at Illinois Tech. The center takes a multidisciplinary approach, involving not only core faculty but also faculty in other areas and at other institutions across the nation and around the world. It furthers education in X-ray sciences by developing training programs, academic courses, and specialized short courses, as well as participating in summer schools and training workshops at national and international conferences. The center is also involved on the academic side of technology transfer efforts, cultivating relationships with various regional technology companies with the aim of facilitating dissemination of CSRRI developed technologies to the benefit of society, and is home to the Materials Research Collaborative Access Team, a multiple-institution consortium for building and operating X-ray beamlines at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.

Director: Carlo Segre


Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions (CSEP)

One of the nation’s oldest centers for practical and professional ethics, the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions is dedicated to interdisciplinary research and teaching that reflects on the wider implications of scientific progress and the shaping of technology in accordance with fundamental human values. The center conducts internationally recognized research at the intersection of ethics, science, and technology, focusing on bioethics; neuroethics; philosophical, ethical, and social aspects of technology including artificial intelligence; and research ethics. In addition to conducting interdisciplinary ethics workshops, the center promotes innovative teaching, generating ethics courses and ethics modules. The center is also home to the world’s largest online collection of Codes of Ethics, including more than 2,500 ethics codes from professional organizations, businesses, government agencies, and other institutions.

Director: Elisabeth Hildt


Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship

The Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship is an innovation hub for the university community and Chicago. Distinguished by the synergistic and interdisciplinary nature of its educational initiatives and other activities, the Kaplan Institute is also an important contributor to the transformation of key parts of Illinois Tech’s curricula, with efforts further driven by university-wide commitments to applied creativity, team-based collaborative endeavors, and hands-on experiential learning. Project-based initiatives generated by students, faculty, and outside partners address authentic business, industrial, and societal concerns. The Kaplan Institute houses facilities and equipment for implementing novel, educational, and entrepreneurial strategies. Its workshops, media labs, classrooms, collaborative hubs, emerging technologies, and “maker spaces” also enhance and expand the activities of Illinois Tech’s longstanding Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) Program, its Entrepreneurship Academy, the Jules Knapp Entrepreneurship Center, the Grainger Maker Space, and the Janet & Craig Duchossois Idea Shop. The Kaplan Institute also is the home of Illinois Tech’s renowned Institute of Design.

Executive Director: Maryam Saleh


Electric Power and Power Electronics Center (EPPEC)

The mission of the Electric Power and Power Electronics Center is to make significant educational, research, and practical contributions to the fields of electric power, power electronics, electric machines, motor drives, and vehicular power systems. EPPEC sustains and strengthens the engineering capabilities and research infrastructure at Illinois Tech and has a commanding influence on the field of power engineering through its extensive, collaborative, and interactive programs. Facilities include the Grainger Laboratory for Power Electronics and Motor Drives, which provides students with hands-on experience with power electronic converters with or without motors as loads, including advanced specialized experimental teaching setups for undergraduate electric machines and power electronic drives programs.

Director: Mahesh Krishnamurthy


Engineering Center for Diabetes Research and Education (ECDRE)

The Engineering Center for Diabetes Research and Education (ECDRE) is the first engineering center devoted to the treatment and cure of diabetes. ECDRE collaborates with faculty, medical investigators, and clinicians at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Rush University, Northwestern University, and Argonne National Laboratory. By developing new knowledge, techniques, and tools, and by enabling collaborations with clinicians and investigators in basic and social sciences and medicine, ECDRE aims to improve treatment and cure technologies and procedures for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The center is a member of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering.

Director: Ali Cinar


IIT Research Institute (IITRI)

Founded in 1936 as the research branch of Illinois Tech, IIT Research Institute is a key source of breakthrough research on campus. IITRI now operates as an independent, not-for-profit preclinical contract research organization and research institute. Current facilities include more than 100,000 square feet of laboratory space in one location. Specialty areas of expertise include preclinical safety and toxicology, inhalation toxicology, biodefense, and infectious disease studies. IITRI also has extensive experience evaluating the efficacy and preclinical safety of cancer therapeutics. In addition, IITRI has a long history of providing preclinical safety and toxicology testing services to sponsors from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, consumer products, and chemical industries, as well as to the United States government.

President and Director: David McCormick


Illinois Tech Digital Medical Engineering and Technology (IDMET) Research and Education Center

The Illinois Tech Digital Medical Engineering and Technology (IDMET) Research and Education Center is committed to the digital transformation of medical engineering research and education. IDMET works on the development of new technologies and solutions for diagnosis, treatment, and management of human disease while preparing a workforce that is knowledgeable in the application of advanced digital tools in the life science sector. Dassault Systèmes is a founding partner and sponsor of IDMET and has globally recognized it as the first 3DEXPERIENCE Education Center of Excellence in the Life Sciences in the United States.

Director: Natacha DePaola


International Center for Sensor Science and Engineering (ICSSE)

The International Center for Sensor Science and Engineering brings together faculty, industrial researchers, and clinicians to develop rapid, user-friendly, and low-cost sensor devices, benefiting society and improving quality of life through earlier diagnoses and effective treatments of diseases, a cleaner environment, more efficient energy usage, and safer food. Members of the center have combined expertise in advanced imaging and spectroscopy, electrochemistry, synthetic chemistry, material engineering, bioengineering, microfluidics, low-power circuits, predictive modeling, machine learning, artificial intelligence, IT infrastructure, and application development. The center provides an interdisciplinary environment for broader areas of sensor research and fosters the acceleration of research, innovation, and invention. The center is also tasked to educate, inspire, and collaborate with students across disciplines, engaging in translational research and helping students develop the skills needed to become the sensor science and engineering leaders of the future.

