Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition: May 10, 2001: New Science Labs for Doherty Hall
Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition
In This Issue

Auberjonois to Give Keynote Address

New Building for Posner Fine Arts

New Science Labs for Doherty Hall

Honorary Degrees

Student Speaker Nitya Venkataraman

Commencement Weekend at a Glance

Commencement Ceremonies and Receptions

Professors Earn Top Academic Distinction

William Mullins a "Scientists Scientist"

Timothy Burritt Dies in Motorcycle Crash

India Honors Reddy

H&SS Outstanding Service Awards

Architecture Aims to Unify "Allied Fields"

Am I Who I Am? Art Exhibit to Open

East Campus Garage to Install Pay-as-You-Park

Art Students Collaborate

Stephen Schwartz Attends ACS Dinner

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New Science Labs in Doherty Hall to Help Students Become "Future Pioneers"

Lab Rendering Construction has begun on an eight-story addition to Doherty Hall that will house new undergraduate interdisciplinary science labs for the Mellon College of Science (MCS). The estimated cost of the project is $26.4 million.

The new labs, expected to be completed by the 2003 fall semester, will accommodate the latest scientific equipment and computing resources for teaching freshman analytical and synthetic chemistry.

To celebrate the start of construction, MCS hosted a groundbreaking event on April 16 near the construction site. The event did not include the traditional shovels, but rather scientific pyrotechnics courtesy of the MCS Science Outreach Van. Instead of digging dirt, participants poured beakers filled with "secret" ingredients into a pit. Steam poured out and rockets popped.

"The building of the new undergraduate science labs at Carnegie Mellon will allow for the continued development and implementation of the visionary interdisciplinary education that attracts Carnegie Mellon students and their future employers," said Chemistry Department Head Rick McCullough, who emceed the groundbreaking ceremony.

"With the revolution in areas such as biotechnology, nanotechnology and green chemistry, the new labs will allow us to educate our students so that they will be the future pioneers in science and technological development."

President Jared L. Cohon praised the many people and departments whose initiative and collaboration made the project possible. He said he envisioned the labs having an important impact for Carnegie Mellon students as well as area elementary and secondary school students and teachers who come to campus every summer for pre-college training, workshops and seminars.

"The labs represent an important investment in Pittsburgh's future," Cohon said. "They will help this region compete in the rapidly changing world of science and technology, providing our best and brightest with the tools they need to produce cutting-edge results and continue to fuel economic growth in southwestern Pennsylvania."

Karen Stump, director of the chemistry labs, said the new space will be a "creative collaboration" between faculty from Chemistry, Physics and Biological Sciences, and the architects and engineers from the architectural firm of Burt Hill Kosar and Rittelman.

"Knowledge in the sciences is changing at a tremendous rate and as knowledge evolves, the way in which scientists do science changes," Stump said. "Our curriculum must always reflect that change. That's why it is so important for the space to be adaptable."

Student workstations will be configured to promote collaboration and team-based work, and every workstation will have a data port to allow for computer-aided design and computer modeling.

Stump noted that utilities and workspace are being configured so that modern instrumentation, such as spectrophotometers, chromatographs and titrators, and "equipment we can't even begin to imagine," can be moved throughout the labs on an as-needed basis. Dedicated instrumentation facilities have been designed to accommodate high-field magnets and high-energy lasers.

Aesthetically, the planners are working to preserve the historic architecture of Doherty Hall while adding 21st century enhancements. A lighted stairwell and double glass wall facing Wean Hall will provide natural light to the teaching and laboratory space. Freight and passenger elevators for all eight floors of Doherty Hall will also be part of the renovations.

Carnegie Mellon has raised about half of the money for the labs, including $11 million from the Richard King Mellon Foundation and $500,000 gifts from the Merck Company Foundation, the PPG Industries Foundation and an anonymous foundation.

Teresa Sokol Thomas

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