Officials at Missouri University of Science and Technology will celebrate the official dedication of 11 upgraded instructional laboratories on the Missouri S&T campus on Thursday, April 16. The labs were upgraded through nearly $2 million in state funding, grants and charitable contributions.
The dedication ceremony will be held at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in the Toomey Hall Atrium. A reception will follow. The public is invited to attend.
“From a digital visualization system to spectrometry equipment to distance learning software, these lab upgrades are taking learning opportunities to a new level for our students,” Missouri S&T Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader says. “I am truly grateful for every partner who stepped forward to support this initiative.”
The lab development projects were the result of campus strategic initiatives that called for the expansion of instructional laboratory equipment and lab renovations. A portion of the funding was used to make instructional labs available remotely.
Through the strategic initiative process, the University of Missouri System awarded $500,000 in one-time funds that Missouri S&T initially matched with $500,000 in grants and gifts. Due to the strength of the campus proposals to upgrade the undergraduate labs, Missouri S&T reallocated an additional $366,000 in campus funds and $100,000 from information technology. An additional $366,000 from donors and corporations brought the total investment to nearly $2 million.
Each proposal addressed a specific need focused on preparing our students for success in increasingly complex and highly technical careers.
The projects that received funding are:
- Computing equipment, software and furnishings for a new Cloud, Virtualization and Big Data Infrastructure Laboratory. The lab will support undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as graduate certificate programs offered by S&T’s computer science, business and information technology, and electrical and computer engineering departments. Missouri S&T’s information technology department allocated an additional $100,000 in support of this project.
- Equipment and software upgrades for the physics department to support seven different courses that enroll some 1,000 students each semester.
- Upgrades of process control equipment for the unit operations lab used in three chemical engineering courses. The “unit ops” lab serves as a showcase lab in Bertelsmeyer Hall, S&T’s new chemical and biochemical engineering building, which opened last fall.
- Installation of a liquid scintillation counter detector at the S&T Reactor. The equipment will be used in the nuclear engineering program’s course, Nuclear Radiation Measurements and Spectroscopy.
- Purchase of a new gas turbine engine and a series of dynamics and control systems experiments for the mechanical and aerospace engineering department to create new instructional lab experiences. The lab upgrades are expected to involve 1,300 students annually across 13 different courses.
- Purchase of a new field flow fractionation (FFF) instrument for use in five courses in the chemistry and chemical and biochemical engineering departments. The FFF instrument is used to separate and detect soluble compounds as well as insoluble particles in solutions, and is important for nanomaterial research.
- Purchase of a new nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer to be used in two Physical Chemistry Laboratory courses in S&T’s chemistry department. The NMR spectrometer is used to determine the physical and chemical properties of atoms and molecules.
- Upgrades to the microscopes and expansion of the digital visualization system in the geology and geophysics program. The upgrades will benefit students in four undergraduate and seven graduate courses in the program.
- Additional control systems equipment for use in the control systems laboratory in the electrical and computer engineering department. New equipment will be used for a new course on motion control, which is used in manufacturing and factory automation.
- Purchase of a rock test system to be used in mining engineering, petroleum engineering, and geology and geophysics. The equipment will be used in four mining engineering courses and one petroleum engineering course.
- Purchase of a high-temperature, high-pressure rheometer for use in the petroleum engineering program. The instrument is used to analyze fluid flow behaviors and would be used in five petroleum engineering courses.
The proposals for funding were reviewed by a committee chaired by Joan Nesbitt, vice chancellor for university advancement. Other committee members were Dr. Warren K. Wray, vice chancellor for global and strategic partnerships; Dr. Jeffrey Cawlfield, vice provost for undergraduate studies; Dr. Henry Wiebe, former vice provost for global learning; Ted Ruth, director of design and construction management; and Greg Smith, chief information officer.
The proposals had to meet certain criteria in order to be considered. The criteria included alignment with the university’s strategic plan and a measurable impact on student learning outcomes.