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Applied Physics Institute




The Applied Physics Institute (API) was established in 1994 at Western Kentucky University (WKU) as a nuclear research facility. API has about 15,000 sq. ft. of laboratory and office space at the WKU Center for Research and Development. In addition, a 10,000 sq. ft. outdoor facility is available which is licensed for the use of radioactive materials and radiation-producing machines. The API is licensed for radioactive material handling and research. Over the years, the research scope of the API evolved, and currently it is a multidisciplinary center performing research and development projects in Materials Science and Advanced Manufacturing, Environmental and Energy Technologies, Information Technology and Nanotechnology. Besides conducting research, the API is an efficient teaching facility. Courses like Radiation Biophysics (PHYS 431), Nuclear and Radiological Detection (PHYS 570), Detection of Explosive and Chemical Threats (PHYS 590), Detection of Explosive and Chemical Threats Laboratory (PHYS 591) are taught at the API on permanent basis.


Our mission is to conduct advanced research to solve real world problems, provide educational experiences to students, and advance the high tech development of the region. In close collaboration with companies and talented inventors, we bring innovations and novel technologies to market. We respond to the needs of the engineering and manufacturing community specializing in design and prototyping, commercializing innovation, and manufacturing technology. The mission of the API is to synchronize WKU applied research, engineering and manufacturing resources with industry needs.


  • To become the leading Small Business Accelerator in Kentucky.
  • To provide all the resources necessary for development and commercialization of novel products to companies, scholars and inventors.
  • To become a center for professional preparation and training of a new class of scientist and engineers, capable of working at the industrial facilities of a new generation.
  • To build an academy/industry pipeline, providing employment to WKU graduates.
  • To contribute to the research and economic development of the state of Kentucky.


Materials Science and Advanced Manufacturing, Renewable Energy Sources, Nanotechnology, Microfabrication and Microelectronics, Artificial Intelligence, Wireless Communication and Information Systems, Security and Defense, Novel Methods of Medical Diagnostics, Nuclear Physics and Engineering, Control Systems, Prototype Development, Smart Device Application Programming.

Core Products & Services


Prototyping, transition from a concept to product

Design and fabrication of analytical instruments


For more information visit the Applied Physics Institute home page here


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 Last Modified 7/28/22