Aug 17, 2022  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Institution Overview


Florida Institute of Technology is an accredited, coeducational, independently controlled and supported university. It is committed to the pursuit of excellence in teaching and research in the sciences, engineering, high-tech fields, business, psychology, liberal arts, aviation and related disciplines, as well as providing the challenges that motivate students to reach their full academic and professional potential. Today, 9,200 students are enrolled in programs on and off campus, and online. More than 5,100 students attend class on the Melbourne campus and more than 1,100 at Florida Tech’s off-campus sites, while over 2,700 students are enrolled in online programs. Florida Tech offers over 260 degree programs in science, engineering, aviation, business, education, humanities, psychology and communication. Included are doctoral degrees offered in 26 disciplines and close to 100 degree programs at the master’s level.

Because of the moderate size of the student body and the university’s dedicated faculty and staff, a student at Florida Tech is recognized as an individual. Acting as individuals or as members of student organizations, students are encouraged to express their opinions on ways in which academic programs and student life might be made better for all. An active student government and student court play a meaningful part in matters affecting student life.

Many students enrolled in graduate programs, as well as undergraduates, take part in sponsored research programs and make significant contributions to project results. Florida Tech houses a number of research institutes and centers that, in collaboration with academic departments, aid in the students’ training. These institutes and centers are described more fully under “Research” in this section.

The university is organized into six academic units: the College of Aeronautics, Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, College of Engineering and Computing, College of Psychology and Liberal Arts, College of Science and School of Human-Centered Design, Innovation and Art.

The College of Aeronautics offers  bachelor of science degrees in aeronautical science, aviation administration (off-site), aviation management, aviation meteorology, and human factors and safety, each with flight and nonflight options, and the bachelor of arts in aviation management (online). The college offers the Master of Science in Aviation (M.S.A.) in airport development and management, and applied aviation safety on the Melbourne campus, and the M.S.A. in aviation management and aviation safety online. There are two master of science programs offered by the college: aviation human factors and human factors in aeronautics (online). The college offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Aviation Sciences in one of twelve aviation-related specializations, and the online Doctor of Aviation (Av.D.) for professionals in the aviation industry.

The Nathan M. Bisk College of Business includes the Department of Extended Studies and its off-campus sites. Online associate degrees are offered in accounting, business administration, healthcare management and marketing. Bachelor’s degrees on the Melbourne campus are offered in business administration (variety of specialized areas), business and environmental studies and information systems. Bachelor of Arts degrees are offered online in accounting and in business administration (variety of specialized areas). The master of business administration is offered on campus, at off-campus sites and online in a variety of specialized areas. The master of science in information technology is offered online in the areas of cybersecurity, database administration and enterprise resource planning. Degrees offered off-campus through the Department of Extended Studies provide a number of specialized master’s degrees, and the master and doctor of business administration. Extended studies students may also take some of their courses online through the department’s Virtual Site.

The College of Engineering and Computing includes seven departments (biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering and construction management, electrical and computer engineering, engineering systems, mechanical and aerospace engineering, ocean engineering and sciences), and the School of Computing. The School of Computing is home to the Harris Institute for Assured Information. Programs offered in addition to those included in the department names are biological oceanography, chemical oceanography, coastal zone management, computer information systems, earth remote sensing, engineering management, environmental resource management, environmental science, flight test engineering, geological oceanography, information assurance and cybersecurity, ocean engineering, physical oceanography and software engineering.

The College of Psychology and Liberal Arts includes the School of Arts and Communication, the School of Behavior Analysis, the School of Psychology and the military science program (Army ROTC). The college offers bachelor’s degrees in applied behavior analysis, forensic psychology, humanities, multiplatform journalism, psychology and strategic communication. Master’s degrees are offered in applied behavior analysis, global strategic communication, industrial/organizational psychology and organizational behavior management, and an online master’s degree in organization leadership. Doctoral degrees are offered in behavior analysis, clinical psychology and industrial/organizational psychology. In addition to the programs offered on campus, the college offers associate degrees in applied psychology, liberal arts and criminal justice and bachelor’s degrees in applied psychology and criminal justice through Florida Tech Online, and the master of arts degree in professional behavior analysis in a combination of online and on-site study and practice.

The College of Science includes of the departments of biological sciences, chemistry, education and interdisciplinary studies, mathematical sciences, and physics and space sciences. Bachelor’s degrees are offered in all of these areas and in applied mathematics, astrobiology, astronomy and astrophysics, biochemistry, biomathematics, genomics and molecular genetics, meteorology, planetary science and sustainability studies. Master’s degrees are offered in applied mathematics, biochemistry, conservation technology, education (also including educational technology, elementary science, and environmental, mathematics and science education), meteorology, operations research, physics, space sciences and teaching. Advanced degrees include the Specialist in Education, and doctoral degrees in applied mathematics, biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics education, operations research, physics, science education and space sciences.

The School of Human-Centered Design, Innovation and Art offers both master’s and doctoral degrees in human-centered design, and is home to Human-Centered Design Institute located on the third floor of Harris Commons.

The Evans Library and Learning Commons provides information resources and assistance to students and researchers in all Florida Tech disciplines, in a welcoming environment, in-person and online. 

Bibliographic resources include over 100 databases with access to journal articles, eBooks, conference proceedings, and other scholarly periodicals; curriculum-focused print and multimedia collections; and government documents provided via participation in the Federal Depository Library Program. The Harry P. Weber University Archives and Historical Timeline document Florida Tech’s history, and special collections include the papers of Edwin A. Link, Major General Bruce Medaris and poet laureate Edmund Skellings. Florida Tech researchers’ scholarly papers, theses and dissertations are collected and distributed through the open-access Scholarship Repository at Florida Tech.

Librarians and staff guide students through the research process with expertise, and offer reference service and research assistance both in the library and online via chat and email. Course-integrated, for-credit, and informal instruction is offered year-round by dedicated instruction librarians, and a Graduate Research Workshop is available each fall and spring, both on campus and online through the library website (

Florida Tech Online is the partnership between Florida Tech and Bisk, whose mission is to prepare adult students, wherever they may be, for rewarding and productive professional careers in a work environment that is increasingly global in scope, driven by rapidly changing technology and focused on quality. In pursuit of this mission, Florida Tech Online seeks to provide students with the finest possible education using the most appropriate delivery technology. Florida Tech Online offers an education reflective of current best practices and taught by instructors who are fully qualified academically and by the virtue of professional practice. The partnership provides nontraditional students invaluable online access to a quality education.

Through the partnership, Florida Tech brings the classroom to the student with instructor-led, interactive programs that offer the same high-quality programs online that are offered to on-campus students. Associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees can be earned anytime, anywhere. The superior interactive delivery allows easy work-life balance with the ability to schedule classes around a busy lifestyle. No actual classroom attendance is ever required in order to receive the same degree as on-campus students, with the option to participate in the Melbourne campus commencement exercises.

Accreditation and Memberships

Florida Institute of Technology is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Florida Institute of Technology. The commission requests they be contacted only if there is evidence that appears to support an institution’s significant noncompliance with a requirement or standard.

