A $1 million gift from an anonymous donor and a matching contribution from the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology will enable Oklahoma State University to break ground on a new laboratory building on its Stillwater campus.
The university says the $2 million combined gift is a significant step toward completing the $35 million fundraising goal for the Undergraduate Engineering and Technology Laboratory Building.
The building will house 14 undergraduate research laboratories spread strategically throughout its three floors along with a lecture hall and student-project space.
“The new undergraduate laboratory will be an innovative hub of learning that shifts the College’s pedagogy from traditional engineering education to a robust combination of theory and systems education with hands-on applications to better educate and prepare the next generation of engineers, architects and technology professionals,” says Paul Tikalsky, dean of the College.
Engineering enrollment at Oklahoma State has doubled in the past decade and has created a critical need for modern laboratories.
The building will include areas designed to facilitate specific undergraduate, project-based learning. The chemical, biomedical and environmental labs will support scaled-unit plant operations and enable students to understand the design parameters of processing chemicals and industrial materials into usable products, as well as heat transfer and fluid mechanics.
The mechanical and physical properties testing labs will enable students to characterize materials by physically testing the properties they need in their designs. The electronics and communications labs will be a hands-on environment that allows students to put theory to practice and develop innovative devices that measure, evaluate and control electrical systems.
The student project spaces will be highly flexible, and students will be able to work on their capstone projects with faculty and industry mentors, either individually or in groups, while providing ample opportunity for cross-college interaction and synergy.
Features in the structural, mechanical and electrical systems of the facility will enhance its value as an instructional tool. Among these will be the exposed steel structure, meters displaying energy and water usage, and color coding and labeling.