University of Central Florida

Partner Institution Strengths & Capabilities

Contact Information

Name: Dr. Elizabeth Klonoff

Title: Vice President of Research

Institution: University of Central Florida



1. Please select the research areas in which your institution currently engages.

  • Structural materials, Aerospace vehicles, Functional materials & applications, Manufacturing technology, Turbine engines, Radio frequency sensing, High speed systems, Rocket propulsion, Control, power, & thermal management systems, Human centered intelligence surveillance & reconnaissance, Spectrum warfare, Layered sending exploitation & enabling sensor devices/components, Support for operations. Contact: Ranganathan Kumar,

  • Electro-optical sensing. Contact: David Hagan,

  • Bio effects. Contact: Enrique del Barco,

  • Training & decision making. Contact: Eileen Smith,

2. Please note, in detail, any research areas of strength not listed above. This may include fundamental sciences (e.g., math, physics, biology, etc.).

  • Renewable Energy and Chemical Transformation (REACT). Contacts: Talat Rahman,, and Patrick Schelling,

  • Resilient, Intelligent and Sustainable Energy Systems (RISES). Contact: Zhihua Qu,

3. Are there any emerging areas of research your institution is actively seeking to develop?

  • Cyber, High Energy Lasers, Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine learning (ML), Hypersonics, Modeling and Simulation, Digital Twin Engineering, Social Media, Hydrogen Turbines. Contact: Michael Macedonia,

4. Does your institution have any internal research centers or participate in any research consortia?

UCF is home to more than 50 center and institutes that aim to solve big problems and align with the economic needs of the nation. The complete list is available at: Selected Centers are included below.

  • Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center (AMPAC). Director: Jiyu Fang, AMPAC's mission is to achieve excellence in materials research and education at UCF and promote the high-technology economic growth of the central Florida region. AMPAC strives to excel in the design, processing and characterization of advanced materials to achieve national prominence in targeted research areas that include energy, biotechnology, microelectronics and nanotechnology.

  • Biomolecular Science Center. Director: Griffith Parks, The purpose of the center is to provide education and research in areas of bio-medical sciences.

  • Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research (CATER). Director: Jay Kapat, CATER is focused on turbomachineries and associated technologies for power generation, aviation and space propulsion.

  • Center for Microgravity Research (CMR) and Education. Director: Joshua Colwell, The Center is a joint venture of the University of Central Florida and Space Florida that conducts and facilitates research in microgravity sciences. The Center makes use of parabolic airplane flights, drop towers, suborbital rocket flights, and orbital flights.

  • Center for Research & Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL). Director: David Hagan, CREOL is a world leader in education, research, and industrial partnership. Optics and photonics is the science and technology of light: lasers, LEDs, LCDs, optical fibers, and imaging systems for applications in industry and medicine.

  • Center for Research in Computer Vision (CRCV). Director: Mubarak Shah, The purpose of the Center is to strongly promote basic research in computer vision and its applications in all related areas including National Defense & Intelligence, Homeland Security, Environment Monitoring, Life Sciences and Biotechnology and Robotics.

  • Center for Research in Education Simulation Technology (CREST). Director: Lisa Dieker, The purpose of the center is to: provide resources (people, software and processes) to researchers from diverse disciplines to employ simulated technological experiences in a broad range of domains; promote, create, disseminate and apply research findings from simulated technology to problems important to society; and incorporate innovations in simulated technologies into professional and administrative practices.

  • Electric Vehicle Transportation Center (EVTC). Director: James Fenton, The objectives are to perform research, development and education to ensure seamless integration of electric vehicles into a complex transportation network and supporting electricity grid. The EVTC will bridge the gap between deployment of electric vehicles and the traditional transportation system.

  • Environmental Systems Engineering Institute (ESEI). Director: Steven Duranceau, The Institute specializes in the study of drinking water treatment using membrane filtration techniques, including reverse-osmosis, nanofiltration, and microfiltration. ESEI also is involved in the study of coagulation and flocculation techniques.

  • Florida Institute of Government (IOG). Director: Mari Rains, The Institute's mission is to provide training and technical assistance to local governments, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

  • Florida Photonics Center of Excellence (FPCE). Director: David Hagan, The focus of the FPCE research and education work has been on the technologies of nanophotonics, biophotonics, advanced imaging and 3D displays, and ultra-high bandwidth communications, all of which are forecast to experience rapid market growth.

  • Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). Director: James Fenton, Our mission is to research and develop energy technologies that enhance Florida’s and the nation’s economy and environment, and to educate the public, students and practitioners on the results of the research.

