The Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State
is an integral part of one of the leading research universities in the nation. Reporting directly to Penn State’s Senior Vice President for Research, ARL conducts collaborative research and academic engagement across the breadth of the University’s colleges.
For more than 75 years, ARL has addressed critical challenges facing our nation. We focus on the innovation, maturation, and implementation of new technologies in defense, national security, economic competitiveness, and quality of life. We function as trusted partners to our sponsors, taking a mission-focused, strategic approach to everything we do.
As a critical part of Penn State, ARL advances the University’s mission by preparing and inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers. Our mentorship and student outreach programs have enriched the lives of students from high school through graduate school. We provide guidance and hands-on learning opportunities with some of the nation’s best and brightest research professionals.
Celebrating more than 75 years of excellence
ARL (originally the Ordnance Research Laboratory) was established at Penn State in 1945 at the request of the U.S. Navy. Today, more than half of our research portfolio enables capabilities above the ocean’s surface. ARL’s research portfolio has evolved over time to meet the needs of our defense, intelligence, and homeland security sponsors.
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. To accomplish our mission, ARL partners with industry on many of our programs, speeding technology maturation and driving new capabilities to the field. ARL also serves as an integral part of Penn State’s educational mission by advising students, teaching classes, and collaborating with faculty to advance the University’s larger academic goals.
ARL is a Department of Defense (DoD) designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC)
As a UARC, ARL provides or maintains DoD essential engineering, research, and/or development capabilities defined as core. Initiated by the U.S. Navy, we proudly support all of the U.S. Armed Forces and other government agencies.
We strive to embody a culture of scientific discovery and consistently leverage our agility to adapt to evolving mission needs.
Through independent exploration, sponsored research and development, and collaboration with partners in academia, government, and industry, ARL’s highly skilled scientists and engineers execute a broad research portfolio that addresses national security needs from the ocean floor to geosynchronous orbit.
Our research portfolio has evolved over 75 years to encompass more capabilities and competencies than ever before.
As part of Penn State, we champion the University’s core values and strive to embody its mission of teaching, research, and public service with pride.