The university is approved by the Office of Education of the U.S. Department of Education.

The university is a member of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, the American Council on Education, the College Entrance Examination Board and the American Society for Engineering Education.

The College of Engineering and Computing has nine programs accredited by ABET ( The undergraduate programs accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET are aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, ocean engineering and software engineering. The undergraduate computer science program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Florida Institute of Technology is approved by the Florida Department of Education to offer the STEM Education bachelor’s degree when completed with another STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) major.

The undergraduate program in chemistry is certified by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society. Students may obtain ACS-certified degrees by following a prescribed curriculum.

The aeronautical science and aviation management programs are accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI).

The Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Specialization, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (750 First Street NE, Washington, D.C., 20002-4212; 202-336-5979). The graduate programs in applied behavior analysis are accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).

The Nathan M. Bisk College of Business is an accredited member of the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). A list of accredited business programs can be found at The master of business administration-project management degree program is also accredited by the Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC).

Florida Institute of Technology is certified to operate at off-campus sites in Virginia by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Florida Institute of Technology programs at the Maryland site are approved by the Maryland State Higher Education Commission.

Florida Institute of Technology is approved to offer online education in the State of Kansas by the Kansas Board of Regents.

Florida Institute of Technology is registered with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.

Operation and Control

Florida Tech was granted a charter as a nonprofit corporation by the State of Florida in December 1958. The corporate charter established the school as an independent institution of higher learning with academic programs leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees. The charter ensures the university will be coeducational in character and admission will be open to all qualified applicants regardless of race, gender, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation or protected veteran status. Under the corporate charter, control of the university is vested in a self-perpetuating board of trustees. Members of the board are selected based on outstanding ability, integrity and personal interest in the development and preservation of the university.

The university is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Florida Tech provides access to higher education for persons with disabilities through the Academic Support Center. Individuals are encouraged to contact the office at 321-674-7110 to obtain information about the process of registering for accommodation and services.

Campus Environment

Florida Tech’s campus is located in Melbourne on Florida’s Space Coast. The area offers a delightful year-round subtropical climate and inviting ocean beaches. The campus is within an hour’s drive from the entertainment areas in Central Florida and is part of the Florida High Tech Corridor.

The university’s location gives it a unique place in the academic world. Corporations whose scientists and engineers are making tomorrow’s technological breakthroughs for the U.S. space program surround the Kennedy Space Center. The space center’s proximity allows easy interaction between space center personnel and the university community. Moreover, the growing number of innovative high-tech businesses and industries in the Melbourne area help to make Florida’s business environment one of the most promising and exciting in the nation, and helps university professors to stay abreast of the latest challenges and developments in the scientific, technical and business worlds. With both the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean nearby, students in the oceanography, aquaculture, environmental science and marine biology programs have ready access to the beaches and waters for a variety of field experiments and research projects. Overall, Florida Tech’s location is ideal for keeping pace with developments in science, technology and business.


The Botanical Garden is a lush Florida forest of palm, water oak and tropical vegetation on campus. Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks on the pathways through this garden. One path, the Dent Smith Trail, is named in honor of the man who founded the Palm Society and contributed significantly to the university’s palm collection. More than 200 species of palm, some quite rare, are found on the campus.

The Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust provided Florida Tech with $1.5 million to fund the operations center for FIT Aviation, to both house its flight training programs and to run its training facility. Located at Melbourne International Airport, the Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research includes a 50-seat multipurpose/training room, a lobby with displays to showcase Florida Tech’s aviation achievements, student lounge with airfield viewing, instructors lounge, briefing rooms, weather/flight planning room and general operation offices.

The Nathan M. Bisk College of Business building is located north of the campus on Babcock Street, and houses offices for business faculty and administrators, and a Student Resource Center.

The Center for Aeronautics and Innovation (CAI) features multipurpose conference space with lobby displays to showcase aeronautics at FIT and the Florida Tech Research Park. The center houses the main office for FIT Aviation including the EASA and Air Carrier Training programs, various simulator high bays, and training rooms and classrooms. Offices for the Florida Tech Research Park, external relations and economic development are also located in this building to facilitate outreach to businesses and the community and to promote colocation for high-tech companies. CAI also houses the home office for the NCAA Sunshine State Conference.

The seven-story Frederick C. Crawford Building provides space for modern laboratories, classrooms and faculty offices for the mathematical sciences and the School of Arts and Communication. Also in the Crawford Building are the offices of the vice president for research and assistant vice president for institutional compliance.

Florida Tech merged with the former Brevard Art Museum through a $1 million gift from the Foosaner Foundation to form the Foosaner Art Museum at 1463 Highland Avenue in the Eau Gallie Arts District in Melbourne, Florida. The museum complex encompasses over 28,000 square feet and includes the Art Museum with galleries, a gift shop, collections storage and administrative offices; the Harris Community Auditorium, used for lectures, demonstrations, meetings and performances; the Renee Foosaner Education Center, composed of painting, drawing and pottery studios; and the Frits van Eeden Gallery.

The Foosaner Art Museum seeks to stimulate thought, inspire creativity and enrich the community by offering diverse, high-quality visual arts exhibitions and educational programs, and by augmenting, preserving, and presenting its world-class permanent collection. Admission is free for Florida Tech students, faculty and staff.

The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts is dedicated to furthering the understanding of cultural and creative achievements in the textile and fiber arts through public exhibitions and educational programs.

The center’s growing permanent collection includes more than 1,200 objects. Highlighting the collection are traditional handmade textiles, embroidery, garments and related accessories from Africa, Japan, India and Central Asia; European and North American embroidery and samplers from the 17th through 20th centuries; and contemporary wearable art and fiber arts. The two-story center features 3,000 square feet of exhibition space.

The Ruth Funk Center preserves and displays an international collection of textiles through rotating public exhibitions and educational programs including free lectures and events for the campus community, work study and volunteer opportunities for students and free admission for the general public.

The 500-seat W. Lansing Gleason Performing Arts Center is designed for stage plays, musical productions, scientific displays, lectures, seminars, camps and conferences. It is equipped with a complete control booth for professional stage facilities, lighting and sound. The facility is equipped with both C- and KU-band, and digital satellite downlink services that can be incorporated into productions and viewed on a large screen. Situated in the central portion of the campus, the center is a cultural asset to the university and surrounding community.

A $5 million gift from Community Foundation of Brevard and Harris Corporation funded the Harris Institute for Assured Information housed in the 29,000-sq.-ft. Harris Center for Science and Engineering (see “Research” in this section). The center houses department and staff offices of the School of Computing and the Department of Biological Sciences.

The Harris Student Design Center is a result of a $1 million gift from the Community Foundation of Brevard and Harris Corporation. The 11,500-sq.-ft. structure serves College of Science and College of Engineering and Computing students completing capstone design projects.

The Edwin Link Building accommodates the departments of biomedical engineering, and ocean engineering and sciences, and is also home to the construction management program.

