With help from federal grant funding, the University will soon tout a new $46-million nanomechanical engineering lab complex on North Campus, giving researchers the opportunity to pursue nanotechnology projects in healthcare, biotechnology and energy among other fields.
The Center of Excellence in Nano Mechanical Science and Engineering, which will be partly funded by a $9.5-million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, will be a three-story complex featuring 60 lab modules and rooms for 18 professors, according to a University press release distributed yesterday.
The 62,800 square-foot complex will be built adjacent to the G.G. Brown Laboratories on Hayward Street, according to the release. Construction on the site will begin in the spring of next year and is projected to be complete in May 2013.
The University invested $15 million in the complex with an additional $6.5 million from the College of Engineering and $15 million in private commitments, leaving the NIST grant funding to cover the remainder of the construction costs.
Jack Hu, associate dean for academic affairs in engineering and the leader behind the NIST proposal, said in the release that the complex will serve as an appropriate environment to accommodate the precise nanoscale measurements researchers require for nanomechanical engineering.
Hu added that the building will help University faculty contribute to research on the behavior of nanoparticles, which is indispensable to fields like manufacturing and medicine.
College of Engineering Dean David Munson echoed Hu’s sentiments, saying that the center was noteworthy for its capacity for innovative research projects.
“Michigan Engineering has always been strong in traditional large-scale mechanical engineering areas including automotive research,” Munson said in the release. “This new facility will propel us to the next level. It will allow researchers to pursue exciting projects at the frontiers of mechanical science and engineering, where the discipline intersects with nanoscience and biology.”
Munson went on to thank U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D–Mich.), Sen. Carl Levin (D–Mich.) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D–Mich.) in addition to Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm for their efforts in supporting the construction of the complex.
Granholm praised the new complex in the press release and discussed the potential impact of the research projects housed by the building.
“This new facility will help train the next generation of engineers in our state, and produce the cutting-edge research and development in energy, health care and manufacturing that will continue to diversify our economy and create jobs,” Granholm said.