Laboratories

We provide students with a wealth of hands-on learning opportunities, featuring 35 laboratories where students can get first-hand experience in areas including digital signal processing, robotics, microelectronics and welding.

For information on lab safety, visit our guidelines page.

Take a virtual tour of our lab facilities!

Reserve Time in a Lab

We're protecting the pack! To protect yourself and your fellow students, faculty, and staff, you can use the labs but the number of students in each lab is limited. We've set up a reservation system. Click below to reserve a time in advance to use a lab. Please also review all our safety guidelines before using the labs. Questions? Contact lab manager Mike Reynolds at 815-753-2278.

Lab Directory

Search by keyword, lab name, faculty or department:

Lab Description Faculty Department/Category Location
Baxter Reliability Laboratory The Baxter Reliability Laboratory is equipped to meet thermal, vibration and functional test requirements. The laboratory is equipped to handle a variety of product validation requirements, product robustness testing (HALT), electrical stress testing, and accelerated life testing. Additional Reliability functions provided include thermal analysis, reliability prediction and warranty calculations. Donald Peterson, Ph.D. Research and Service, Biomedical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 265
Biomedical Engineering This lab supports the theory, analysis, and design of biomedical sensors. Projects include biological elements, immobilization of biological components, medical, biological, and chemical sensors and transducers based on electrochemistry, optics, and solid-state devices. Venumadhav Korampally, Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 349
Electrical Engineering Design Laboratory

The EE Design Laboratory has 10 computers equipped with some state of the art software tools that can be used to design electrical engineering systems and circuits including:

  • Ansys
  • B2 Spice
  • LASI 7
  • Mathcad
  • Matlab
  • NI Labview
  • Pspice
  • Sonnet

The lab is also equipped with several NI training equipment and a T-Tech Quick Circuit HF prototyping machine.

Donald Zinger, Ph.D. Electrical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 341
Digital Communications Laboratory

This lab enhances learning via hands-on applications related to communications by exploring signals and systems, circuits, active and passive filters, Bode Plot, Fourier transforms, discrete time systems and two-port networks.

Veysel Demir, Ph.D.

Electrical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 347
Digital Signal Processing Laboratory Research emphasis is on real-time DSP applications. The projects being conducted in the lab are primarily based on active noise control (ANC) and active vibration control (AVC) systems. The lab is comprised of a diverse range of signal processing equipment, including a number of TMS320C5510 and TMS320C32x kits, spectrum analyzers, microphones, amplifiers, analog filters and power amplifiers.

Lichuan Liu, Ph.D.

Electrical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 147
Electrodynamics Laboratory

The main emphasis of the electrodynamics laboratory is the conversion of electrical power into dynamic mechanical motion. However, the laboratory is set up to develop many aspects of electrical power conversion using electromechanical and power electronic methods.

Students use this lab for the required Electrical Power Systems course. Projects that have used this laboratory relate to power electronic converters, electric drives and electronic lighting ballasts. One major concern is the conversion of power from alternative energy sources.

Donald Zinger, Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 307
General Computer Laboratory This lab is open to all engineering students for project work and Internet access. To utilize the computers in the Engineering Building, you must obtain either an "e" or "g" account number. To apply for your number, please visit the Associate Dean's Office, EB 331. You will receive your account number approximately 24 working hours after submitting an application. Mei Chen (mchen@niu.edu) Electrical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 125
Integrated Circuit Design Laboratory Developing technology to create a quiet environment for newborns in incubators and developing safe and non-intrusive monitoring embedded infant incubator ANC systems. N/A Electrical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 301
Laboratory for Intelligent Networks and Systems In this lab, research focuses on computer intelligence in future networks and smart services over intelligent networks. The general network architecture is Internet of Things, while big data analytics and data fusion based AI entities form the foundation of network managing algorithms and protocols. Application scenarios cover practical topics including vehicular networks, smart grid, e-Health systems, virtual reality and beings in networks, network security and privacy. N/A Electrical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 349A
Microelectronics Research and Development Laboratory The Microelectronics Research and Development Laboratory (MRDL) is a teaching and research facility specializing in semiconductor and hybrid microelectronic device fabrication. The lab is comprised of 4200 sq. ft. of cleanroom space separated into six work areas. The areas are segregated by cleanliness levels required for fabrication equipment and processes. The fabrication equipment and processes are used in creating integrated circuits, sensors, discrete microelectronic devices and various other devices. Ibrahim Abdel-Motaleb, Ph.D. and Venumadhav Korampally, Ph.D. Electrical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 227
Microwaves and Electromagnetics Laboratory

The microwaves and electromagnetics laboratory is set up to pursue research on microwaves and RF engineering as well as aid teaching classes such as Antenna Design, Microwave Circuit Design, and Beam Instrumentation. The facility includes an anechoic chamber that can be used to perform antenna pattern measurements and EMC testing. Equipped with microwave training kits, antenna measurement setup, and computers with computational electromagnetics software tools, the laboratory helps students gain hands-on experience in design, simulation, fabrication and measurement of microwave circuit components.

