STEM Research Resources

Whether you are looking for science and technology research sources for a project, labs and workshops to achieve hands-on experience or engineering research to satisfy your intellectual curiosity, the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Grand Canyon University (GCU) supports excellence in academic pursuits by providing opportunities to apply classroom learning to real-life issues, problems and innovations.

The Engineering building has a large workshop space that is open to every student on campus who wants to build something. Students have access to several tools and equipment to turn their concepts into prototypes. Our Lopes Live Labs provide students the opportunity to practice and explore their own interests outside of the classroom. We have business students working in the machine shops who don’t want to be engineers.

Dr. Mark Wooden College of Science, Engineering and Technology Dean

GCU and the College of Science, Engineering and Technology support excellence in academic examination across disciplines by maintaining organizations that advance scholarly investigation. Use these publications, workshops, labs, etc. to explore ideas, analyze information and enhance your overall learning experiences.

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Research and Design Programs (RDPs) for Additional Student Success


The Research and Design Program (RDP) at GCU represents an exciting opportunity for you to engage in faculty research, design and development projects. By enrolling in this program, you can pursue experiences to help you find your purpose, explore your interests and unlock potential opportunities for graduate and medical school programs, internships and rewarding careers.

I wanted to come to GCU because of the cadaver dissection program, the Mastering Anatomy Program (MAP). Being involved in MAP, I can see people older than me who are graduating, applying to medical schools and teaching at the university. There's so much motivation for me to keep going. Once that initial shock of being in college went away, I realized, ‘Wow, this is why I'm here. I'm building my career.'

Tara Garcia, BS in Biology with an Emphasis in Pre-Medicine, Minor in Psychology, Class of 2023

RDP Opportunities

When you participate in RDPs, you may have the opportunity to work alongside faculty in a wide variety of ways, such as earning authorship on presentations and publications and attending professional conferences. Use these RDP opportunities to enhance your academic experience in the college program.


The central theme of this project is to connect various pieces of equipment to learn about the impact and trends of diverse factors and technologies on the surrounding urban fabric (environment, communication, visualization, knowledge transfer). We build systems that combine electronic, computer, sensory, engineering and software components. Some of these SMURF RDPs include:

  • Smart City
  • SenSym
  • Augmented Virtual Reality Simulations

The Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and robotics lab RDPs at GCU are designed to give you hands-on skills to discover microcomputers through reinforced learning, optimize AI models and detect threats from cybersecurity to diseases, program robotics, discuss theory and patterns, develop algorithms and so much more. Some of these AI, ML and robotics RDPs include:

  • AWS DeepRacer League/Competition (Sponsored by Discount Tire)
  • Robotic Spider
  • AI Nostradamus
  • AI and Cybersecurity
  • Drones
  • Fake News Detection AI
  • Resume Parser
  • Pneumonia Detection AI
  • Sign Language Recognition App
  • Price Comparison Application
  • Age Detection Model

The Performance Optimization, Wellness and Exercise Research (POWER) lab is designed to contribute to research in the areas of health, nutrition, kinesiology, biomechanical analysis, sports performance and cognitive strength. Projects can allow you to gain research experience while utilizing a variety of research-grade testing devices.

We thought, 'What could we do for students outside of the classroom setting that gives them experiences?' What we did was incorporate a slew of hands-on labs into the college, everything from the engineering shops to the Cyber Center of Excellence to the Exercise Science Labs and Nutrition Lab, to name a few. Really, these Lopes Live Labs are about providing students opportunities to practice and explore their own interests outside of the classroom that is tied to what they’re studying.

Dr. Mark Wooden, College of Science, Engineering and Technology Dean


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University Groups, Labs and Workshops for Student Research Initiatives

The college offers a variety of skill-building workshops and opportunities for you to explore. Each workshop examines different avenues of creating, building and innovating, with hopes of empowering you to unleash your limitless potential and shape a brighter future for generations to come.

The Canyon Neuroscience Group investigates both clinical and basic science questions relating to the function of the brain and nervous system. Our long-term focus is to address important neurological questions using different approaches, from human clinical studies to cell and molecular studies using tissue culture models.

The emergence of drug-resistant microorganisms has posed immense public health problems, causing deaths worldwide in part due to the mutagenic nature of the bacterial genome. Desert plants synthesize a variety of secondary metabolites to survive adverse conditions of the arid zone. To leverage this diversity, projects span field work, antimicrobial studies and advanced chemistry.

