Missouri S&T to break ground on research complex’s expansion, renovation April 18

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On April 15, 2024

This architect's rendering depicts the expanded research facility.

This architect’s rendering depicts the expanded research facility.

Missouri S&T will hold a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate a major expansion and renovation of the Engineering Research Laboratory building at 8 a.m. Thursday, April 18.  
“This project marks the beginning of a new era for solution-inspired research at Missouri S&T,” says S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani. “We’re not just enhancing our facilities — we’re also creating a showcase for our cutting-edge research capabilities. This expansion will establish a central hub that fosters collaboration across disciplines and with industry partners.” 
Members of the community are invited to attend the event, which will be at 500 W. 16th St. in Rolla.  
Speaking at the ceremony will be Robin Wenneker, chair of the University of Missouri Board of Curators; Dr. Mun Y. Choi, UM System president; Dr. Mo Dehghani, Missouri S&T chancellor; Dr. Dick Brow, executive director of operations for Missouri S&T’s Kummer Institute and Dr. Kamal Khayat, vice chancellor for research and innovation at Missouri S&T.  
Other members of the Board of Curators will also participate in the event. The curators’ spring meeting will be held in the Havener Center immediately following the ceremony.  
Improvements to the Engineering Research Lab building have been on S&T leaders’ radar for several years. In 2013, S&T commissioned a program study that identified the need for the project, which will include a 33,000-square-foot addition and renovations to the current building that was constructed in 1971. 
The new building will include a cleanroom research facility, a suite of advanced imaging instruments and other multifunctional labs.

Brow, who is also a Curators’ Distinguished Professor of materials science and engineering, says the project will make this part of the S&T campus a focal point for interdisciplinary research. Next door to the building is Straumanis-James Hall, which houses S&T’s Materials Research Center. Between the two buildings, there will be over 100,000 square feet of research space.

Khayat, who also serves as S&T’s Vernon and Maralee Jones Professor of Civil Engineering, says this project will also help with taking concepts from the prototype stage to commercialization and allow for more partnerships across several sectors, such as state and federal agencies, the U.S. military, health, technology, energy and other private industries. 
Funding for the project comes from the “Advancing Missouri’s STEM Education and Workforce Development” initiative, which received $25 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds in Missouri’s 2023-24 fiscal year to support three S&T projects.  
Along with the Engineering Research Laboratory, funding was also provided to renovate Schrenk Hall East and expand S&T’s geothermal energy system to connect the Engineering Research Laboratory’s addition with Harris Hall, Norwood Hall and Parker Hall. 
S&T’s Kummer Institute Foundation also provided significant financial support for the facility as part of its overall mission to elevate Missouri S&T. 
Some of S&T’s other recent projects include the newly opened Innovation Lab and an underground parking garage. The university also broke ground on the Missouri S&T Welcome Center in April 2023 and the Missouri Protoplex in September of last year.  

About Missouri S&T

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,000 students located in Rolla, Missouri. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System, Missouri S&T offers over 100 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top public universities for salary impact, according to the Wall Street Journal. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu

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