Campus: Cal Poly Pomona -- March 27, 2006
$500,000 Keck Grant to Fund State-of-the-Art experimental Lab at Cal Poly Pomona
With a $500,000 grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, Cal Poly Pomona
will be creating a state-of-the-art experimental facility in its Center
for Macromolecular Modeling and Material Design (CM3D) that will complement
its existing computational facility. The new experimental laboratory
will provide the equipment necessary for modern experimental science,
which has become increasingly interdisciplinary and complex.
“The W.M. Keck Foundation grant will enable our science and engineering
students to work in one of the most powerful computational centers housed
at any undergraduate institution in the country,” says Dr. Donald
Straney, dean of the College of Science. “It places us at the
forefront of computational science and undergraduate universities nationally.”
“This support will let us build on our growing strength in nanotechnology,”
added Dr. Edward Hohmann, dean of the College of Engineering.
CM3D brings students and faculty from chemistry, physics, engineering
and computer science into one research center. Both CM3D facilities
will be used for undergraduate curriculum development and exceptional
opportunities for hands-on research, which is usually reserved for graduate-level
researchers and faculty.
CM3D professors believe the new experimental lab will enrich learning
opportunities for students, as the center’s computer lab has done
for students studying computational research. The new lab instruments
will enable CM3D faculty to modernize existing courses, develop new
courses, and provide undergraduate students with interdisciplinary,
capstone research projects. Students will gain experience in working
with state-of-the-art equipment that is used in disciplines from medicine
to space exploration.
“This is a very exciting time,” says Dr. Samir Anz, a chemistry
professor. “The computer lab has had such a significant impact
on our students already; we’re looking forward to adding this
second component to CM3D.”
CM3D was created in 2001 by Anz and two other chemistry professors,
who pooled their start-up funds to create the center. The CM3D professors
initially networked dozens of personal computers to create a mini-supercomputer.
With the help of this computer lab, ten undergraduate students have
had their research published in academic journals.
“None of those papers would have been possible without the computer
lab,” says chemistry associate professor Dr. Dennis Livesay, a
founding CM3D faculty.
The W.M. Keck Foundation grant will expand CM3D’s computational
facility to produce a 128-node cluster. It will create an experimental
lab that centralizes equipment from different disciplines. These equipment
groups include: (1) an imaging lab with an atomic force microscope that
has the ability to image biological systems, a profilometer and an elipsometer;
(2) a laser and spectroscopy lab for biological and solid state electro-optical
and magnetic systems; and (3) a plasma generation and teaching lab.
“We will be able to locate much of the major equipment necessary
for modern materials characterization in one facility,” says Dr.
Phyllis Nelson, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.
“Before, we had to look all over campus for the right equipment.
Coupling this new experimental lab with the computational lab will enable
our students to experience the intersecting of simulation and measurement
that is occurring in today's interdisciplinary research and development.”
Contact: Uyen Mai, (909) 869-5331, email@example.com