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About ARL - Who and What We Are

As a University Center of Excellence in naval science, systems engineering and technologies, with preeminence in undersea missions and related areas, the Applied Research Laboratory provides solutions to problems in national security, economic competitiveness, and quality of life. In fulfillment of this mission the Laboratory:
  • Performs basic and applied research, exploratory development, advanced development in systems engineering, and manufacturing technology in support of the Navy technology base
  • Champions the transfer of advanced technologies and manufacturing processes, in partnership with industry and Navy research development centers, to acquisition programs and fleet operations, as well as to other government agencies and the private sector
  • Contributes to the educational objectives, research goals, and public service outreach of  the Pennsylvania State University

Strategic Relationships - ARL Penn State, a U.S. Navy University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) as designated by DoD, maintains a long-term strategic relationship with the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Characteristics of this relationship include:
  • Responsive to evolving needs
  • Comprehensive knowledge of needs and problems
  • Access to information and proprietary data
  • Corporate knowledge and technical memory
  • Objectivity and independence from commercial interests
  • Quick response capability
  • Current operational experience
  • Freedom from real and perceived conflicts of interest
  • The U.S. Navy established the Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State in 1945:
    • Eric Walker, first Director (1945-51) and Penn State President (1956-70)
    • Water Tunnel completed in 1949 as the Navy’s principal hydrodynamic facility
    • Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Acoustics established in 1965
  • In 1996, the Navy reaffirmed its strategic relationship and commitment by designating ARL as a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC);
  • ARL is a DoD Manufacturing Technology (MANTECH) Program affiliate;
  • ARL faculty and staff provide technical leadership in the Navy for our areas of expertise. Additionally, we educate the next generation of scientists and engineers for the Naval workforce;
  • ARL is the largest research unit within Penn State with more than 1,000 faculty and staff.