Veysel Demir, Ph.D. Electrical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 309
Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory

This lab features control system modeling for electromechanical systems. Students may participate in time and frequency domain analysis and controller design.

N/A Electrical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 309
Undergraduate Laboratory This lab provides hands-on applications to enhance classroom knowledge for the following courses: Electronic Circuits (ELE 210), Computer Engineering I (ELE 250), Semiconductor Circuits (ELE 330), Computer Engineering II (ELE 356), Communications Systems (ELE 360), and Control Systems I (ELE 380), Power Systems (ELE 340). N/A Electrical Engineering Engineering Building, Rooms 337 and 341
Ergonomics Laboratory This lab provides instruction and research on the principles of ergonomics for the understanding of human limitations and capabilities in man-machine systems. This understanding assists the industrial and systems engineer to design better and safer products and work places. Ehsan Asoudegi, Ph.D. Industrial and Systems Engineering Engineering Building 272
Lean Manufacturing Laboratory

This lab provides instruction on the principles and tools of lean manufacturing through hands-on simulation games.

Shi-Jie (Gary) Chen, Ph.D. Industrial and Systems Engineering Engineering Building 201
Logistics Laboratory

Supplies computer resources to support research and instruction for both graduate and undergraduate students. Micro-computers, computer workstations, and printers. A large collection of software for simulation, statistical analysis, factory layout and numerical computation.

Reinaldo Moraga, Ph.D. Industrial and Systems Engineering Engineering Building 301
Advanced Research of Material and Manufacturing Laboratory

The Advanced Research of Material and Manufacturing Laboratory is part of the New, Emerging, & Advanced Technologies (NEAT) Manufacturing Solutions Center at Northern Illinois University's College of Engineering and Engineering Technology. The lab is home to any and all student organizations, projects, and research involving 3D printing or additive manufacturing.

John Shelton, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 265
CAD/CAM Laboratory

This lab is equipped with software like PRO/ENGINEER and ANSYS and provides testing on CNC machines. Stations equipped with advanced mechanical software, CNC machines and CNC lathe.

Iman Salehinia, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 231
Omron Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory This lab supports classes and cutting-edge research. Students gravitate toward this area where they can explore everything from their senior design projects to building 6-legged robots in their spare time. This lab is well equipped with oscilloscopes, soldering stations and a Fanuc Robotic Manipulator. In this lab students from all reaches of engineering gain extensive experience not just learning advanced concepts but working alongside budding engineers from other disciplines. Brianno Coller, Ph.D. and Ji Chu Ryu, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering
Fluid Dynamics Laboratory This lab studies friction losses in pipe apparatus. It is equipped with different pipe sites in parallel loops, fittings, valves and flow meters and pressure gauges. A subsonic wind tunnel is equipped with instruments as well as Reynolds apparatus and hydraulic bench for determining laminar/turbulent flow conditions. Nicholas Pohlman, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 254
Heat and Mass Transfer Laboratory This lab supports heat and mass transfer related research and classes. It is equipped with infra-red thermal imaging system, free and forced convection unit, refrigeration cycle machine, thermal conductivity measurement unit, boiling heat transfer unit, air conditioning unit and high energy laser machining unit. In addition, advanced simulation tools such as ANSYS and Fluent are available. Kyu Taek Cho, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 254
Materials Analysis Laboratory Three testing machines: tensile, torsion and compression, all of which test a sample until failure occurs. Several microscopes and digital imaging systems help characterize the internal structure of materials. There are 6 student workstations for performing mechanical tests on materials. Jenn-Terng Gau, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering Engineering Building, Room 143B
Macro/Micro Manufacturing Laboratory

The M3 Lab combines equipment available within the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology with cutting edge technology in macro/micro manufacturing to support local industry as well as develop the future leaders in the field.

Mechanical Engineering
Automation Laboratory

The Automation Laboratory features the latest technology in automation that affords students the opportunity to work hands-on with equipment, applying classroom-learned principles while acquiring real-world skills. In this laboratory, instruction is centered around the understanding of equipment application and use, as well as the important overriding need for integration of all components. This modern lab contains the following equipment:

  • Six axis Denso robot (two stations)
  • LC trainer stations – to allow the students to develop I/O and timing routines for PLC control (13 stations)
  • Four axis Denso robot (two stations)
  • Pneumatic test stand connected to the PLC used to simulate sequencing in PLC Lab (13 stations)
  • Assembly cell details showing vision system integrated with robotics and used in an automated assembly and sorting cell
  • DVT vision system mounted on a modular conveyor used for part identification in part sortingc
  • Integrated automation cell using conveyor unit, vision system, PLC, and actuators for parts sorting (6 stations)
  • Computer systems used to program PLC’s (13 stations)
  • Z-Corp rapid prototyping system
Engineering Technology
Building Energy Efficiency, Ergonomics and Management (BEEEAM) Laboratory

This laboratory focuses on three primary areas of research: human-centric intelligent building control systems, reconfigurable lighting tests and luminaire design and testing.

