DuPont donates $5 million to Lab
Published: Monday, September 3, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 3, 2012 22:09
DuPont Company has donated $5 million toward the construction of the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory on Academy Street and Lovett Avenue according to an engineering administrator.
Armand Battisti, director of development at the College of Engineering, said the gift from DuPont resulted from the long process of proposing the project, which costs approximately $130 million. More than $56 million for this project will come from gifts from companies, private foundations and charities, he said.
The building which is scheduled to open next fall, will now feature a wing called the DuPont Science Learning Center. The lab will aid graduate student research, faculty and researchers at the university, Battisi said.
“This building is equipped with the latest technology,” Battisti said. “It will provide UD with a research facility that is unsurpassed in the region.”
He said construction is currently on schedule and within budget. Officials are working to raise endowment to support undergraduate scholarship, graduate research and prominent faculty, Battisti said.
Inside the building there will be an instructional section where all undergraduates who take a science class can study, and a research section where undergraduate and graduate students may work, he said.
The design will allow undergraduates to participate in a more interactive style of learning, Battisti said. After a lecture and explanation, a chemistry course will be split into two groups and enter into two separate labs. There, instead of listening to a professor or searching in a textbook, Battisi said the students will find the answers to relevant situations by conducting experiments.
The research wing of the building is devoted to high-end research facilities for faculty, graduate students and professional researchers, Battisti said. One, called the “Clean Room,” will be available for higher level research.
“The ‘Clean Room’ creates an environment that contains a very low vibration, low frequency and little variation in temperature,” Battisti said. “Experiments aren’t corrupted by humidity. The very clean facility allows experiments to be conducted without environmental factors.”
Senior environmental engineering major Andrew Wright said he is excited for the building and the opportunities it will create. “Most science engineering labs are restricted within our majors,” Wright said. “If we have a chemistry problem, we have to go to the chemistry department. Some of the labs are quite old.”
Dean Babatunde Ogunnaike of the College of Engineering said the ISE lab will support the way scientists collaborate. He said it will allow different science concentrations to work together closely, eliminating the need to switch buildings for different areas of work.
“The kinds of engineering problems that the world is facing today no longer come in neat packages,” said Ogunnaike. “We have to deal with water, energy, and health, which require interdisciplinary action. There are sometimes a dozen authors on one paper from different disciplines in different parts of the world, working together to solve one big problem.”