JANUARY 19, 2005

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OSU-Tulsa breaks ground on Advanced Technology Research Center


Oklahoma State University officials and Tulsa community leaders break ground for OSU-Tulsa's Advanced Technology Research Center, a $30 million research facility funded by the Vision 2025 initiative. (L to R) Marlene Strathe, OSU Provost and Senior Vice President; Michael Johnson, OSU-Tulsa Board of Trustees and Williams Senior Vice President; Glenda Love, UCT Authority Board of Trustees; Dean Karl Reid, OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology; Jay Helm, OSU/A&M Board of Regents and OSU-Tulsa Board of Trustees; Tulsa County Commissioner Robert Dick; Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune; OSU System C.E.O. and President David Schmidly; OSU-Tulsa President Gary Trennepohl; Tulsa County Commissioner Randi Miller; and Tulsa County Commissioner Wilbert Collins.

Oklahoma State University officials recently broke ground on the OSU-Tulsa Advanced Technology Research Center, a $30-million research facility that is expected to boost northeastern Oklahoma’s economy by creating jobs and attracting industries to the area.

Equipped with orange shovels, OSU-Tulsa President Gary Trennepohl and OSU System CEO and President David Schmidly were joined by community leaders on Dec. 14 for the groundbreaking under the white tent on the OSU-Tulsa west lawn just north of I-244 and Detroit Avenue.

Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune, Tulsa County Commissioner Robert Dick, area legislators and other dignitaries assisted Trennepohl in the sod-turning ceremony. More than 200 community members and OSU-Tulsa faculty, staff and students helped celebrate this important phase in the construction process.

"This state-of-the-art research facility will help educate students in high-tech disciplines and foster economic development in the Tulsa area," Trennepohl said. "This is a significant achievement for Oklahoma State University and the city of Tulsa. I applaud Tulsa County voters for their vital role in making it happen."

Funded through the Vision 2025 bond issue passed by Tulsa voters in September 2003, university and community leaders say the ATRC will provide new educational programs and the potential for technology commercialization that will help bring new jobs and industries to this region. The center will produce an annual payroll of $8 to $10 million, including federal and private research funds. However, Trennepohl said the greatest impact should come from commercialization of technology developed from the research. He said economic impact of these start-up companies could exceed $400 million annually within 10 to 15 years.

The ATRC will focus on the development of next generation composites and advanced materials used by many Oklahoma industries. The ATRC will enable engineering faculty and graduate students to conduct research in the use of advanced materials for sensors, energy technologies, information technology and controls, and bio-based technologies. When completed, the ATRC will house 25 faculty, 40 graduate students and five to 10 visiting professors.

The Vision 2025 initiative provides $30 million for construction of the center, which includes specialized laboratories, a clean room, imaging suite, advanced information technology equipment, seminar rooms and faculty offices. Trennepohl said construction will begin in April and should be completed by November 2006. Dewberry Design Group of Tulsa is the architect, while Flintco will serve as the construction manager.

“The ATRC demonstrates OSU’s commitment to Tulsa and our leadership role in providing educational programs and promoting economic development in northeastern Oklahoma,” Trennepohl said.

Contact: Mary Bea Drummond, (918) 594-8223, 594-8360