The F.W. Olin Engineering Complex houses several departments of the College of Engineering and Computing, including chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering, engineering systems, and mechanical and aerospace engineering. This three-story facility includes 26 specialized research and teaching laboratories and the 145-seat Lynn Edward Weaver Auditorium.

The F.W. Olin Life Sciences Building is the home of the biological sciences programs. This two-story facility contains eight teaching laboratories and 12 research laboratories designed with flex-space for customizing the areas to meet the needs of specific activities.

The F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Center houses the office of the dean of the College of Science; chemistry, physics and space sciences offices and laboratories; a high-bay research area; an observatory dome; and a rooftop deck area that can accommodate up to 15 additional telescopes. An 0.8-m telescope, the largest research telescope in the state of Florida, was installed in the observatory dome in November 2007 (see research in the physics and space sciences department in the College of Science  section).

The F.W. Olin Sports Complex provides state-of-the-art baseball and softball fields, a soccer field, and an intramural field for all students. The 12,600-sq.-ft. Anthony J. Catanese Varsity Training Center is located in the F.W. Olin Sports Complex. It is home to the football coaching staff offices and includes a large meeting room, locker room, laundry and equipment facilities, athletics training room and a weight training room.

The Panther Aquatic Center is located between the Clemente Center and the Panther Dining Hall. The 32,000-sq.-ft. facility features a competition pool and a recreation pool. The competition pool includes nine 25-yard lanes complete with one- and three-meter diving boards. The depth ranges from 5.5 to 13 feet. The recreation pool varies in depth from three to six feet and includes three 25-yard lanes, stair entry and wading benches. Both pools are equipped with geothermal heating and cooling systems. Varsity locker rooms and a public changing room are located on site. Covered seating is available adjacent to the competition pool.

The Scott Center for Autism Treatment is dedicated to providing the highest quality treatment, training and applied research to enhance the functioning and improve the quality of life of children with autism and related disabilities in Central Florida. The center provides empirically supported behavioral and allied health care diagnoses, assessments and treatments for children and their families; intensive training and supervision in treatment for autism and related disabilities to students enrolled in the Florida Tech behavior analysis graduate programs and to other professionals and paraprofessionals who will be working with this population; and an ongoing program of research directed toward improving clinical and behavioral outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and developing technological treatments and teaching aides for this population. Community Psychological Services on the second floor provides psychological evaluations and treatment.

The Shephard Building is the home of the education and interdisciplinary studies department that offers programs in sustainability, general science (nondegree), interdisciplinary science and athletics coaching.

George M. Skurla Hall houses the College of Aeronautics. It is a modern two-story building that includes faculty offices, classrooms, laboratories in air traffic control, advanced systems and computers, and a 125-seat auditorium. The flight training department is located nearby at the Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research.

University residence halls provide a variety of accommodations including single-sex and coed halls, with community, private or shared bathrooms. All residence hall rooms and apartments are equipped with two Ethernet connections to the university’s fiber-optic network. Southgate Village Apartments offer studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for upper-division students. Located on the edge of the Botanical Garden, Columbia Village offers fully furnished four-bedroom suites with efficiency kitchens. The Columbia Village commons building features a meeting room, laundry facilities, resident assistant office and a resident director’s apartment. Harris Village Suites offer one-, two- and four-bedroom apartments with full kitchens, and laundry and recreation areas. Priority for all housing is given to undergraduate students. Mary Star of the Sea–Newman Hall is an all faith-based residence hall with apartment-style living for 148 students. The furnished one-, two- or four-bedroom apartments encourage students to grow in their faith while pursuing academic excellence. Panther Bay Apartments Feature five-bedroom apartments with private bathrooms, fully appointed kitchens, living and dining areas, and a laundry room. The complex also features a clubhouse with meeting space, a computer lab, swimming pool, and basketball and volleyball courts.


The Academic Support Center (ASC) helps undergraduates with academic difficulties by providing tutoring and counseling directed toward both their studies and campus life as it relates to their studies. The staff responds to students’ academic concerns by offering information and referral services.

The All Faiths Center is located on the southern end of campus. It houses the Protestant Campus Ministry and the Catholic Campus Ministry. These ministries offer free dinners, daily Mass, Bible studies, community service, social activities, retreats and pastoral care.

The Applied Computing Center on the third floor of Evans Library features 57 Windows®-based computers and three Macintosh® OSX computers networked through the university’s high-speed internet. In addition to an integrated computing environment, the lab also offers computers for digital video processing with both USB and IEEE 1394 (Firewire) ports. The center has work-table space and accommodations for student groups or projects. 

The Campus Services Office provides services related to student housing, residence life, meal plan administration, ID card services, residence hall electronic door access, student health insurance enrollment, and domestic and international student health insurance waivers.

Florida Tech’s campus dining service is committed to providing the campus community with quality food and services in a clean, comfortable and friendly atmosphere. Services include traditional all-you-can-eat and á la carte locations, catered affairs, pizza delivery and grocery services. All locations accept the meal plan, cash, checks and major credit cards. For more information, visit Campus dining locations are:

Black Kats Café: The late night coffee house and lounge is located adjacent to the Rathskeller and is open daily until 1:00 a.m.

Center Court: Located in the Clemente Center on the south side of campus, Center Court offers freshly made smoothies along with grab-and-go sandwiches and salads for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday. Center Court serves a special concessions menu for varsity sports events.

Library Café: Located at the north entrance to Evans Library, the coffee shop features freshly brewed coffee and flavored iced coffee along with pastries, sandwiches and gourmet bottled beverages.

Panther Dining Hall: Is an “all you care to eat” residential dining facility open seven days per week. It features international dishes, salads, home-style entrées, pasta and grill, and comfort food stations with display cooking; the adjacent grocery store features canned and dry packaged goods with fresh and frozen foods, a slice-to-order deli, sandwiches, and hot and cold entrées to take out.

Rathskeller: Provides late night dining in a social atmosphere. The “Rat” also houses a convenience store. It is located on the ground floor of Evans Hall and is open seven days per week for lunch and late night activities with pool tables and televisions.

SUB Café & Deli: Located in the Denius Student Center building in the center of campus, the SUB is open Monday through Friday for breakfast and lunch, and offers a restaurant-style specials menu along with a grill, deli, gourmet coffee and desserts.

The Office of Career Management Services personnel assist students in obtaining employment while they are enrolled at the university through the Office of Student Employment (OSE), and professional, career-oriented, permanent employment upon graduation. Assistance in résumé writing, interviewing techniques and career counseling is available. An updated Career Resources Library is also available for student use. Current job listings are posted in prominent areas throughout the campus, in major academic units and on the career management services website. As part of career services, a résumé referral program is available for all students registered with this office. Relevant workshops are presented throughout the year.

Career management services maintains an interview schedule throughout the academic year. Students must be registered with the office for on-campus interviews with recruiters from companies seeking employees with specific academic backgrounds. Career management services annually presents two career fairs that highlight professionals, agencies, corporations and services from throughout the United States.

Summer internships are also listed by the Office of Career Management Services, and assistance is provided for local, national and international searches of internship listings and information on employers. Credit for internships can be arranged through the cooperative education program.

