University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering
Research assistant takes a behind-the-wheel virtual drive in a modified Ford Fusion in the Driving Simulation Laboratory.

Research assistant takes a behind-the-wheel virtual drive in a modified Ford Fusion in the Driving Simulation Laboratory. The lab includes 270 degrees of virtual simulation, thanks to a 24-foot wraparound screen with computer video projection, audio and car-tracking movements as small as one degree in any direction.Photo: Jeff Miller

Research facilities

Cognitive Systems Laboratory


The Cognitive Systems Laboratory (CSL) focuses on cognitive engineering, where the challenge is to understand and improve the capacity of joint human-technology systems. This research has considered technology insertion in the maritime industry, ground transportation, tele-operation, and process control.



Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support Systems Laboratory


The Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies (the Center) is a growing and dynamic mission-driven organization directed by Dr. David Gustafson. Focused on improving health and quality of life through organizational and individual change projects and research, the Center consists of two primary initiatives:

  • NIATx (Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment) is dedicated to improving the quality of addiction and mental health services.
  • CHESS (Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System) is focused on helping individuals with chronic or life-threatening illnesses improve their quality of life through Web-based support or other kinds of technology.



Flexible Manufacturing Cell Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory


The state-of-the-art is exemplified in the industrial engineering department's flexible manufacturing cell teaching laboratory. The process it supports, from computer design to manufacture and assembly, is completely automated using CAD and CAM systems, a material-handling conveyor and robots, and an assembly robot able to recognize parts with the help of tactile sensors and up to six vision cameras.



Laboratory for Manufacturing Processes Analysis and Control


In this laboratory, we focus on interdisciplinary research on new methodologies of data analysis, knowledge discovery, and control of manufacturing processes for quality and productivity improvement.



Large System Advanced Planning and Scheduling Laboratory


The LSAPS lab is led by Prof. Leyuan Shi and consists of her PhD students and visiting scholars. The researches include developing theory and methodologies for design and optimization of complex systems such as supply chain networks, manufacturing systems, transportation systems and healthcare delivery systems. Researches in this lab consist of modeling, optimization and implementation of solutions to various systems integration problems. Problem categories include, discrete vs. continuous, deterministic vs. stochastic and prescriptive vs. descriptive.



Living Environments Laboratory (LEL)


The LEL is a space and a place where a multidisciplinary group of scholars explore the connection between environment, technology, human action, experience and visualization. Our primary instrument for research is a six-sided virtual reality CAVE. Using the CAVE, we can explore how technology shapes health in everyday living and how to use this understanding to create technologies that better fit into everyday lives. Our research also focuses on advancing the field of virtual reality, ranging from creating novel and natural interfaces for immersive virtual environments to developing methods, techniques and tools to better understand, evaluate, and develop interactive virtual experiences.


The LEL encourages undergraduate students to consider joining our lab, for course credit or as a volunteer, with work ranging from research projects to tour docents. The LEL also welcomes current graduate students with interests whose training and research focus align with our laboratory goals to. Prospective graduate students should first speak with their advisors and then contact the identified LEL faculty member or Discovery Fellow they would like to work with.


Project HealthDesign is a groundbreaking national program of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Pioneer Portfolio, designed to spark innovation in personal health technology. The program advances a vision of personal health records (PHRs) as springboards for action and improved health decision-making.


Manufacturing Systems Analysis Laboratory


Students and faculty perform research on new techniques for modeling and analysis of manufacturing systems, and investigate ways to improve the application of such techniques in industry. The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art analysis tools, including spreadsheets, rapid modeling tools, simulation and animation packages.



Naturalistic Decision Making and Simulation Laboratory


The Naturalistic Decision Making and Simulation Laboratory covers a broad spectrum of research interests, primarily within the aviation and health care industries. Some recent areas of study include interruptions and distractions during surgery, simulated flight training, and cognitive ergonomics for universal design.



Occupational Ergonomics and Biomechanics Laboratory


The mission of the Occupational Ergonomics and Biomechanics Laboratory is to research innovative ways of measuring, quantifying and understanding human physiological and biomechanical capacities to do productive, quality, and healthful work.



Production and Service Systems Laboratory


In this laboratory, students and faculty members carry out research on developing rigorous engineering theory for modeling, analysis, improvement and control of production, healthcare, and service systems, and applying the derived results in practice. All the problems studied are important issues originated from industry, after abstraction and theoretical derivations, their solutions have been successfully implemented on the factory floor or in hospitals and clinics. The laboratory is equipped with several computers and cutting edge software tools.



Quality Safety Innovation Laboratory (QSI)

The QSI Lab provides UW-Madison students experience applying industrial engineering methods and tools to health care at UW Hospital and Clinics. The Lab also provides improvements to the UW Hospital through various quality and process improvement projects. Previously known as the Operational Integration lab, QSI is comprised of undergraduate and graduate level students from the UW-Madison College of Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering Program.



Stochastic Systems Laboratory


Professor Bier administers the Stochastic Systems Laboratory, which provides office space and needed computer facilities for graduate students working in her research area. Computer facilities located in the Stochastic Systems Laboratory include several PC-compatible computers and software.



UW RFID Laboratory

The UW RFID Laboratory involves a multidisciplinary group of faculty and students who conduct basic and applied research on RFID (radio frequency identification) and related automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technologies. The laboratory comprises of multiple state-of-the-art testbeds. Our focus is on understanding the true capabilities and limitations of these technologies, and developing strategies and approaches for their successful application in a variety of industries including manufacturing, distribution, transportation, and healthcare.