  • Florida Space Institute (FSI). Interim Director: Julie Brisset, FSI supports space research, development, and education activities. In addition, we support the development of Florida’s space economy—civil, defense, and commercial. FSI research ranges from studying the Earth’s upper atmosphere to the origin of the planets and from the workings of asteroids to propulsion technologies for high-Mach aerospace vehicles. We’re involved in space missions as diverse as high-altitude rocket launches, next-gen suborbital flights, the NASA Cassini mission to Saturn, and NASA’s Explorer program. FSI administratively houses the Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) for NASA, and we operate the Space Research Initiative (SRI) for the State of Florida.

  • Institute for Simulation & Training (IST). Director: Eileen Smith, IST is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary research institute within SMST that conducts basic and applied research in the art and science of modeling, simulation, and training. IST partners with public and private stakeholders to apply and develop simulations for diverse applications and actively supports the university`s modeling and simulation education initiative through SMST’s graduate program.

  • Institute for the Frontier of Attosecond Science and Technology (iFAST). Director: Zenghu Chang, Our mission is to provide unique opportunities for faculty, scientists and students to closely collaborate in attosecond science research; Create and disseminate new knowledge in attosecond physics by conducting, presenting, and publishing cutting-edge fundamental and applied research; Develop next generation attosecond lasers for technology transfer and creating jobs in the State of Florida and the nation.

  • Institute of Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation Science. Directors: David Fukada,, and Matt Stock, The institute supports mechanistic and translational research by faculty members and students in the school’s Division of Kinesiology, Division of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training Program. The institute also partners with colleagues from the College of Health Professions and Sciences and Academic Health Sciences Center to contribute to the research mission of the university. With its current resources and faculty expertise, the institute has a broad capacity to advance the fields of exercise and rehabilitation sciences.

  • NanoScience Technology Center (NSTC). Director: Lei Zhai, Our mission is to establish a cutting-edge research program in materials and nanotechnology, provide high quality training for students and facilitate the advance of innovations to solve real world technology challenges. The interests of our faculty are diverse and the innovative research programs including Green Energy, In Vitro Test Systems, Composites, Computer/Mathematical Simulations, Assistive Robotics, Quantum Dynamics, Bioimaging, NanoElectronics & NanoPhysics, Nanomaterials for Sustainable Agriculture, Integrated Device Development and Advanced Materials have been explored. Our research effort has made significant impact on nanotechnology society and industry.

  • Resilient, Intelligent and Sustainable Energy Systems (RISES). Director: Zhihua Qu, RISES aims to be a premier research center with focus on three technical fields: smart grid (sensing, communication, control, transmission and distribution) for intelligence and resiliency, PV system for sustainability, and building automation, energy storage, and connected communities for efficiency and integration.

  • Townes Laser Institute (TLI). Director: Peter J. Delfyett, To develop the next generation of laser light engines for applications in medicine, advanced manufacturing and defense applications. These include: in laser development and laser-based technologies at UCF, in ultra-fast laser technologies, laser materials processing, novel optics for high power lasers, fiber laser development, laser-based sensing, laser-plasma EUV sources, and other related topics.

  • UCF RESTORES. Director: Deborah Beidel, UCF RESTORES is a multi-disciplinary team consisting of behavioral health professionals (psychology, psychiatry, social work) who work collaboratively to provide cutting-edge treatment for trauma and stress-related disorders.

5. Please provide a list of relevant facilities and equipment.

6. Has your institution collaborated with Department of Defense in the past? Yes

7. Is your institution involved in any federal STEM funding efforts? Yes

Research Administration and Compliance

8. Is your institution registered with the US State Department Directorate of Defense Trade Controls? Yes

9. Does your institution currently perform Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI/ NIST 800-171 compliant) research? Yes

10. Does your institution currently perform research subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations? Yes

11. Does your institution have a DoD Facility Security Clearance (FCL)? If Yes:

  • What is the FCL’s classification level? Top Secret

  • What is the FCL’s authorized safeguarding level? Secret

  • How many safeguarding-approved spaces do you manage? 1

  • What is your facility’s CAGE Code(s)? 9H673

ML-RCP Program Expectations

12. The objective of the AFRL ML-RCP is to enable and enhance the research capabilities of the HBCUs/MSIs through collaborative research efforts with AFRL. What would be necessary for you to receive to meet this objective?

Two things that would help enable and enhance research capabilities of UCF through collaborative research efforts would be the following: (1) access to instrumentation; (2) funding support for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.