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DSU Breaks Ground on Optics Research Building
Oct 2012
DOVER, Del., Oct. 26, 2012 — Delaware State University’s renowned optics program, currently involved in NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover mission, will soon have a new home.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held earlier this week at the construction site of the new four-story, 70,000-sq-ft building. The Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR) was made possible initially by Gov. Jack Markell, who earmarked $10 million in the fiscal 2012 budget for the project.

Artist’s rendering of the completed Optical Science Center for Applied Research building at DSU. Images courtesy of DSU.

“By investing in this project, we are investing in the future of our state,” Markell said. “Students are gaining the great potential to learn cutting-edge science and technology for the jobs of tomorrow. Strong universities will give us the educated workforce we need for the future, and further strengthen Delaware as an attractive place for innovative businesses.”

The building will be constructed in three phases. The initial 27,000-sq-ft first phase will house state-of-the-art advanced optical research labs. A suite of shared labs will provide advanced technology testing and instrumentation to support various research needs, including nanochemistry, scanning electronic and atomic force microscopy, wet chemistry, and conventional and confocal microscopy as well as a complete image analysis suite.

(From left) Optics doctoral student Julie Sejour, Provost Alton Thompson, DSU president Harry L. Williams, DSU board of trustees chairman Claibourne Smith and DSU optics program founder Dr. Noureddine Melikechi take part in the symbolic groundbreaking for the future Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR) building.

Once complete, the OSCAR building will add the capability of expanded optical laboratories, computational labs, class 100/1000 cleanrooms, expanded office areas and a 150-seat auditorium-style classroom. It also will be consistent with the historically black university’s environmental stewardship efforts and its commitment to being a part of the Obama administration’s Better Building initiative, which promotes energy efficiency.

“Our optics research has already distinguished itself as a stellar program, and it needs a facility that will not only adequately accommodate its current work, but also provide the infrastructure environment that will facilitate the future expansion of it,” said DSU president Harry L. Williams. “The new building will provide the state-of-the-art facility that our premier scientists need to complement the research breakthrough capabilities they possess.”

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