Engineering Discovery The Applied Research Laboratory
at Penn State
Conducting essential research, development, and systems engineering in support of our nation’s priorities.



Our team of intellectually curious, creative, and innovative researchers, engineers, and industry professionals leverages decades of experience in a wide variety of disciplines. We celebrate individual viewpoints, find strength in our diversity, and remain relentlessly focused on our mission. 


Drawing on decades of experience in hundreds of disciplines, our teams create practical, cost-effective solutions for our customers. We solve complex problems through innovation, collaboration, and transition to application.


We’re proud to be part of one of the premier research institutions in the United States. ARL’s team of researchers, scientists, and manufacturing experts enhances Penn State’s mission of teaching, research, and service with pride. We provide our sponsors with innovative, cost-efficient solutions that enable them to achieve their national security missions.

We're at the intersection of research, innovation, and industry.

Founded in 1945 at the request of the U.S. Navy, ARL is a Department of Defense (DoD) designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) that leverages cutting-edge research and innovation to pursue our mission.

Though we are primarily sponsored by the U.S. Navy, we proudly support all of the U.S. Armed Forces and other government agencies. As a UARC, ARL maintains core technology capabilities of critical importance to our Navy sponsors. We strive to embody a culture of scientific discovery and consistently leverage our agility to adapt to evolving mission needs.

Active Partners

From our longstanding relationship with the Navy, to our collaboration with other universities and organizations, ARL takes an active role in the projects and partnerships we choose.


ARL contributes to the communities we work in and we make contributions to the world at large. We answer the call to help when our coworkers are in need, and we take an active role in being a good neighbor to the communities we serve.


We make strategic, deliberate, evidence-based choices. We put our mission first and act as one team to achieve it.

For more than 75 years, we have sustained
a culture of Scientific Discovery and Innovation.

1300 +

Staff and employees

6 +

Locations and branches

400 +

Active programs

Our Core Competencies

Helping to secure our nation for more than 75 years, we develop cost-effective, innovative solutions for our nation’s most challenging problems.

Providing modern tools and facilities for Naval sea and air systems within areas of fluid dynamics and turbomachinery, flow and structural acoustics, and computational mechanics.

We address issues related to materials design, materials processing, component design, manufacturing systems, logistics and sustainment

We support national security through the development and demonstration in the areas of fluid dynamics and turbomachinery, flow and structural acoustics, and computational mechanics.


Our Working Process

As a Department of Defense (DoD) designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), ARL conducts essential research, development, and systems engineering in support of our nation’s priorities free from conflict of interest or competition with industry.


Penn State Main Campus
  • University Park, PA
Satellite Locations:
  • Warminster, PA
  • Kittanning, PA
  • Reston, VA
  • Keyport, WA
  • Key West, FL

Technology Competencies

  • Undersea phenomenology, components, systems, and platforms
  • Advanced material science
  • Manufacturing and Logistics
  • Communications systems and Information
  • Cyber tools and applications
  • Multi-domain sensors
  • Mechanical, Electrical, Structural, & Systems Engineering and Computer Science
  • Artificial Intelligence, Autonomy, Advanced Analytics

Research Portfolio

More than 400 programs.

ARL executes a broad research portfolio that addresses national security needs from the bottom of the ocean to geo-synchronous orbit, and throughout cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum.

ARL’s research teams perform basic scientific exploration, proof of principal/proof of concept experimentation, applied research and development, rapid prototyping, and operational support for a sponsor base spanning all military services, much of the extended U.S. national security community, and other government agencies.

A team that's diverse and talented

You belong at ARL.

We embed inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, leadership, and social responsibility (IDEALS) into a safe, enjoyable, and rewarding work environment and culture to ensure everyone benefits, belongs, and thrives.

Our nation derives strength from the diversity of its population and from its commitment to equal opportunity for all. We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of our society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are brought to bear to overcome our greatest challenges.

Similarly at ARL, our greatest accomplishments occur when we draw on the talents of a diverse workforce.

We define inclusion as a culture that connects each employee to the organization; encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness; and leverages diversity throughout the organization so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.

We’re at our best when we are in it together, and every employee is part of the ARL family. Learn more about our diversity programs at ARL, and explore our job openings.

ARL is committed to our employee’s health and well-being by supporting Penn State initiatives, local health officials, and government leaders in preventing COVID-19 in the workplace.

Our employees whose work or research can be done remotely, from home, are doing so. We have also given the opportunity of a flexible work schedule to assist our employees who have other obligations to consider. For those whose work or research requires them to be in our laboratories, offices, or on campus, we are following all protocols necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including mandatory mask training, strict safety procedures, and a network of contacts for reporting any ill-feeling symptoms.

As new employees join our workforce, the above guidelines apply. 

You can be confident that we will maintain our vigilant enforcement of all COVID-19 protocols in our workplace to ensure the health and safety of everyone.

Our strength comes from our people… we are a diverse group of professionals who hail from all over this great Nation, with all kinds of experience and expertise. As a team, we will get through this together with patience, diligence, vigilance, and resilience.