Research Institutes

Lea R. Powell Institute for Children and Families

New York Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology (CACT)

Institute for Electronic Art

Established in 1997, the Institute for Electronic Art (IEA) is dedicated to the integration of electronic media within the fine arts disciplines through a focus on art making, research, and education. The purpose of the Institute is to encourage the development of electronic imaging studios, to sponsor cross-disciplinary work, and to sponsor interactive artist residencies. By encouraging and supporting projects that involve interactive multi-media, distance communication systems, experimental music/video environments, and publications, the IEA hopes to promote global interactions of technological experimentation and artistic investigation.

National Casting Center Foundry

Located just off campus, the National Casting Center Foundry provides melting facilities and classroom space for the School of Art and Design's sculpture program. Alfred University's National Casting Center is a cooperative project between metal and glass casting that doubles the capacity of the glass facility and the metal foundry.

Digital Lab

The Digital Lab is a state-of-the-art facility that serves as a creative and innovative hub for students, faculty and staff from both the School of Art and Design and the Inamori School of Engineering. Our lab is equipped with a broad array of digital fabrication tools designed to support a wide range of projects and research endeavors.

Hands-on learning

Physics and astronomy students at Alfred University focus on active learning through

  • Research projects
  • Facilities at the Stull Observatory which houses one of the larger optical telescopes in New York State
  • Study of solar physics, near earth asteroids, or variable stars
  • Computational physics using a state-of-the-art Silicon Graphics Workstation
  • Work on particle beam physics, remotely operating the Cornell Electron-Positron Storage Ring (CESR).


The Physics major is designed for students who enjoy investigating the world around them by applying fundamental principles in a quantitative manor. Concentrations are offered in

  • Astrophysics - for those interested in astronomy
  • General physics - for those with a broad interest
  • Solid state and mechanical concentrations - for those who want engineering courses as part of the physics major


All students at Alfred University have a unique opportunity to view firsthand the beauty and wonder of the nighttime sky. The Stull observatory at Alfred University houses one of the larger optical telescopes in NY state, the .82 meter Austin-Fellows Telescope. We also have a remotely operable 16-inch DFM telescope, a 9-inch refractor, and 16-inch and 20-inch Newtonian telescopes as well as a small radio telescope.

Those who want to take more than one astronomy class can either major in physics with an astrophysics concentration, or minor in astronomy. Students from a wide variety of majors have chosen to minor in astronomy.

Hands-on, interactive learning

The Division of Biology and Biochemistry promotes and supports hands-on, interactive learning through laboratory and field courses, inquiry-based instruction, research activities, internships, and discussions/seminars concerning modern biological research. Students at AU have many opportunities to conduct research by becoming involved in faculty research projects or by designing their own independent research projects. Many classroom laboratory activities blossom into student-directed independent study courses

Equipment and facilities

The Division of Biology and Biochemistry houses a variety of research-grade equipment including digital imaging systems, laminar flow hoods, fluorescent and phase-contrast microscopes, UV/VIS spectrophotometers, molecular biology equipment, field sampling equipment and environmental growth chambers. All facilities are available for students to use with the appropriate training and supervision. Learn more about our biology facilities.

State-of-the-art Facilities

With 2,500 square feet of research-dedicated laboratory facilities and equipment and four teaching classroom/laboratories, Alfred University provides the tools and support students need to conduct meaningful, in-depth biological research.


Four teaching classroom/laboratories are specially designed and equipped to support our discovery-based approach to learning.

  • SC 301 – Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry laboratory and classroom
  • SC 303 – Flexible active learning classroom, supporting a number of biological disciplines
  • SC 306 – Anatomy and Physiology laboratory and classroom
  • SC325/325A – Cell Biology and Microbiology laboratory and adjoining incubator and independent project space (a BSL2 facility)

Core Research Laboratories

Several faculty maintain research programs in our dedicated Core facility. Specialized equipment supports tissue culture, microbiology, molecular biology, and plant biology efforts and includes: a laminar flow tissue culture hood, high speed centrifuges, a chemiluminescent imager, a BioRad real time PCR machine, oxygen analyzer, and a liquid phase oxygen electrode system to photosynthesis and respiration studies. Plant biology facilities include several environmentally controlled growth chambers and a new state of the art Plant Biology research facility. There is a separate 375 sq. foot preparation room housing our pure water system, media preparation and dishwashing facilities, and two sterilizers.