The cooperative education program at Florida Tech is designed to prepare students for professional careers through productive work experiences in fields related to their academic or career goals. It provides progressive experiences in integrating theory and practice. The co-op goals are to provide curriculum-related employment opportunities for students before their graduation; to provide a program containing structured work experience that will be beneficial to students in terms of both their personal and professional growth; and to assist employers in the recruitment process. Co-op is a partnership among students, educational institutions and employers.

The cooperative education program is open to all majors. Two co-op plans are offered to students, as well as the engineering Protrack co-op program for engineering majors (see College of Engineering and Computing in the Degree Programs  section). The conventional plan integrates alternating periods of full-time paid work experience with full-time academic study. The parallel plan incorporates part-time paid work experience simultaneously with a part-time academic course load. In addition, students can receive credit for approved one-term experiences or back-to-back work terms.

Students participating in the university’s cooperative education program (CWE 1001 Cooperative Education 1 , CWE 2001 Cooperative Education 2 , CWE 3001 Cooperative Education 3  and CWE 4001 Cooperative Education 4 ) receive free elective credits. College of Engineering and Computing students can use CWE 3003 Engineering Cooperative Education  for a maximum of three credit hours of technical elective. All participating students are classified as full-time students when working full time.

Availability of co-op employment opportunities varies considerably from field to field. For further co-op information, contact the assistant director in the Office of Career Management Services.

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program is a federally funded program providing students with part-time, on-campus employment. Only students who receive financial aid are eligible for this program. Work-study awards are made by the Office of Financial Aid based on need and dependent on available funds, so it is highly recommended that a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) be submitted early. Students receiving FWS employment report to the Office of Student Employment at the beginning of each academic year. There are a variety of work-study job opportunities (see “Scholarships and Financial Aid” in the Financial Overview  section).

The FWS Community Service program exists within the Federal Work-Study program. It provides off-campus part-time jobs to eligible students in nonprofit community organizations. Available positions vary each semester and may be major-related or clerical.

The Florida Work Experience Program (FWEP) is a state-funded program open to FWS students who are Florida residents. FWEP provides degree-related experience as well as income for the student.

The College Roll program provides on-campus employment for currently enrolled students. Positions are temporary part-time jobs and are not based on student need.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) promotes the best possible academic, vocational and emotional health for Florida Tech students by providing a variety of support services including individual, couples and group counseling; career assessment; psycho-educational evaluations; psychiatric consultation and medication management; outreach and consultation; and crisis intervention. All services are offered on the Melbourne campus at the corner of University Boulevard and Country Club Road, adjacent to Holzer Health Center. Additional information about CAPS services and other resources are available at

Whether from secondary schools or higher education institutions, the First Year Experience (FYE) office assists new students on the Melbourne campus in their transition to the university by providing advising and coordinating programs throughout the first year. The office coordinates orientation events on campus and the two student success courses (FYE 1000 University Experience  and FYE 1005 Strategies for Success ).

FYE advisors provide academic advising to all first-time-in-college students who enter the university with less than 30 earned credit hours. The associate director of transfer and transition programs provides academic advising to transfer students with less than 30 earned credit hours, and assists transfer students with 30 or more credit hours with non-academic issues. After the first year, students transition to their appointed faculty advisors in their academic departments.

The Digital Scholarship Laboratory (DSL) on the second floor of Evans Library provides graphics intensive applications, rendering and visualization, a large video display wall, interactive computing, geographic information systems (GIS), large-scale multi-touch displays, virtual reality, prototyping and creation (3D printing, scanning, etc.), textual analysis and data management.

Holzer Health Center is operated by Premier Urgent Care, a private medical provider. All full-time and part-time students may use this facility and receive free office visits and consultations. Students may use their university student health insurance or third-party insurance (in accordance with their health insurance policy provisions) along with personal funds to pay for any additional services provided by Premier. Students are required to present their Florida Tech Student ID cards to be seen at the health center.

The health center provides medical services covering a wide range of health care needs including routine illness, minor injuries, and referrals for radiology and diagnostic services, and works to protect the student body from the spread of communicable diseases. Appointments may be made with any of their health care providers at no charge (sports and internal medicine physicians, nurse practitioners, dieticians). Appointments for chiropractic or psychiatric services will be charged to insurance. The health center will assist the student with referrals to local specialists for care of chronic illness and when other medical conditions necessitate such treatment.

All students must provide a completed vaccination report, verified by the signature of the student’s health care provider, including proof of the required immunizations, whether or not they plan to use the health center. Exemptions to the immunization policy shall apply only if a student submits a written statement signed by their church, hall, temple or spiritual leader that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with their religious tenets or practices; or a licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant submits written certification that the student should be exempt from the required immunization based on valid clinical reasoning or evidence, and describing the need for an exemption. The letter must state if it is a lifelong exemption or dictate when the student would no longer require medical exemption from immunization. All medical exemptions will be reviewed by the university’s medical director.

To protect the student and community, if an outbreak of a communicable infection should occur on campus, the student agrees to remain off campus for the duration of the outbreak and for 30 days after the last case is diagnosed.

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is dedicated to advancing Florida Tech’s focus on student success and quality educational experiences by representing the needs and interests of its international community and providing a wide range of services and programs for international students, faculty, scholars, staff and their dependents.

ISSS provides advising and interpretation of U.S. government regulations; serves as liaison with the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, sponsoring agencies, community cultural organizations and foreign embassies; provides orientation and informational programs; and promotes intercultural exchange programs between international students and the university community. (See “Admission Guidelines” for international students in the Academic Overview  section)

ISSS has a close working relationship with numerous international student cultural organizations on campus that assist with welcoming new students and fostering cross-cultural appreciation. ISSS also works with Florida Tech departments to facilitate the hiring of international faculty and staff, process H-1B employment visas, and advise on permanent residence sponsorship policy.

It is mandatory that all students who are in F1 or J1 non-immigrant status (without legal permanent residence) check in with their immigration documents at the Office of International Student and Scholar Services on their arrival. New vocational flight students in M1 status should check in at FIT Aviation.

The Math Achievement Center provides personalized help in mathematics at all levels for Florida Tech main campus students. The center is open Monday through Friday and is located in the academic quad near the president’s office. See for schedules and to make appointments.

The Military Science Program has coordinators available to assist any qualified student to achieve a Senior Army ROTC scholarship. More information about the Florida Tech military science program can be found under the College of Psychology and Liberal Arts in the Degree Programs  section.

The Office of Military Affairs for Melbourne campus students is located in Harris Commons and has a coordinator available to assist veterans and their dependents with both university and VA-related matters. Florida Tech Online students should contact the military veterans affairs coordinator at 321-674-8204 or by email to, and extended studies students, the site director at their location.


Several study-abroad opportunities are available to students at Florida Tech through the Office of Graduate and International Programs. Some of these diverse programs are discipline-specific and target either undergraduate or graduate students. Consult the Florida Tech website for an overview of available international programs.