Kevin Martin, Ph.D. Engineering Technology Still Gym 115
Digital and Communications Systems Laboratory

The laboratory facilitates various laboratory courses and research projects covering the areas of digital logic design, communication, microprocessor and microcontroller, FPGA and CPLD prototyping using VHDL, digital signal processing, system modeling and simulation, and mechatronics.

There are a number of workstations that are used for laboratory classes. Each workstation is equipped with a PC, oscilloscopes, function generators, spectrum analyzer, microprocessor and microcontroller boards, application board, FPGA prototyping board, and power supplies. The PCs are loaded with Windows 10, Multisim, Matlab, LabVIEW, Xilinx Web pack for VHDL, Embedded studio, MS Office and AutoCAD. In addition, there are few more workstations with computers which are used for projects.

Liping Guo, Ph.D. Engineering Technology Still Hall 204
Fluids Applications Laboratory

This lab supports the Fluids course (Tech 326)

Equipment:

  • Hydraulics Work Stations
  • Wind Tunnel
  • Pneumatics Work Stations
  • Computer Workstations
  • Pneumatic Components
  • Pipe Flow / Friction Loss Test Stand
  • Airflow Testing Equipment
Mahdi Vaezi, Ph.D. Engineering Technology Still Gym 115
Electronics Laboratory

The Electronics Laboratory is mainly used for teaching basic circuits and electronics. The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art digital power supplies, oscilloscopes, function generators, multimeters, and RLC meters. A 1 kW solar power system is installed on the roof of the Engineering Technology Department for education purposes. A solar power inverter converts the output voltage from the solar panel into AC voltage and provides energy to the lab. Students can observe and record the output voltage, current and power of the solar panel online in real time through a data monitoring device.

The Electronics Laboratory also has a solar power trainer and wind power trainer. The solar power trainer is used to let students experiment with solar panels under different irradiation and angle, connect solar modules in series and parallel, charge batteries, and learn off-grid and grid-parallel photovoltaic systems. The wind trainer lets students learn about wind power plant components, the operation of doubly-fed induction generators, and the operation of wind power plants.

Liping Guo, Ph.D. Engineering Technology
Machining Technology Laboratory

This lab's equipment includes:

  • Surface grinder
  • Bridgeport vertical milling machines
  • Material cut-off saws
  • 16-inch x 40-inch engine lathe
  • Bridgeport CNC mill
  • 8-inch x 48-inch engine lathe
Engineering Technology Still Hall 5C
Metrology Laboratory

The metrology laboratory has been developed to instruct the students in the art and science of measurement.

This lab includes the following measurement equipment:

  • Surface profilometer
  • Micrometers
  • Gage blocks
  • Scales
  • Diameter Gages

 

Engineering Technology Still Hall 6
Numerical Machining Laboratory

In addition to the following equipment, the department is using SURF-CAM Software:

  • Haas Automation CNC lathe
  • Haas Automation CNC Mill
  • Tabletop CNC Mill
Engineering Technology
Plastics Laboratory

Students in the Department of Technology plastics area use the software Moldflow to study to the molding process. They also use the following equipment:

  • Composite Processing Center
  • Plastic regrind capability
  • Charpy Impact Machine
Engineering Technology Still Gym 212
Power Systems Lab The Power Systems Lab stresses student familiarity and experience with electrically-operated equipment and devices and the wide variety and use of electric motors, generators, speed drive control, transformers and electrical power distribution. Engineering Technology
Rapid Prototyping Laboratory

The Rapid Prototyping Laboratory features the latest technology in Prototyping and reverses engineering that affords students the opportunity to work hands-on with equipment, applying classroom-learned principles while acquiring real-world skills.

In this laboratory, instruction is centered on the understanding of equipment application and use, as well as the important overriding need for integration of all components.

In addition, students utilize Computer-Aided-Design and 3D modeling concepts, as well as advanced Metrology concepts to develop and construct new designs.

This lab contains the following equipment:

  • DTM Sinter Station 2500 plus – SLS Nylon Prototyping Machine
  • Z-Corp prototyping printer
  • Prometal R1 Rapid Prototyping Machine – Develops parts in stainless steel and bronze
  • Epilog Laser Cutting Machine
  • Roland 3-D Scanner
  • Stratasys Dimension BST 768 – Plastic Rapid Prototyping Machine
Engineering Technology
Welding Laboratory

Equipment includes:

  • SAB Gas Metal Arc Welder
  • Lincoln Electric Gas Metal Arc Welder
  • Aluminum Gas Metal Arc Welder
  • Flux Core Arc Welder
  • Plasma Cutter
Engineering Technology Still Gym 115