About Us


Our Mission Statement

Discovery Lab Global is a non-profit educational and scientific organization designed to become a student-powered entrepreneurial research center with global reach. We aim to provide highly motivated and professionally-mature college and high school students early hands-on experience on real-world technology challenges to accelerate their professional development as our future technology innovators, entrepreneurs, philanthropically-minded business creators and community leaders and to exploit our student-centric research center model to demonstrate "pennies on the dollar" research for pathfinding and prototyping projects that benefit sponsoring communities and companies to help make this a safer and better world.

It all started when...

Dr. Rob Williams, a seasoned aerospace professional, retired from the Air Force and established Discovery Lab Global (DLG) as a non-profit startup in January 2016. DLG builds on the successes and lessons learned from an Air Force program, which Dr. Williams founded and ran for over 10 years prior to his retirement in December 2015.

For the (grand)parents who are curious about the credibility of the experience being offered to their (grand)son or (grand)daughter: the DLG director is a (1) retired Air Force engineering officer, former engineering professor, (2) technical advisor for an Air Force advanced research branch, (3) DARPA program manager, (4) special projects engineer for a Washington DC agency, and (5) past recipient of the National Engineer of the Year honors.

The goal of DLG is to help accelerate the technical and professional development of the students participating in this opportunity. It is designed to give students who successfully complete the program up to 2-3 years head start on their peers in developing a compelling resume as well help them fine tune their career goals.

DLG provides a unique and enriching experience for extremely motivated & professionally mature high school, or undergraduate student who has an interest in learning more about today’s high-demand technologies. Our program provides a unique opportunity where students will excel and learn in an interactive, team-based environment. Throughout the process, they be challenged and held accountable, which will aid in their ultimate success. Benefits to completing this program include:

  • have research opportunities and hands-on experience earlier in their academic career

  • gain real world experience that will strengthen their resume with employable skill

  • create networking opportunities with other students, mentors, professors, industry professionals

We connect students across the globe to collaborate and learn in project teams utilizing our safe, virtual reality platform. Students log in to our 3D virtual Deep HoriXons (DHX) environment where they’re able to connect, research, conference and present ... as avatars … from the comfort of their homes or apartments.

From the available options, we selected the OpenSimulator (“OpenSim”) 3D virtual reality platform, primarily because it is a free and open-source option. All that is needed to connect to our virtual 3D campus is a computer, internet access, and an approved avatar account. A VR headset is NOT needed to participate. We selected Deep HoriXons (DHX) because it is:

  • a safe and secure environment for the students - private, monitored, and protected

  • convenient and flexible - virtual world is accessible all the time for those on our secure access list

  • students can participate and network from home, library, computer labs if necessary

  • cost efficient - allows students from multiple locations to participate individually or in group settings together, eliminating the costs associated with travel

  • one location where the students can save and post progress of their work in an immersive interactive manner.

Who we are...

Discovery Lab Global (DLG) is an entrepreneurial talent & technology accelerator for strategic workforce development — a student-staffed “discovery” lab. Our focus is accelerating innovations while growing innovators.

DLG is a year-round program with national - even global - outreach. Originally this program was designed for high school and undergraduate students – primarily those in the last 2 years of high school and the first 2 years of college - to have an opportunity to learn technical and soft skills much earlier in their academic careers. This experience allows students to participate in student-centered, project-based experiential learning opportunities that are designed to tackle important, real-world challenges while exploring novel, innovative concepts. 

DLG continues to build a network of industry, government, academic, and community partners while recruiting students nationally from more than 40 schools, colleges, and universities. Of increased interest is partnerships with commercial start-ups as a concepts accelerator as a low-cost option for them to accelerate development of pre-commercial prototypes.