Director: Rong Wang


Medical Imaging Research Center (MIRC)

The Medical Imaging Research Center is a research group dedicated to technological advances in medical imaging, including the development of new methods of image acquisition, image processing and analysis, machine learning, and kinetic modeling. The center builds devices, algorithms, and software methods for MRIs, phase-contrast X-rays, mammography, CTs, PETs, SPECTs, and fluorescence imaging to address diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and various forms of cancer. MIRC is housed in Illinois Tech’s University Technology Park and is affiliated with the university’s Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering.

Director: Miles Wernick


National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST)

Founded in 1988, the National Center for Food Safety and Technology is a unique cooperative research venture among the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Illinois Institute of Technology, and its food industry members. The collaborative science conducted at the center constitutes the basis for regulatory policy and establishes parameters that address the effectiveness of processing and packaging technologies. Recognized as an FDA Center of Excellence, the NCFST conducts research projects across science platforms that include food processing and packaging, food microbiology, and food chemistry and allergens. Partners receive access to the only center where industry can work collaboratively with the FDA on food safety, technology, and nutrition projects; early exposure to cutting-edge research at the pre-publication stage; R&D project briefings with frequent opportunities for face-to-face meetings with FDA scientists and subject experts; a gateway to state-of-the-art research facilities, pilot plants, and labs; and early advice and analysis on breaking food safety issues worldwide.

Interim Director, IFSH: Jason Wan


Ocient Computational Center

The Ocient Computational Center houses the backbone of Illinois Tech’s Department of Computer Science, allowing the department to conduct research and offer state-of-the-art courses in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, high-performance computing, cybersecurity, and more. The center contains the networks, architecture, servers, and other hardware to fuel an elite computer science program.

Director: Cynthia Hood


Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering

The Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering enhances biomedical science and engineering research activities at Illinois Tech. It develops and coordinates relationships and programs with traditional science and engineering departments within the university, as well as with outside institutions towards the goal of implementing research projects with clinical translation. Five centers currently operate within the Pritzker Institute: Biophysics Collaborative Access Team (BioCAT); Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Neuroengineering Research (CINNR); Engineering Center for Diabetes Research and Education (ECDRE); Medical Imaging Research Center (MIRC); and Center for Molecular Study of Condensed Soft Matter (uCoSM).

Director: Phil Troyk


Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation

The Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation, which is affiliated with Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research, brings together universities, industry, government, and nonprofit research entities to plug into Illinois Tech’s microgrid and nanogrids, creating a hub for new innovations in advanced microgrid clustering technology. The researchers at the Galvin Center are conducting projects in several innovative areas that include renewable-based microgrids for enhancing sustainability, energy hubs, energy-efficient microgrid clustering, coordination of microgrid clusters for enhancing the power distribution grid resilience, and smart cities. 

Director: Mohammad Shahidehpour


Sustainable Transportation and Infrastructure Research Center (STAIR)

The Sustainable Transportation and Infrastructure Research Center was formed with the mission of providing long-term solutions to work zone safety-related problems. Initiatives focus on developing highway work zone safety audit guidelines; discovering, developing, and transferring new technologies and measures for improving work zone safety, reducing its negative impacts on private industries and the national economy; and providing work zone safety training and education to the transportation community and public.

Director: Zongzhi Li


Thermal Processing Technology Center (TPTC)

The Thermal Processing Technology Center focuses on thermal processing of metallic materials, advanced manufacturing, and energy storage technology. The center combines the strengths of the mechanical, materials, and aerospace engineering faculty in material processing, metallurgy, process control, additive manufacturing, and Li-ion batteries with the university’s well-equipped laboratories. The TPTC provides a mechanism where high-quality basic and applied research of interest to industry is performed cost-effectively.

Director: Leon Shaw


Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research (WISER)

The Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research (WISER) serves as an umbrella organization to enhance and promote research, education, and outreach activities at Illinois Tech that are related to energy and sustainability. WISER develops close collaborations internally among numerous colleges, departments, centers, and programs at Illinois Tech with a focus on the development of energy-related interdisciplinary educational and research programs and proposals. WISER also coordinates the initiation of research partnerships externally with other universities, research laboratories, and industry. Its goals are targeted at creating a pathway to sustainable energy and water, specifically combating issues of climate change and water shortage using a least-cost strategy. WISER and its Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation are uniquely positioned to make key contributions to the advancement of energy and sustainability research and to help lead the way on a path toward a more sustainable society.

Director: Hamid Arastoopour


Wireless Network and Communications Research Center (WiNCom)

Founded in 2006, Illinois Tech’s Wireless Network and Communications Research Center is an initiative of the computer science and electrical and computer engineering departments. Motivated by the continuing explosion in the use of the radio frequency spectrum and the desire to increase RF spectrum utilization and efficiency, WiNCom fuses the creative talents of faculty and students from across the university. WiNCom’s signature achievement is the 2007 establishment and ongoing operation of Illinois Tech’s Spectrum Observatory, which is creating a continuous record of RF spectrum utilization in Chicago. Research programs include RF spectrum measurements, RF measurement data storage and analysis techniques, cognitive radio, communication system modeling, RF coexistence, and RF interference modeling and mitigation. Application areas are licensed and unlicensed spectrum, public safety, smart grid, and spectrum sharing. The center has generated numerous technology transfers and spinoffs including a commercial RF spectrum observatory network. Center researchers have ongoing engagements with the Federal Communications Commission and other government entities including the U.S. Commerce Department Spectrum Management Advisory Committee.

Director: Cynthia Hood