Research centers

Many of our research activities are organized in centers, many of which are interdisciplinary. To learn more about our research areas of specialization, you can view the specific faculty in each area on our research page.

To find university-wide research facilities, refer to the core facilities page.

Center for Efficient Vehicles and Sustainable Transportation Systems

Center for Efficient Vehicles and Sustainable Transportation Systems

Director: Hongbin Yu

The Center for Efficient Vehicles and Sustainable Transportation Systems leverages collaborations among corporate, government and academic partners to conduct and disseminate industry-relevant research on technologies and tools that facilitate the design, manufacture, deployment and operation of energy-efficient, environmentally sustainable ground vehicles. The scope of this mission includes passenger cars, light- and heavy-duty trucks and motorized off-road equipment. The center’s mission encompasses vehicle-level technologies and the infrastructure and transportation systems that incorporate ground vehicles.

The center’s mission is divided into four primary thrust areas: powertrains for fully electric vehicles and the entire continuum of electric hybrid powertrains, including batteries, electric machines, power electronics, thermal management packaging and related items; advanced internal combustion engines and alternative fuels; non-powertrain vehicle systems; and ground transportation systems and infrastructure.

The Center for Efficient Vehicles and Sustainable Transportation Systems’ ASU site research will focus on realizing sustainable electrified vehicles. Site-specific topic areas are likely to include power electronics, power electronic devices, and system integration. The site focus will likely also include materials and processes for integration of vehicle-connected wearable health monitoring electronics for driver safety and overall transportation system safety.

Center for Wireless Information Systems and Computational Architectures

Center for Wireless Information Systems and Computational Architectures
An Arizona Board of Regents-approved research center

Director: Daniel Bliss
Associate Director: Chaitali Chakrabarti

The Center for Wireless Information Systems and Computational Architectures, or WISCA, places Arizona State University at the research and development nexus of the next wireless revolution. To address future wireless communications, we need access to more sophisticated, more flexible and more efficient protocols and computational engines. Current communications approaches are efficient and inflexible or flexible and inefficient.

By codeveloping advanced fluid protocols and mixed software-defined radios with hardware accelerators, we can solve both problems simultaneously. Current protocols were developed under the assumption that communications links cannot operate in the presence of interference. This assumption introduces a significant limitation on potential performance.

With our new radio architectures, we can break this rigid limitation. To aid this development, WISCA provides researchers a wide range of tools. In particular, WISCA provides a laboratory space with a suite of software-defined radios. This radio system is designed to allow communications researchers to easily explore new physical and network layer concepts by employing a simple development interface. A low duty cycle communications approach is employed to emulate real continuous-time systems. This discontinuous time operation is transparent to the radio researcher. By using this system, researchers can explore over-the-air radio operations with development times comparable to simple simulations.


  • Received official Arizona Board of Regents approval on June 18, 2016
  • Set up physically new laboratory space
  • Investigated air-to-ground phenomenology using software-defined radios and octocopter drone
  • Developed preliminary over-the-air wireless testbed using software-defined radios
  • Implemented preliminary fluid communication system (watch)
  • Implemented preliminary protocol recommendation engine
  • Implemented preliminary hardware recommendation engine for heterogeneous processor
  • Enlisted 15 affiliated faculty members

Current projects:

  • Advanced wireless communications
  • Radio revolution (R2)
  • Sensor and communications convergence
  • Neural indicators of cognition
  • Secure co-design architectures

Industry and government partners:

Power Systems Engineering Research Center

Power Systems Engineering Research Center

The Power Systems Engineering Research Center, or PSERC, was created in 1996 as a National Science Foundation Industry-University Cooperative Research Center to address key challenges in creating a modern electric energy infrastructure.

The center is currently self-sustaining. It includes 24 industry partners and 13 universities.

Director: Kory Hedman


  • Arizona State University received a grant of $3.5 million to integrate renewable energy into power grids. This has been a prime research topic for the Power Systems Engineering Research Center for a number of years and is of great interest to members.
  • Washington State University is taking part in research funded by another grant of $3 million developing distributed apps for the smart power grid.
  • The center published a brochure on the future grid initiative.
  • The center founded the Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions with other research institutions with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. Work is almost complete on projects supported by $550,000 in funding awarded in 2015.

Industry members:

University members:


Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies

Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies
A National Science FoundationU.S. Department of Energy engineering research center

Director: Christiana Honsberg


The Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies center focuses on developing new approaches to high-efficiency, scalable photovoltaic technologies that address the need for large-scale sustainable electricity generation. A key vision of Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies is to develop new commercially-based technologies that combine the advantages of different commercial technologies, leading to simultaneous increases in performance and decreases in cost.


