George Washington University researchers and faculty will move into the Science and Engineering Hall’s approximately 500,000 sq. ft. facility in December, in advance of the building’s scheduled opening at the start of the spring 2015 semester.
Alex Weller, an 11-year Division of Operations staff member, will serve as building manager and facilitate the move-in process.
“In 2011, the university broke ground on a vision for an interdisciplinary research facility with state-of-the-art research space,” Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Planning Forrest Maltzman says. “This vision is months from becoming a reality. Science and Engineering Hall will inspire a new generation of faculty, researchers and students to explore their chosen fields of study, work together in ways they never could before and push the boundaries of innovation and discovery.”
Weller, who has been working with the SEH project team since its inception, will oversee day-to-day operations of the complex interdisciplinary space, which includes wet and dry laboratories, collaborative teaching areas, lounges, and an aquatic suite.
SEH also includes a three-story high bay, an area with a strong wall and floor that is reinforced to handle the stress of large-scale experiments. Researchers will also make use of a nano-fabrication cleanroom for designing and manufacturing nano-scale devices, an imaging suite for producing high-resolution images, and a greenhouse.
“Ms. Weller was selected by a team composed of academic affairs and GW operations staff members because she understands the building’s complex systems and is able to communicate with a variety of stakeholders,” Dr. Maltzman says.
She started her new role in May 2014, just five months after the SEH “topping out” ceremony.
“We are thrilled to be included in the Science and Engineering Hall, which will give Milken Institute SPH researchers world-class laboratory space and equipment, and the ability to push forward on a number of global public health problems,” say Michael and Lori Milken Dean of Public Health Lynn R. Goldman. “We look forward to working across disciplines to accelerate the search for improving the health of communities.”
SMHS Dean and Vice President for Health Affairs Jeffrey S. Akman said that the space also will benefit the university’s health and medicine research.
“SEH will enable more opportunities for research and discovery in health and medicine,” Dr. Akman says. “In the new space, the School of Medicine and Health Sciences will expand its research capabilities in the area of translational science, building bridges between the lab and the clinic to deliver novel therapies to patients.”
SEH was designed to encourage interdisciplinary partnerships, Weller says. To that end, departments and schools will be arranged in “research neighborhoods” that place laboratories and office space for different disciplines next to each other around a central, spiraling staircase.
The facility, which is lit naturally by an expanse of glass windows, will put research on display in glass-enclosed laboratories. It also features a multi-chamber cleanroom for researchers who need an isolated, sterile environment for developing, manufacturing, and testing devices.
SEH also boasts a basement-level aquatic suite for the Department of Biology and an imaging suite.
Release Date: September 15, 2014
Source: The George Washington University