ESE Faculty Labs & Groups

Center for Sensor Technologies

The Center for Sensor Technologies deals with the study and development of systems that are able to deal with complex sensory processing tasks, such as vision and speech. The approach followed is to a large extent inspired by the biological system and makes use of a hierarchy of processing stages. The overall system consists of dedicated sensors embedded with local processing elements, followed by a neural network that performs higher levels of processing.

Center for Human Modeling and Simulation

Image result for engineering in video games human simulation
The overall goal of the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation is the modeling and animation of human movement. That central topic drives a number of related research interests covering a broad scope from image synthesis to natural language interfaces.

Electronic Photonic Micro-Systems Lab

The EPM Lab, led by Firooz Aflatouni, studies integrated electronic-photonic co-design with the goal of improving the performance of electronic systems using photonic devices and improving the performance of photonic systems by incorporating electronic devices and techniques. Applications of electronic-photonic co-design include communication, imaging, Radar, LIDAR, and multi-modal bio-sensing.

The Engheta Group

The Engheta Group, run by Nader Engheta, explores several foci and themes, extensively, including: Metamaterials, Metasurfaces, and Plasmonics; Quantum Metaphotonics and Nanoscale Optics; ENZ, MNZ, and EMNZ Structures; Modularized Nanophotonics, Optical Metatronics and Informatic Metastructures.

Implementation of Computation Group

The Implementation of Computation Group, under André DeHon, studies how we physically implement computations. Efforts span from algorithms and problem descriptions, through compute models, architectures, and runtime systems, and down to physical substrates, including work on design mapping between these levels.

Cherie R. Kagan Research Group

The Kagan Group, led by Cherie Kagan, explores the chemical and physical properties of nanostructured and organic materials and integrates these materials in electronic, optoelectronic, optical, thermoelectric and bioelectronic devices. They combine the flexibility of chemistry and bottom-up assembly with top-down fabrication techniques to design novel materials and devices.

Kod*lab (within GRASP)

Dan Koditschek leads Kod*lab, a research group interested in the application of dynamical systems theory to the invention and construction of intelligent machines and systems, with a particular focus on biologically inspired robotics. Many lab members have worked in robotics with emphasis on dynamical dexterity and the management of kinetic energy in designing machines capable of performing useful work on their bodies and environments.

MicroSensors and MicroActuators Group

The MicroSensors and MicroActuators (MSMA) Laboratory is dedicated to advancing the state of the art of microfabrication and nanofabrication technology, with emphasis on new approaches to fabricate devices with characteristic lengths in the micro- to nanoscale from both silicon and non-silicon materials; and demonstrating these devices in multiple application spaces ranging from energy storage, harvesting, and conversion to biomedical structures and devices.

mLAB: Real-Time & Embedded Systems Lab


mLab, directed by Rahul Mangharam, is a group of electrical, bio-medical, mechanical and computer engineers and scientists who collectively work on problems related to Cyber-Physical Theory and Systems (CPS). We focus on domains spanning Networked CPS, Automotive CPS, Medical Devices Software & Systems and Real-Time Parallel Computing.

PGM Group

The PGM Group, led by ESE Chair, George Pappas, focuses on control theory and in particular, hybrid systems, embedded systems, hierarchical and distributed control systems, with applications to unmanned aerial vehicles, distributed robotics, green buildings, and biomolecular networks.

Quantum Engineering Lab

The Quantum Engineering Lab, under the direction of Lee Bassett, studies quantum dynamics in nanoscale materials and devices using optics and electronics. They seek to better understand complex quantum-mechanical systems, with a goal of developing new technologies for communication, computation, and sensing based on quantum physics.


Cross Disciplinary Labs

Ackoff Collaboratory for Advancement of Systems Approaches (ACASA) Laboratory

The ACASA Lab operates as a think tank in the vanguard of systems approaches, advancing and applying systems sciences and systems thinking and global knowledge and competency resources. One of the principal research thrusts is how to help distributed human-machine systems to continually adapt and evolve in the presence of complex, emergent environments.

Distributed Systems Laboratory (DSL)

The Distributed Systems Laboratory (DSL) combines elements from the CIS and ESE departments. The DSL is broadly focused on the issues of merging computation and communications. This includes networking, computers, distributed control, distributed systems, computer operating systems, gigabit networks, networked multimedia systems, and user interfaces.

General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) Lab

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.

Multimedia and Networking Lab

The Multimedia and Networking Lab is a pluri-disciplinary lab that cuts across layers, from the link layer to the application layer, with a focus on investigating problems and technologies associated with modern telecommunications systems. The Lab involves several faculty members and collaborators at both Penn and other institutions, including other universities and industrial research labs. Many doctoral students, as well as a number of master's and undergraduate students also participate in the lab.