08:21 AM

New Ohio State science and engineering building ‘an investment in innovation’

Columbus, Ohio – Building an infrastructure to meet the demands of 21st century teaching and research, Ohio State University today marked the grand opening of its Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry (CBEC) building.

Located at 151 W. Woodruff Ave. in the science and engineering academic core, the facility expands real-world learning opportunities for students, enhances interdisciplinary collaboration to advance critical environmental and medical research, and fuels Ohio’s economy through industry partnerships.

The program included remarks by Ohio State President Michael V. Drake, U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, Ohio Board of Regents Senior Vice Chancellor Gary Cates, faculty and students.

Drake noted that CBEC represents more than a new building with structural appeal.

“CBEC provides the framework to engage in transformative research, innovation and discovery in areas critical to the world,” Drake said. “Energy-efficient materials, biomedical innovations and clean and sustainable energy solutions are just a few of the important areas Ohio State researchers are progressively pursuing.

“Ohio State’s prominence as one of the nation’s leading research institutions is also evident in our strong collaboration and shared goals for excellence among state and federal leadership, donors and our partners within related industries.”

A $126 million construction project, backed by $70 million in state funds, CBEC is the first LEED-certified laboratory building at Ohio State.

Its unique design of openness and connectivity supports collaboration and cultivates a new generation of research leaders in a vibrant, energy-efficient space.

Spanning 237,000 square feet, it is home to the William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE), several research teams from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (CBC), and to Koffolt Laboratories, fostering an unparalleled partnership between the colleges of arts and sciences and engineering.

CBEC’s state-of-the-art laboratory neighborhoods and ultra-modern equipment and instrumentation can support 400 researchers. It also features an industry-standard unit operations lab, premier student study and work lounge, computer labs, transparent floor-to-ceiling exteriors and energy-saving window panels.

“Ohio State may be unique among the most respected academic research institutions in creating such a shared facility that enhances collaborations, boosting our ability to accelerate critical scientific discoveries,” said David C. Manderscheid, executive dean and vice provost, College of Arts and Sciences.

“This unprecedented partnership and collaboration across disciplines is a visionary leap forward in the way we do research. CBEC’s potential impact is enormous.”

Having established the key attributes for conducting modern and complex research, Ohio State is poised to attract exceptional faculty and students on a broad scale.

“As the state’s signature research institution, we must attract and prepare future engineers and scientists who can solve the world’s toughest problems,” said David B. Williams, dean of the College of Engineering.

“With areas optimized for collaboration, top-notch research facilities and premier learning spaces, this building is the ideal environment for these future leaders to thrive. CBEC is our investment in innovation.”

The physical location of CBEC, integration of talent and fluidity of space and resources are examples of the core principles of Ohio State’s framework plan to ensure that the academic mission is central to all strategic planning.

Construction was completed in less than three years, in December 2014, enabling student access for spring semester classes and providing research space for faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate and undergraduate students.

Merging science and art, a 71-feet-wide by 9-feet-high hexagonal LED light array created by internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal is located in the perimeter lobby. The artwork was commissioned through the Ohio Arts Council’s Percent for Art program, which provides funds to secure works of art in new or renovated public buildings in Ohio.