All biology students are encouraged to participate in research opportunities by becoming involved in faculty research projects, by designing their own independent research projects, and pursuing ARGUS grants. With training, all department equipment listed below is available for use in undergraduate independent and classroom research projects.


Our instrument room, which is an essential part of our program, is well-equipped with computer-controlled, research-grade instruments. More importantly, our students get hands-on experience with them by their second year.

Research in the School of Engineering is conducted with state-of-the-art equipment housed in over 40,000 square feet of laboratory space. Our research equipment serves a dual purpose by contributing to the education of our undergraduate and graduate students. We pride ourselves on not only offering the best facilities in the field, but also in the incredible access that all of our students have to them.

Computer Modeling and Simulations

  • Atomistic Computer Modeling
  • Finite Element Analysis and Multiscale Modeling

Materials Processing, Fabrication and Manufacturing

  • Ceramic Processing Facility and Pilot Plant
  • Digital Fabrication and Rapid Prototyping Lab
  • Glass Formulation and Processing
  • Heat Treating and Sintering
  • Multifunctional Materials Lab
  • Thick-film Processing Facilities and Pilot Plant
  • Thin-film Processing Facilities
  • Ultrafast Materials Science and Engineering Lab

Materials Characterization and Properties Measurement

  • Biomaterials Laboratory
  • Electrical Characterization Facilities
  • Electrochemical and High Temperature Battery Facility
  • Mechanical Properties Testing
  • Optical Microscopy Laboratories
  • Powder Characterization Laboratory
  • Spectroscopy Laboratories
  • Surface Microstructural Analysis Laboratory (SMAL)
  • Terahertz Spectroscopy and Millimeter Wave Imaging
  • Thermal Analysis Laboratory
  • X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory

Systems Design and Testing

  • Control and Communication Systems Laboratory
  • Digital Signal Processing Laboratory
  • Mechanical Engineering Facilities
  • Renewable Energy Systems Laboratory
  • VSLI Design and Test Laboratory

Digital Lab

The Digital Lab is a state-of-the-art facility that serves as a creative and innovative hub for students, faculty and staff from both the School of Art and Design and the Inamori School of Engineering. Our lab is equipped with a broad array of digital fabrication tools designed to support a wide range of projects and research endeavors.

Hands-on, interactive learning

All our majors engage in independent undergraduate research projects as part of the Environmental Studies program. The topics of these projects vary greatly, depending on the interests of the students. We firmly believe that students learn by “doing” and incorporate hands-on, interactive learning in virtually all of our courses.

Outstanding equipment and facilities

All students have access to a vast array of state-of-the-art field, laboratory, and computer equipment within the Environmental Studies Division as well as the other science and engineering departments on campus. This makes Alfred University's undergraduate program one of the best equipped in the country. Equipment includes an ion chromatograph, atomic absorption spectrophotometer, and instrumentation to perform capillary zone electrophoresis, all used for the analysis of water samples; a fully-equipped Geographic Information Systems (GIS) laboratory complete with two sub-meter scale Global Positioning Systems units, a dedicated GIS specialist, a 36-inch color plotter, and the latest version of the most frequently used GIS software; and a variety of equipment for soil testing, including compaction meter, soil moisture collectors, microscopes, and wet-laboratory equipment.

Field equipment

We have a variety of instruments used for field sampling and analysis, including a “Hydrolab” for analyzing a variety of water parameters in the field; sediment and water samplers, including two automated, programmable water samplers; flow meters; field dissolved oxygen, pH, and electrical conductivity meters; and two boats. We also have two field facilities on or very close to campus:

  • A hydrologic field laboratory, consisting of seven groundwater wells, which is fully instrumented to measure and record water levels, temperature, electrical conductivity, pressure, etc.
  • Foster Lake property, a 223-acre property consisting of the lake and surrounding forest, which is used as a field laboratory for Environmental Studies classes and student research.