Programs with Defense Applications

Appalachian State University

The Human Performance Lab at the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis, NC studies the effects of biological compounds on human nutrition, immune function, performance and conditioning. See brochure

East Carolina University

Operation Re-Entry North Carolina is a project funded by the Army’s Medical Research and Materiel Command, Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center to support research in psychology, e-behavorial health and brain injury.

Fayetteville State University

The Center for Defense and Homeland Security is a research and development initiative in support of the mitigation and recovery of natural and man-made catastrophic disasters within the U.S.

North Carolina A&T State University

The Center for Human-Machine Studies/Human-Centric Decision-Making is a multi-disciplinary program of basic and applied research and technology development in human-machine system engineering, directed toward understanding the nature of human performance while interacting with complex technology-driven systems. This effort is funded by the Army Research Laboratory.

The Center for Advanced Studies in Identity Sciences—a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Science & Technology Center of Academic Excellence in Advanced Biometrics—is a consortium of researchers at N.C. A&T, UNC-Wilmington, Clemson and Carnegie Mellon, working to address challenges of face and iris recognition (funding managed by Army Research Lab). Researchers at UNC Wilmington in the Face Aging Group are part of the Center for Advanced Studies in Identity Sciences consortium led by N.C. A&T.
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The Center of Excellence for Battlefield Capability Enhancement: Environmentally Stable Flexible Displays is an effort funded by U.S. Army Research Office that focuses on the force requirement for mobile electronic devices for soldier and vehicle-based communications and weapons systems.

The Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures conducts nano-focused, basic and applied research in advanced ceramics, advanced composites, electronic ceramic devices, sensors and smart structures, III-V nitrides, ohmic contracts and devices.

The Center for Autonomous Control and Information Technology focuses on soft computing, multiagent systems, artificial intelligence in general, control theory, genetic algorithms, and energy conservation and power electronics.

The mission of the Center for Aviation Safety is to establish a strong aerospace engineering research and education program to support NASA’s fundamental aeronautics and aviation safety programs.

The Center for Composite Materials Research is a center of excellence in composite materials, with research in processing and fabrication of simple to complex composite components, use of textile fiber architectures in the fabrication of non-trivial lightweight composite components (braids, plain weaves, etc.), testing and characterization of composite materials, and other areas.

The Center for Cyber Defense conducts integrated education and interdisciplinary research in information assurance. The National Security Agency has designated North Carolina A&T as a Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education.

North Carolina State University

The NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) – a global research consortium led by NC State University in partnership with five affiliated universities and about 30 industry partners – aims to create self-powered devices to help people monitor their health and understand how the surrounding environment affects it.

The Textile Protection and Comfort Center investigates aspects of protection and comfort in clothing; facilities include world-class thermal and chemical-biological testing chambers. The Nonwovens Institute is performing R&D for new combat uniforms.

The Forensics Science Institute, which brings together experts in textiles, anthropology, entomology, design and engineering, provides training and help with solving crimes to law enforcement officers.

At the Digital Games Research Center, faculty from the colleges of Education, Engineering, Design and Humanities and Social Sciences collaborate on a wide range of research and educational initiatives including intelligent human-computer interaction, cognitive functioning, mobile gaming, hybrid reality games, and more.


The Sentinel Landscapes Project: At the College of Natural Resources faculty and graduate students work with military services and installations in the state and nationally on diverse research projects. This project is a collaborative effort to link working lands, conservation and national defense in eastern North Carolina. Development around military bases and inadequate or uncoordinated conservation efforts are threatening working farms and forests, natural resource sustainability, and military readiness.

UNC Chapel Hill

The Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center conducts clinical and research toward evaluating and treating athletes and soldiers with brain injuries
Experts from the School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy, and departments of Chemistry, Biology and Biomedical Engineering are contributing to cutting edge research in chemical-biological defense

Through Project Silver, a multi-university team led by UNC Chapel Hill is exploring new approaches to cyber security in the era of cloud computing, with a focus in areas such as secure transport, authorization, user and software authentication and security monitoring.

The UNC Nutrition Research Institute (NRI) located at the NCRC campus in Kannapolis is leading the development of “individualized nutrition” – understanding why people’s metabolism and nutrition requirements differ from one another.

UNC-Chapel Hill is recognized nationally for the strength and diversity of its area studies programs and centers, including the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science, which have an important role in supporting Human Factors.

UNC Charlotte


The Charlotte Visualization Center at UNC Charlotte performs research in the emerging field of visual analytics, including Social Media Computing and Video/Image Analysis projects

The Infrastructure Security and Emergency Responder Research and Training (ISERRT) Center’s mission is to make positive contributions to the security and resilience of infrastructure, personnel, and related assets through basic and applied research, education, and training. See brochure here

Also, visit the ISERRT website

The Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications researches optoelectronic devices and communication networks.

The Center for Configuration Analytics and Automation (CCAA), an NSF-sponsored Industry/University Collaborative Research Center (I/UCRC) led by UNC Charlotte and George Mason University, conducts research to enable efficient, accurate, and timely operations management and defense of complex networked information technology systems and environments.

UNC Greensboro

The Center for Geographic Information Science (GIS) works to solve, analyze, and model geographic aspects of human and natural phenomena leveraging expertise in areas such as remote sensing, image processing, cartography, engineering, and mathematics.

The Applied Neuromechanics Research Laboratory and the Virtual Environment for Assessment and Rehabilitation Laboratory research methods for assessing human neuromuscular performance and applying novel techniques to assess injuries such as ACL.

Western Carolina University

The Kimmel School’s Center for Rapid Product Realization teaches students hands-on applied engineering skills and works with industry to design and manufacture prototypes to solve real-world problems.

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