A short-term summer program is also available for students interested in studying at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. The Florida Tech at Oxford program offers numerous core curriculum courses and is open to all student levels and majors. Students earn six credit hours while studying at Oxford University. Reduced tuition is available. Additional information about studying abroad is available from the Office of Graduate and International Programs.


Institutes, Centers and Major Laboratories

Over the past decade, Florida Tech has made major additions and improvements to facilities that enhance the research components of nearly all aspects of undergraduate and graduate education. Along with these facility improvements, a number of research centers have been established to focus on particular areas of study and in many cases encourage interdisciplinary collaboration. These centers and the facilities where they are located represent a significant research capability that supplements the various department- and program-related activities and facilities described in this catalog.

The Florida Tech campus has been transformed in the past ten years into a world-class research center. Spring 2013 saw the complete renovation of the Edwin Link Building into a 30,000-sq.-ft. research and educational facility for the departments of ocean and engineering sciences and biomedical engineering. The university also officially designated the Florida Tech Center for Aeronautics and Innovation to serve as the central office for the Florida Tech Research Park. During the Fall 2013, Florida Tech accepted a donation of five acres of property located in nearby Palm Bay, Florida, containing a 100,494-sq.-ft. research and development center designed for manufacturing, office space and cleanroom facilities, establishing the Florida Tech Research and Development Center. In 2012, Harris Commons was completed and offers 2,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art research laboratories for the College of Psychology and Liberal Arts. The research area includes data analysis laboratories, subject testing areas, applied behavioral analysis rooms and a dedicated conference room for faculty-sponsored research. Completed in 2009, the Harris Center for Science and Engineering provides 29,000 square feet for computer science, aquaculture and fish biology research programs. The Harris Center also houses the nationally recognized Harris Institute for Assured Information. At 22,000-sq.-ft., The Scott Center for Autism Treatment opened in 2008 and provides the highest quality treatment, training and applied research to enhance the quality of life of children with autism spectrum disorders.

Two teaching/research buildings were completed on the Melbourne campus in 1999: the F.W. Olin Engineering Complex and the F.W. Olin Life Sciences Building. The engineering complex is a 68,500-sq.-ft. facility housing 26 specialized research laboratories. The 37,000-sq.-ft. life sciences building houses 12 research laboratories designed with flex-space to meet the needs of specific activities. The 70,000-sq.-ft. F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Center, completed in 2004, houses the departments of chemistry, and physics and space sciences and includes numerous specialty and teaching labs.

Particularly noteworthy is the multidisciplinary Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) located less than two miles from the Melbourne campus. The ARL houses research in ocean engineering, advanced materials, polymer flammability, lasers and electrooptics, psychology, neural network-based autonomous sensing systems and high magnetic-field physics.

Florida Tech has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance-Research (CAE-R) by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Designed to recognize schools that integrate research activities into the curriculum and classroom, and maintain a high quality of information assurance research, Florida Tech is one of only two universities in Florida with this distinction.

In just the past two years, the university has seen a major resurgence in the number of proposals for funded research. The current value of research and sponsored projects is over $122 million. University research faculty expended $21 million to buy equipment, support students, pay salaries and cover general expenses. In addition to over a dozen research centers, ten new interdisciplinary research institutes provide focal points for Florida Tech undergraduate and graduate research. Brief descriptions of Florida Tech’s research institutes and centers follow. Not included here is research within the various degree-granting academic units, described by department in the Degree Programs  section.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)

Since 1989, students and faculty of Florida Tech have benefited from its membership in Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). In 1946, ORAU began as an outgrowth of the Manhattan Project. Over the years, through its university consortium, it has provided opportunities for the nation’s leading scientists. Since those early years both the mission and reach of ORAU have grown significantly. What began with fourteen universities in the southeast has grown to over 100 top research institutions located in the U. S. as well as one international university.

ORAU provides innovative, scientific and technical solutions to its customers, which include the U.S. Department of Energy, more than 20 state and federal agencies and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, by advancing national priorities in science, health, education and national security. This is accomplished by integrating unique laboratory capabilities, specialized teams of experts and the research prowess of consortium members. ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, which supports government agencies that value an integrated solution incorporating state-of-the-art science and technology in an era of consolidated government contracts requiring research informed delivery of critical services.

In addition to support for government agencies, ORAU provides opportunities for teachers and students through a variety of fellowships, grants, scholarships, workshops and joint faculty appointments. Many of these programs are designed for minority students pursuing degrees in science and engineering fields. Participation and financial support for science education and workforce development programs is now nearly 8,500 participants and $241 million. The ORAU University Partnerships Office supports new faculty just beginning their careers through the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, individual faculty collaboration with other scientists at member universities and ORNL, and member schools with larger collaborative efforts.

For more information about ORAU and its programs, contact the Florida Tech ORAU Councilor and Associate Vice President for Research, Tristan J. Fiedler, at 321-674-7723; Monnie E. Champion, ORAU Corporate Secretary at 865-576-3306; or online at

Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA)

Daniel P. Batcheldor, Ph.D., Professor and Head, Physics and Space Sciences, Director. SARA is a consortium of thirteen universities founded by Florida Tech that operates one-meter-class automated telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in Chile and the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on the Canary Islands. The SARA members are Florida Tech, East Tennessee State University, Valdosta State University, Florida International University, Clemson University, Ball State University, Agnes Scott College, University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Valparaiso University, Butler University, Texas A&M-Commerce, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Florida Gulf Coast University. The Instituto de Astrofisica de Canaries is an associate member. The observatories can be operated by an astronomer on-site as well as remotely from the SARA institution campuses. These facilities support faculty and student research activities in a wide variety of areas such as planetary science, stellar astronomy and active galactic nuclei.

Research Institutes

Harris Institute for Assured Information (HIAI)

Marco Carvalho, Ph.D., Dean, College of Engineering and Computing and Professor, Computer Science, Executive Director. The mission of the Harris Institute for Assured Information (HIAI) is to advance the field of computer security through interdisciplinary approaches to education, research and outreach. Supporting Florida Tech’s designation as a DHS/NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Research, HIAI provides a unique environment for innovation, technology transfer, and the development of cutting-edge research.

Human-Centered Design Institute (HCDI)

Guy A. Boy, Ph.D., University Professor, Executive Director. HCDI members are faculty, permanent and visiting research scientists and graduate students conducting research in cognitive engineering, advanced interaction media, complexity analysis for human-centered design, life-critical systems, human-centered organization design and management, and modeling and simulation. The mission of the HCDI is to promote interdisciplinary research to science, engineering, arts, and human and social sciences through education, research and outreach, by providing a single point of contact for students, faculty, funding agencies and businesses, and by crossing traditional academic disciplines to promote innovation, leadership and design thinking.

