The Infrared Development and Thermal Structures Laboratory (IDTSL) is an undergraduate research laboratory in the College of Integrated Science and Technology (CISAT) at James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. During the 1997-98 academic year, Dr. Jonathan Miles established the IDTSL at JMU with the support of a collaborative research grant from the NASA Langley Research Center and with additional support from the College of Integrated Science and Technology at JMU. The IDTSL supports research and development efforts that feature non-contact thermal and mechanical measurements and advance the state of the art. These efforts all entail undergraduate participation intended to significantly enrich their technical education. The IDTSL is funded by major government organizations and the private sector and provides a unique opportunity to undergraduates who wish to participate in projects that push the boundaries of non-contact measurement technologies, and provides a model for effective hands-on, project oriented, student-centered learning that reinforces concepts and skills introduced within the Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT) curriculum. The lab also provides access to advanced topics and emerging measurement technologies; fosters development of teaming and communication skills in an interdisciplinary environment; and avails undergraduates of professional activities including writing papers, presentation at conferences, and participation in summer internships. This paper provides an overview of the Infrared Development and Thermal Structures Laboratory, its functionality, its record of achievements, and the important contribution it has made to the field of non-contact measurement and undergraduate education.