Campus: CPSU, San Luis Obispo -- October 26, 1999

Cal Poly College of Engineering Plans Grand Opening For Advanced Technology Laboratories

Cal Poly's College of Engineering will celebrate the grand opening of its Advanced Technology Laboratories (ATL) on Thursday.

The $4 million laboratory complex is the first academic facility at Cal Poly funded entirely without state help.

The 17,000-square-foot ATL includes applied research and interdisciplinary lab space, computer workstations, multimedia innovations and the latest technological equipment. It contains essential elements for conducting industrial experiments, including roll-up doors, enclosed control rooms, flexible mechanical ducts, raised floors and multiple cranes.

The six interdisciplinary labs it houses -- named after their benefactors -- include the National Science Foundation Advanced Transportation Laboratory, the Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems Laboratory, the Parsons Earthquake and Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory, the St. Jude Pacesetter Bioengineering Laboratory and the Litton Mechatronics Laboratory.

The project's initial funding came from a National Science Foundation grant of $1.79 million, which required a dollar-for-dollar match.

The W.M. Keck Foundation donated $500,000 to build the facility's Engineering Education Research and Development Center. The lab is a "dynamic, multimedia-enhanced space that will serve as a test-bed for both on-site and off-campus learning in a highly interactive, hands-on studio environment," according to Dean of Engineering Peter Lee.

Additional contributions totaling $1.79 million came from Litton Industries, St. Jude Pacesetter, Northrop Grumman, Parsons, IBM, Fluor Daniel, Tandem Computers and Hewlett-Packard. The College of Engineering's Applied Research and Development group also contributed.

"The ATL has put the future on view," said Cal Poly President Warren J. Baker. "It's a bright vision, thanks to the NSF and our corporate partners, faithful alumni and dedicated parents and friends."

After a reception at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Baker, Lee, and Associate Dean Dan Walsh will deliver welcoming remarks and presentations. A tour of the building for invited guests will follow.

The open house celebration comes almost exactly one year after construction began. Representatives from the contributing industry partners, including the NSF, will be attending the open house celebration.

For more information, call Amy Hewes, director of Publications and Communications for the College of Engineering, at 756-6402.

(NOTE TO MEDIA: Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the grand opening celebration, which is not intended for the public. Those planning to attend are asked to let Amy Hewes know at 756-6502. Reporters and photographers will have full access to the facility.)

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