Indian River Lagoon Research Institute

Robert J. Weaver, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Ocean Engineering, Executive Director; Jonathan M. Shenker, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biological Sciences and Kevin B. Johnson, Ph.D., Professor, Environmental Sciences and Oceanography, Co-Directors. The mission of the IRLRI is to develop and implement sustainable solutions for the revitalization and maintenance of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), with solutions applicable beyond the IRL. The institute addresses the causes of coastal water quality degradation by engineering sustainable solutions that will restore a healthy resilient ecosystem. The IRLRI focuses on engineering technologies to remove the muck and nutrients from the water in the lagoon, better understanding the flow (circulation modeling and forecasting), supporting policy changes to reduce the amount of nutrient and fine sediments, restoring habitat in the lagoon (seagrass, oyster, mangrove and salt marsh), restoring the invertebrates and fisheries, developing effective management practices, and community outreach and education.

Institute for Cross-Cultural Management (ICCM)

Richard L. Griffith, Ph.D., Professor, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Executive Director. The institute’s mission is to help organizations adapt, prepare and prosper in the global environment. To effectively reach its mission goals, ICCM is organized into two directorates, research and professional development. ICCM research concentrates on issues that affect daily business conduct such as cross-cultural competency, managing multicultural work groups, expatriation/repatriation and global leadership. This research informs the professional development activities, which train global leaders in the corporate, government and military sectors to effectively manage cultural challenges..

Institute for Energy Systems (IES)

Y.I. Sharaf-Eldeen, Ph.D., P.E., Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Mary H. McCay, Ph.D., P.E., Research Professor Emerita, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Co-Directors. The mission of the IES is to provide an intellectually stimulating environment for faculty and students to conduct funded research in areas of national need. National energy policy identifies these needs to be: (1) increasing domestic energy supplies; (2) increasing America’s use of renewable and alternative energy; (3) increasing energy conservation and efficiency; (4) developing a comprehensive delivery system; (5) enhancing national energy security and international relationships; and (6) sustaining the nation’s health and environment.

Institute for Marine Research (IMR)

Jonathan M. Shenker, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biological Sciences and Geoffrey W.J. Swain, Ph.D., Professor, Oceanography and Ocean Engineering, Co-Directors. Study of the marine environment is a cornerstone of teaching and research at Florida Tech, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The mission of the IMR is to advance marine research, education and outreach by coordinating shared facility management, recruiting scholars and students, encouraging interdisciplinary research, and promoting collegiality and cohesiveness within the university. Marine research resides primarily within the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science, and the Department of Ocean Engineering and Sciences in the College of Engineering and Computing. Facilities include an environmentally controlled Aqualab with seawater system on the Melbourne Campus. Shared facilities are centered around the Ralph S. Evinrude Marine Operations Center. The operations center is a 3.5-acre facility on the Indian River Lagoon where the university houses a fleet of boats for research and education, and the university’s diving operations.

Institute for Research on Global Climate Change

Robert Van Woesik, Ph.D., Professor, Biological Sciences, Director. Over the next century, the Earth’s average surface temperature is predicted to rise above temperatures that have not been experienced for over 400,000 years. Such a change in climate will increase the risk of drought, erratic weather, sea-level rise, ocean warming and wildlife diseases. The mission of the institute is to: (1) foster climate-change research that will lead to improved decision-making from local to international levels; (2) provide world-class research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate researchers; and (3) promote interdisciplinary collaborations leading to new understandings of climate change and adaptation. Since the end of 2009 when the institute was initiated, researchers have published over 149 scholarly articles on climate change in international journals.

Sportfish Research Institute (SRI)

Jonathan M. Shenker, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, Director. SRI is dedicated to studies of the sport fishery species that are tremendously important to Florida and and the Caribbean, and the restoration of depleted populations. Current research includes studies on the response of juvenile fishes to removal of muck from habitats in the Indian River Lagoon, the use of the IRL mangrove marshes as a nursery habitat for juvenile tarpon, snook and other fishes, and analysis of spawning biology and larval biology of bonefish in the Bahamas and Cuba. The bonefish work, coupled with aquaculture research on bonefish at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, aims to help restore their population in the Florida Keys. SRI personnel present talks and provide information to local and regional sport fishing organizations and publications. Funded in part by state and local grants, SRI also seeks funding and participation from corporations associated with the fishing industry and from private individuals.

Research Centers

Center for Corrosion and Biofouling Control (CCBC)

Geoffrey W.J. Swain, Ph.D., Professor, Oceanography and Ocean Engineering, Director. The mission of the center is to understand the processes of biofouling and corrosion, and to develop and apply innovative solutions for control and prevention. Its objectives are to advance the state-of-the-art in corrosion and biofouling control; to establish mutually beneficial collaborative relationships with local, national and international university, government and industrial partners; and to provide graduate and undergraduate students a world-class research and educational experience that prepares them for both academic and industrial professional opportunities. Current research activities include testing and evaluation of antifouling systems; investigation of hydrodynamic performance of ship hull coatings; the development of autonomous underwater hull cleaning systems; investigating the mechanisms of adhesion and release of fouling to novel biocide-free coating systems; and monitoring the performance of antifouling coatings through dry dock inspections.

Center for Entrepreneurship and New Business Development (CENBD)

Robert F. Keimer Jr., M.I.A., Instructor, Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, Director. The Center for Entrepreneurship and New Business Development integrates entrepreneurial education, training and research in pursuit of enterprise creation, sustainability and growth. The center fosters partnerships among students, faculty, community members and entrepreneurs. These partnerships support an educational environment bridging theory and practice in pursuit of early-stage innovation, business leadership and new business ventures. The center encompasses Momentum, the Student Business Incubator (SBI) and the Entrepreneurial Training Services (ETS) program. Momentum offers students physical space, resources, guidance and mentorship, access to financial capital and education directed at assistance in launching student-owned businesses. The ETS program offers entrepreneurs intensive training on business development, supported by business faculty, community leaders and business area experts. The center offers students a variety of extracurricular activities and events targeting the need for new venture creation knowledge. These events include a series of Entrepreneur-in-Residence talks, business plan competitions and cross disciplinary hackathons.

Center for High Resolution Microscopy and Imaging (CHRMI)

Michael S. Grace, Ph.D., Associate Dean, College of Science and Professor, Biological Sciences, Director. The center is a multidisciplinary laboratory providing state-of-the art light and fluorescence microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy and x-ray microanalysis of natural and artificial materials. The CHRMI contains necessary equipment and expertise to prepare almost any kind of sample for microscopic evaluation, to image sample surfaces and cross-sections at very high resolutions and to analyze elemental compositions of materials. Support staff maintains instrumentation and trains users in sample preparation and analyses of microstructure and microchemistry. Image collection is both film-based and digital. Support platforms provide detailed image analysis capabilities.

Center for Lifecycle and Innovation Management (CLIM)

Abram L.J. Walton, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, Director and Darrel L. Sandall, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, Assistant Director. The mission of the Center for Lifecycle and Innovation Management (CLIM) is to serve as an interdisciplinary center integrating concepts of business analytics, innovation science, product design, engineering, manufacturing, support and disposal functions for the development of international applied research on, and the dissemination and education of, the use of innovation, business analytics and product lifecycle management (PLM) concepts, processes and practices in industry. The objectives of the CLIM are to be the preeminent independent source of expertise and knowledge regarding the development and use of innovation strategies in creating and assessing value for product and service organizations, providing thoughtful leadership in setting the direction and standards of innovation science and PLM, and educating and training organizations in the concepts and capabilities of people, processes, practices and technologies as it pertains to PLM and innovation.

