College of Science News
UT Arlington to dedicate Engineering Research Building
Students, faculty and supporters of The University of Texas at Arlington will celebrate the debut of the 234,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Engineering Research Building with a dedication event and open house on Friday, March 4.
The landmark center is UT Arlington's largest academic facility to date and is shared by College of Engineering and College of Science researchers who are exploring new cancer treatments, working to improve detection of deadly viruses and developing systems to help older adults live independently longer, among a multitude of projects.
The 2 p.m. dedication ceremony is scheduled for the new Research Quadrangle, south of UTA Boulevard and east of South Cooper Street. Building tours highlighting some of the University’s most promising research collaborations will follow the ceremony.
The Engineering Research Building anchors the Research Quadrangle, which is bordered by the Engineering Lab Building - a facility expanded and upgraded in 2009 - and the existing Nedderman Hall. The new building houses the Departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Bioengineering, but also integrates research teams from biology, biochemistry, genomics, math, neuroscience and physics to foster new, collaborative initiatives.
“This building is an incredible resource that will fuel our research and allow us to take advantage of resources across disciplines,” UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo said. “Already we are seeing new, promising collaborations - research designed to make a difference in the lives of people and to solve real problems.”
The Engineering Research Building is designed to meet LEED Silver standards for sustainability and incorporates several energy-saving features, including green roofs, windows that make optimal use of natural light and rain and condensate water capture. LEED standards are established and administered by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Spaniolo said the new center will further UT Arlington's rapidly expanding research activity and the University’s strategy to become a Tier One institution. Annual research expenditures have nearly tripled over the past six years to more than $63 million in 2010. The University is aggressively recruiting world-class faculty and doctoral students as it builds its reputation as a national research institution.
“Facilities like this play an important role in attracting innovative researchers and top scholars to our University,” said Donald R. Bobbitt, UT Arlington provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We’ve been able to pull off some remarkable accomplishments in our facilities to date, and the Engineering Research Building positions us to achieve even more.” UT Arlington's expertise is on the rise in bioengineering, medical diagnostics, drug-delivery systems, nanotechnology and micro-manufacturing and defense technologies, among other areas. Overall, the University has an estimated $1 billion annual economic impact on the North Texas region.
Among the collaborative labs inside the Engineering Research Building are:
· The Regenerative Neurobiology Lab. Bioengineers are building a better system of connecting live neurons with electrodes. The goal: giving amputees more realistic control over prostheses and even restoring their sense of touch.
· Optogenetics Lab.Bioengineering and physics researchers are using optical tweezers to trap and manipulate nanoparticles and to determine how they interact with cells. The work will improve drug deliver systems in the treatment of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
· Biomedical Optics Lab. Bioengineers who specialize in minimally invasive tissue imaging are partnering with social work faculty to study and improve the cognitive functions of veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. The goal: improving diagnostics and treatment from soldiers returning from war.
· The Heracleia Human-Centered Computing Lab. Computer science engineers are using motion sensors, video cameras, facial recognition technology and algorithms to monitor and predict erratic behavior. The goal: improving assistance for aging populations and improving security in facilities such as prisons.