Over the last five years, the center has grown to be the largest university consortium on photovoltaics in the U.S., encompassing unique facilities, strong industrial partnerships and national laboratories. Highlights of the center’s progress include:

  • Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies students received seven out of the 10 best student paper awards at the 43rd Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, the premier technical conference for photovoltaics.
  • The center has recorded open circuit voltages in all materials examined in its research. These include:
    • The highest open circuit voltage (VOC) for a silicon solar cell, demonstrating over 760 mV.
    • Dilute nitride quantum well solar showing near the radiative limit.
    • Record efficiency high band gap CIGS-based solar cell, demonstrating the promise of Ag-alloying with a National Renewable Energy Laboratory-verified cell efficiency of 19.9% and VOC of 730 mV.
    • The highest solar cell voltage in the GaSb and AlGaSb material systems.
    • Silicon integrated with high band gap IIVI materials. A key accomplishment in the demonstration of open circuit voltages over 1.0 V, representing a VOC record for these devices.
  • Student-led pilot line for industrial size silicon solar cells. The pilot line provides student training on industrial silicon solar cells, a forum for industry projects and interaction and establishes the baseline comparison for advanced solar cells. The pilot line produces an average efficiency of 18.5% for industrial diffused solar cells, representing a state-of-the-art device, and over 20% on advanced technologies.
  • New material approaches for solar cells, including new TCO materials with > 100 cm²/Vs, InGaN with low dislocation density and high growth rates.
  • Extensive outreach and education programs, including:
    • Research Experience for Teachers and Research Experiences for Undergraduates offered summer education. Students and teachers from multiple universities came to Arizona State University for research and educational activities in the field of photovoltaics.
    • Outreach to more than 6,000 people per year regarding photovoltaic technology.
    • Educational outreach site: reaches more than 1 million viewers per year.

University partners:

Industry partners

The Sensor, Signal and Information Processing Center

The Sensor, Signal and Information Processing Center
A National Science Foundation Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC)

Director: Andreas Spanias

The Sensor, Signal and Information Processing Center focuses on developing a broad array of digital signal processing, imaging and communications algorithms for sensor network technologies, including those used in chemical sensors, internet of things (IoT) technology, health monitoring, cell phones, security and radar systems.

Center accomplishments:research collaboration in sensor networks and telecommunications systems

  • Seven current Industry memberships sponsoring research through the IUCRC.
  • After a successful NSF proposal submitted in March 2015, the center was approved as a Phase II NSF IUCRC Site (20162021).
  • Extended funding (until 2018) supported activities in sensors, fault detection and machine learning algorithms for solar panel monitoring funded by NSF Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI), ACT and Energy Wireless.
  • Developed award-winning digital signal processing and health monitoring apps. The apps were used for outreach sessions held at the Phoenix Hermanas conference co-sponsored by Intel.
  • Two patents were established in loudness estimation. The latest patent was dated June 2015. Faculty and student affiliates also submitted four full patents in 2015 and two patent pre-disclosures.
  • One new memorandum of understanding signed for an international research partnership with Tecnológico de Monterrey on sensor localization. Affiliated research faculty won sizable and competitive awards and contracts in sensor, signal processing and communications research areas.
  • Co-organized joint SenSIP-Tecnológico de Monterrey sensors workshop held at ASU in May 2016 (co-sponsored by the NSF).
  • Contributed to Conacyt proposal, which was funded for establishing an industry consortium across the border with Tecnológico de Monterrey in mobile communications (SenSIP subaward).
  • Two paper awards in 2015 for faculty and student affiliates.
  • Outreach sessions with Corona del Sol High School supported by NSF Research Experiences for Teachers supplement (the latest took place in May 2016).
  • Established the D. Fellowship with the Acoustical Society of America.
  • Two undergraduate students are currently supported by NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates and Veterans Research Supplement (201416). Two new Research Experiences for Undergraduates and one Research Experiences for Teachers supplement were funded in June 2016.
  • A graduate training certificate in signal processing for sensor systems was established in 2015.
  • NSF STEM grant was awarded in 2015 to embed undergraduate students in research on sensor networks.
  • NSF Small Business Innovation Research supplement awarded by the NSF to fund interactive flow sensor technologies membership in SenSIP.
  • A SenSIP LTE 4G+ facility, donated by Sprint Communications for research in sensor localization, was installed in 2015 on the Tempe campus’s Goldwater Center for Science and Engineering. Upgrades to the facility to emerging 5G were agreed upon with Sprint in April 2016.
  • A SenSIP 18kW 8×13 solar monitoring facility equipped with sensors and transceivers was installed at the ASU Research Park. The facility was finalized in April 2016.


Funded industry consortium programs with SenSIP, in which nine members are active:

Industry in-kind contributions:

  • NXP Semiconductors, formerly known as Freescale, donated sensor boards
  • ViaSoL Energy Solutions, now defunct, donated solar panels for the MacroTechnology Works facility
  • Energy Wireless donated sensors for solar panels
  • Sprint, now part of T-Mobile, donated LTE upgrades