Conventional science is far too rigid to solve some of the world’s most important problems such as access to clean water and maintaining a safe, healthy and sustainable environment. The overarching goal of this program is to find solutions to environmental problems through cross-disciplinary research projects. Projects span ecology and environmental science field work to advanced chemistry and sensors.

In a world of technology, our vibrant Tech Club helps unlock your potential to innovate, create and explore the endless possibilities of the tech industry. Tech Club is a student organization that welcomes students from all majors to explore the exciting world of technology. With a diverse range of committees to choose from, including cybersecurity, Girls Who Code and embedded development, you will get to explore various aspects of the tech industry.

Through engaging workshops, projects and networking events, Tech Club can help you enhance your technical skills, foster creativity and build lasting connections with like-minded peers. Whether you’re interested in coding, cybersecurity or embedded systems, Tech Club offers a platform for you to have the opportunity to grow in the ever-evolving field of technology.

The Microbial Biotechnology Division is continuing research on isolation, characterization and genetic manipulation of cyanobacterial species, and exploring their ability to produce various compounds, including biofuels. In this program, you may get to work on several projects that apply methods and techniques of biotechnology, molecular biology, genetics, microbiology and biochemistry.

The Exploratorium includes work and exploration in a broad range of computer science applications, including artificial intelligence, virtual reality, simulation, robotics, cloud computing and machine learning. A significant focus of the Exploratorium is the application across a variety of industries to assist in optimizing or finding solutions to complex problems.

At La Belle Labs, we are focused on helping entrepreneurial scientists/engineers design and prototype medical (and non-medical) products in connection with GCU’s innovation center, referred to as Canyon Ventures, Cybersecurity, Colangelo College of Business and the College of Science, Engineering and Technology while providing you with opportunities to learn new skills while developing novel technologies.

I’m involved with the IDEA Club, where you get to pitch the business that you’re working on. I started a venture where I made keychains from scratch and I got to present that at the Canyon Challenge. Now I’m working on a project to redesign a coffee maker so that all the plastic parts are replaced with stainless steel because a lot of people are worried about the plastics getting into the heating components of what they’re drinking.

Nathaneal Olsen, BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology, Class of 2024

The Forensic Science research lab is designed to conduct research and generate products that can aid forensic scientists in their ability to perform their work quicker and with increased scientific accuracy. This program utilizes multiple projects that can help the group to complete this mission while giving you the opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience using various forensic techniques.

The Cyber Center of Excellence (CCE) at GCU is a comprehensive program that focuses on providing education, training, research and innovation in the field of cybersecurity. You will be taught how to tackle cybersecurity challenges through the lab’s interdisciplinary approach, facilities and industry connections to become cybersecurity professionals capable of addressing the ever-increasing threats to information security. Join the Cyber Lab to have the opportunity to stay at the forefront of the rapidly evolving cybersecurity landscape.

The primary purpose of this research program is to conduct biomedical research in the field of biomechanics at all scales, from the kinematics and kinetics of human gait and joint motion to analysis and synthesis of biological cells and tissues. While the program falls in the biomedical engineering realm, the projects will be enhanced by cross-disciplinary teams including but not limited to biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, biology, pre-med and physical therapy majors.

Students in this lab will have the opportunity to utilize advanced equipment extensively. You can gain wet lab experience and may be able to utilize advanced methodology including FTIR, NMR, mass spectrometry, X-Ray crystallography and SEM.

STELLAR serves as a platform for students to send significant humanitarian research projects to the International Space Station to advance professional research and allow students of any college to serve their local and global communities with a gospel mindset. These projects launched may advance research in the microgravity scientific community and produce groundbreaking research discoveries in different scientific fields.

The Hybrid Rocket Design program serves as a hub to connect, motivate and inspire all students who are interested in aerospace engineering. With new trends in aerospace engineering, reusable and low-cost commercial rockets are needed. The Hybrid Rocket Design program has potential to deliver alternative solutions to the ever-increasing private sector market.

The engineering shops are available to everyone and even non-engineering students are welcome. I could go in and get hands-on experience on my own. I talked to one of the professors on my Discover trip and definitely got a strong feeling that GCU wanted to foster my progress and see me succeed.

Olivia Zamora, BS in Biomedical Engineering, Class of 2022

Scholars and Research Publications

GCU offers research and teaching publications that facilitate excellence and foster growth among students through faculty-driven initiatives and services that foster a community of learning and opportunity.

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