Center for Medical Materials and Photonics (CMMP)

Michael B. Fenn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Director. Biomedical engineering faculty and international collaborators have initiated an innovative center for medical materials and photonics that provides world-leading programs in: third generation bioactive materials including bioactive materials for regenerative medicine, load bearing orthopedic and dental devices, intelligent wound care systems and materials for sports medicine repair and reconstruction; medical photonics including laser and bio-Raman-based cancer detection and therapeutics, human cell-based screening for toxicology, pharmaceutical and biomaterials screening, and patient specific diagnosis and therapy analyses. The center will provide education and research opportunities at the undergraduate, graduate and post-doctorate levels.

Center for Organizational Effectiveness

Lisa A. Steelman, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean and Professor, College of Psychology and Liberal Arts, Director. The Center for Organizational Effectiveness is a research and consulting center managed by industrial/organizational psychology faculty and graduate students. The mission of the center is to provide human capital measurement and talent management strategies to promote effective organizations. Its customized solutions help organizations hire, train and retain high-performing employees. The center conducts research and provides consulting services in all areas of industrial/ organizational psychology including selection and assessment, training and development, survey research and organizational development, and career development and succession planning.

Center for Remote Sensing (CRS)

Charles R. Bostater Jr., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Physical Oceanography and Environmental Sciences, Director. The center’s purpose is to encourage excellence in the development and application of remote sensing science and technology. It is organized as a collaborative center among and between faculty within the College of Engineering and Computing, College of Science and College of Aeronautics. Under the authority of the Space Grant Act of 1988, Florida Tech is a member of the Southeastern Space Consortium and the Florida Space Grant Colleges Consortium. The center has consulted and provided services to defense contractors, NASA centers and contractors, the Department of Energy and its subcontractors, state of Florida water management agencies, the Department of State and U.S. Department of Education, and is affiliated with foreign institutions and organizations. Facilities for remote sensing teaching and research include the ERDAS Image Analysis System, Evans Library, the Geographical Information Systems Laboratory, the Marine and Environmental Optics Laboratory and the Synoptic Meteorological Laboratory. Various laboratories and facilities in academic and research computing; computer science; aerospace, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering; physics and space sciences; and space systems are also available. Field studies can be conducted through the College of Aeronautics’ fleet of aircraft. The university operates several small boats and charters a well-equipped vessel for offshore, estuarine and river work. Center faculty offer a wide variety of courses at the graduate and undergraduate level, including environmental satellite systems and data, hydroacoustics, digital image processing, and environmental optics for remote sensing.

Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation

Samuel T. Durrance, Ph.D. Professor, Physics and Space Sciences, and Daniel R. Kirk, Ph.D., Professor, Aerospace Engineering, Co-Directors. The center is a partnership of academia, government and private industry addressing the current and future challenges for commercial space transportation. The center encompasses four primary research areas: (1) space traffic management and operations; (2) space transportation operations, technologies and payloads; (3) human spaceflight; and (4) space transportation industry promotion.

Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for General Aviation (PEGASAS)

Stephen K. Cusick, J.D., Associate Professor, College of Aeronautics, Director and Deborah S. Carstens, Ph.D., Professor, College of Aeronautics, Assistant Director. This center is commonly known as the “Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability” (PEGASAS). It is comprised of world-renowned universities and institutes with top-tier aviation programs as well as highly respected schools of engineering, science and policy. The mission of the center is to provide the FAA with a national network of researchers, educators and industry leaders to address a broad spectrum of general aviation issues.

Florida Center for Automotive Research (FCAR)

Gerald J. Micklow, Ph.D., P.E., Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Director. The Florida Center for Automotive Engineering (FCAR) is dedicated to studying innovative solutions that affect future transportation and mobility. Tomorrow’s mobility will be strongly affected by energy and environmental consequences, safety, information and communication systems, and lifestyle and consumer choices. The mission statement is to promote the education of students in the broad areas of motor sports and automotive engineering through theoretical and applied instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels and through interaction with and support of industry. Further, a major goal of FCAR will be to develop a nationally recognized program in alternative fuels and renewable energy for the next generation of low pollutant emission high efficiency engines and vehicles.

National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance-Research (CAE-R)

Marco Carvalho, Ph.D., Executive Director, Harris Institute for Assured Information. Florida Tech has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance-Research (CAE-R) by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This certification is designed to recognize schools that integrate research activities into the curriculum and classroom, and maintain a high quality of information assurance research.

National Center for Hydrogen Research (NCHR)

Mary H. McCay, Ph.D., Research Professor Emerita, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Director. The NCHR has recently developed an interdisciplinary hydrogen and fuel cell technology academic program under the sponsorship of the Department of Energy (DOE). The objectives of this program are to develop undergraduate modules, enquiry-based laboratory experiments and a graduate area of specialization academic program that will enable the growth of research and development in the arena of hydrogen and fuel cell technology. Currently, the NCHR is developing a renewable energy plan to build a training airport facility. Research being conducted in the high heat flux and plasma spray facilities includes the production and testing of high temperature materials for use in turbines. Faculty associated with the center are currently conducting research in computational modeling of fuel cells, fiber-optic sensors suitable for safety applications and systems monitoring, hydrogen storage mediums, the interaction of hydrogen with materials, and hydrogen purification techniques.

Ralph S. Evinrude Marine Operations Center

Captain Timothy Fletcher, Director, Marine and Outdoor Operations. The center houses small outboard-powered skiffs and medium-sized workboats. These vessels and adjoining support facilities are available to graduate students and faculty for teaching and research use in the tributaries and the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). The IRL is a national estuary and is the most biodiverse estuary system in North America. The scientific dive training program, dive locker and diving safety office are located at the center. The dive program is taught every spring and is available to students, staff and faculty who wish to use SCUBA or compressed gas in the pursuit of research or education. The diving locker contains a full suite of equipment including cylinders, BCDs, regulators, wet suits and emergency oxygen cylinders that are available for those who have completed the dive training program. The facility is located on a 3.5 acre site at the confluence of Crane Creek and the IRL, approximately 1.5 miles from the main campus. The Florida Tech challenge course operations office, national champion crew team, champion concrete canoe team and Sailing Club are housed at the center.

The Scott Center for Autism Treatment

Michael E. Kelley, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Executive Director; Ivy Chong, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Director, Autism Services and Training; Barbara Paulillo, Psy.D., Director, Psychological Services. The Scott Center for Autism Treatment was established to provide state-of-the art service, training and applied research for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families. It is an integral service/research/training component of Florida Tech’s School of Psychology. Services are provided by faculty and graduate students from psychology graduate programs in applied behavior analysis and clinical psychology and will expand to include other allied health professionals in speech pathology, occupational therapy and medicine. Services provided include: (1) diagnostic and testing services; (2) early intervention services for young children (i.e., 2–9 years of age) with autism and their families; (3) behavior assessment and intervention services for children, adolescents and adults with autism and/or related disabilities who exhibit challenging behavior (e.g., self-injury, aggression, property destruction, stereotypy); (4) feeding disorder assessment and treatment services for children ages 2–10; (5) social skills’ training for children and adolescents who have autism, Asperger’s disorder and related disabilities; (6) counseling and psychological services; (7) training workshops and seminars for parents and teachers who work with children with autism and related disabilities; (8) courses for individuals interested in obtaining certification as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® and/or a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.® The Scott Center for Autism Treatment has an ongoing program of research directed at improving clinical and behavioral outcomes for children with ASD.

Major Research Laboratories

Aerospace Systems and Propulsion Laboratory (ASAP)

Daniel R. Kirk, Ph.D., Professor, Aerospace Engineering, and Hector Gutierrez, Ph.D., P.E., Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Co-Directors. The ASAP Laboratory’s mission is to support activities related to the development, integration and operation of advanced aerospace systems and propulsion technologies. The laboratory supports research related to a wide variety of aerospace projects including vision-based guidance, navigation and control of small spacecraft, fluid mechanics and thermal management in microgravity environments, characterization of physical properties of propellants, real-time instrumentation and control of flexible aerospace structures, combustion modeling and the integration of thermal-fluid systems with computer-aided instrumentation and real-time control.

Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory (BNL)

Michael S. Grace, Ph.D., Associate Dean, College of Science and Professor, Biological Sciences, Director. The BNL is dedicated to the neural mechanisms of behavior in vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Much of the laboratory’s work focuses on vision and other sensory systems, from the molecules of initial sensation through all levels of organization including cellular function, cell-to-cell communication in the nervous system and observable behavior. Molecular biology, biochemistry, high resolution microscopy and analysis of behavior including operant conditioning are used to investigate a variety of sensory issues that include infrared imaging systems in snakes, development of vision in marine fish and endangered sea turtles, pheromonal communication in marine invertebrates and brain organization and function in one of the smallest vertebrate animals on Earth. BNL personnel provide expertise in designing and conducting experiments in both the laboratory and field, and at almost any level of biological organization. The mission of the BNL is to define the neural mechanisms that underlie complex behavior in living organisms and to promote evolved biological solutions to complicated problems as platforms for biomimetic technology development for biomedical, defense and industrial applications. The laboratory actively engages in community outreach from local interaction through international popular broadcasts.

Dynamic Systems and Controls Laboratory (DSCL)

Hector Gutierrez, Ph.D., P.E., Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Daniel R. Kirk, Ph.D., Professor, Aerospace Engineering, Co-Directors. The Dynamic Systems and Controls Laboratory (DSCL) supports research in dynamic systems, real-time control, mechatronics, and characterization, instrumentation and control of aerospace systems. The DSCL is also the experimental branch of the Aerospace Systems and Propulsion Laboratory, which includes other experimental facilities including the shock tube facility, rocket thrust stand, spin-slosh test rig (under construction) and the high-pressure chamber for characterization of liquefied propellants. The DSCL supports a variety of research activities in dynamic systems for mechanical and aerospace applications: (1) Real-time monitoring and control of the flexible dynamics in launch vehicles including design, characterization and integration of distributed sensing. (2) Use of Fiber Bragg grating arrays to monitor and control in real-time, multi-modal vibrations in aerospace structures. (3) Design, analysis, characterization and testing of novel electrical machine topologies. (4) Characterization of liquid slosh dynamics. (5) Motion control, computer-based instrumentation and mechatronics. Current and past research activities include: (1) real-time control of structural vibrations based on magneto- rheological (MR) dampers; (2) magnetic suspension systems for high-precision positioning applications; (3) characterization of surface tension and contact angle in novel propellants; and (4) development of an experimental platform on board the International Space Station for characterization of slosh dynamics in microgravity.

Laser, Optics and Instrumentation Laboratory (LOIL)

Kunal Mitra, Ph.D., Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, Director and Chelakara Subramanian, Ph.D., P.Eng (UK), Professor and Program Chair, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Co-Director. LOIL is focused on performing research primarily in the field of biomedical engineering and fluid flow diagnostics using optical techniques. A major research thrust is using short-pulse lasers and optics to develop new techniques for measuring and characterizing tissue and material properties. Biomedical applications focus on minimally invasive techniques for detecting and irradiating cancer/tumors using ultra-short pulsed laser system. Current research is geared toward skin and brain cancer/tumors. Material characterization/processing applications involve detection of defects in materials and thermal response of materials subjected to high-energy radiation. Selective laser melting process is being used for production of medical and dental implants. Another research area focuses on developing a portable and objective noninvasive tool to evaluate physiological cerebral dysfunction in patients who have sustained concussive head injury. A technique has been developed that could be used in clinical evaluations by implementing cerebral oximetry using near infrared spectroscopy and cerebral bioimpedance with novel algorithms to evaluate mechanisms that control cerebral blood flow. The challenge of integrating laser sources, system optics, instrumentation, measurement schemes and data acquisition provides both graduate and undergraduate students with new learning experiences in these areas. Major equipment currently in use includes mode-locked short-pulse laser, Q-switched pulsed laser, short-pulse diode laser, high-power continuous wave lasers, ultrafast photodetectors and oscilloscope, streak camera, high speed CO2 laser engraving cutting machine, miscellaneous optics and optical accessories, thermal camera and image processing systems.

Robotics and Spatial Systems Laboratory (RASSL)

Pierre M. Larochelle, Ph.D., Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Director. RASSL is dedicated to the development of robotic mechanical systems that generate spatial (i.e., 3-dimensional) motion and force transmission. RASSL seeks to advance the design methodologies for these challenging systems as well as techniques for their use in industrial and consumer applications. Equipment includes an Aldebaran NAO humanoid robot, Motoman SV3 XRC robot, an Adept/Mobile Robotics PowerBOT and several systems developed by RASSL.

Wind and Hurricane Impacts Research Laboratory (WHIRL)

Jean-Paul Pinelli, Ph.D., P.E., Professor, Civil Engineering, Director. WHIRL is dedicated to the study of the effects and impacts of windstorms including hurricanes, tornadoes and thunderstorms, and other related meteorological hazards (e.g., flooding and tidal surges) on the natural environment and manmade structures. The laboratory involves a multidisciplinary team of engineers and scientists. It takes advantage of a geographic location in the heart of Florida’s Space Coast to serve the needs of industry, government and the public in wind hazard mitigation. The laboratory’s activities include research on mitigation of losses of life, property and the environment; education of the public through dissemination of information; and the development of a multidisciplinary program of study focused on wind engineering and wind-related socioeconomic studies and analyses. Research topics in the laboratory include action of strong winds and storm surges on structures; evaluation of codes, standards and retrofitting techniques for buildings and infrastructure systems; risk assessment for existing structures; development of remote sensing tools for assessing and monitoring hurricane wind pressures and wind speed; fundamental wind and meteorological research; and testing; and analysis of economic impacts and development of potential damage maps for hurricane hazards in Florida.