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NIST Awards $123 Million in Recovery Act Grants To Construct New Research Facilities

For Immediate Release: January 8, 2010

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Contact: Michael Baum
301-975-2763

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today awarded more than $123 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants to support the construction of new scientific research facilities at 11 universities and one non-profit research organization.

With ultimate research targets ranging from off-shore wind power and coral reef ecology to quantum physics and nanotechnology, the 12 projects will launch more than $250 million in new laboratory construction projects beginning early this year.

“These awards will create jobs by helping to fund 12 major, shovel-ready construction projects,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “These new, state-of-the-art facilities will help keep the United States at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation and will support economic growth.”

The 12 construction project awards, the result of a competition announced by NIST last May, include:

In addition to satisfying the core objectives of the Recovery Act—creating and saving jobs and investment in infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits—the projects were chosen on the basis of the scientific and technical merit of the proposals, the need for federal funding, design quality and suitability for the intended purpose, and the strength of the project-management plan.

The new facilities also support research goals of the Commerce Department, NIST and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), including the study of advanced materials, coral reefs, hurricanes, quantum physics, nanoscience and metrology.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

Information on other NIST activities under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is available on the Web at www.nist.gov/recovery.


Additional Details on Projects

Foundations for Expanded Excellence in Nanoscience and Experimental Physics

University of Pittsburgh's Mid-Campus Complex

The University of Pittsburgh's Mid-Campus Complex which houses the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Credit: Courtesy of Wilson Architects Inc.

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University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
NIST Construction Grant Program Award: $15 million
Total project budget: $27.8 million

The planned construction of 13 new, state-of-the-art experimental physics laboratories in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh will enable the department to fulfill its portion of the university's NanoScience and Technology Initiative and provide the necessary infrastructure to support its active research groups.

The 27,000 square feet (2,508 square meters) of LEED-certified laboratory space, combined with an additional 43,000 square feet (3,995 square meters) of upgrades to existing facilities funded with approximately $12.8 million put up by the university, will enable the university to pursue its research goals. These goals include the creation of new scientific measurement technologies and novel electronic and telecommunication devices and a better understanding of large-scale storms and hurricanes. The university anticipates that the new and upgraded facilities will enable them to hire three additional full-time faculty and the relocation of researchers whose research does not require strict environmental and vibrational controls.

The new facilities will directly support the mission of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop and improve measurement technologies. Research into the nature of large storms and hurricanes will support the mission of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The project is expected to be completed by spring 2014.

For further information: 
Morgan Kelly 
Pitt News Representative 
(412) 624-4356
mekelly@pitt.edu


Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystem Science Research Facility

planned Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystem Science research facility

East view of the planned Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystem Science research facility at the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center.

Credit: Artist's rendering courtesy NSU

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Nova Southeastern University Inc. (Fort Lauderdale-Davis, Fla.)
NIST Construction Grant Program Award: $15 million
Total project budget: $30.6 million

The planned state-of-the-art Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystem Science (CoE CRES) research facility at the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center (NSUOC) will provide a multidisciplinary research facility for the Center and its component National Coral Reef Institute (NCRI). The NCRI is an internationally recognized center for research on the ecology of coral reefs and one of the primary coral reef institutes supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Coral reefs not only play major ecological roles in the oceans, promoting biodiversity and a host of other functions (e.g., food, recreation, and coastal protection), but also serve an important economic role. In south Florida alone, figures from a NOAA and Broward County study indicate coral reefs generate over $6 billion annually for the region's economy and support more than 71,000 jobs. Unfortunately, coral reefs are severely threatened worldwide from a variety of factors, including pollution, overfishing and climate change.

The CoE CRES research facility will address pressing research, management and conservation needs facing coral reefs. The research building will double the current research area at the NSU Oceanographic Center, much of which dates to the 1970s and is severely crowded and outdated. The new 86,000-square-foot (8,000-square-meter) research facility will support five main focus areas for coral reef research: 1) impacts of climate, fish, and pollution on coral reef ecosystems; 2) marine spatial planning, geospatial analysis, and mapping; 3) deep sea coral reefs and biodiversity; 4) molecular biology and conservation genetics as applied to coral reefs; and 5) the impact of ocean and coastal hydrodynamics on coral reefs.

Designed to withstand coastal storm surges and hurricanes, the CoE CRES facility will be a high-performing, environmentally sustainable building that is expected to merit a LEED Silver rating.

The project is expected to be completed in fall 2011.

For further information:
Dr. Richard E. Dodge
Dean, Nova Southeastern University
Oceanographic Center 
(954) 262-3651
dodge@nova.edu


Advanced Nanocomposites in Renewable Energy Laboratory

planned Advanced Nanocomposites in Renewable Energy Laboratory

Artist's rendering of the planned Advanced Nanocomposites in Renewable Energy Laboratory at the University of Maine.

Credit: University of Maine

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University of Maine (Orono, Me.)
NIST Construction Grant Program Award: $12.4 million
Total project budget: $15.4 million

The new Advanced Nanocomposites in Renewable Energy Laboratory (ANREL) at the University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center will be the only such facility in the United States to include complete development capabilities for designing, prototyping and testing large structural hybrid composite and nanocomposite components for the deep water offshore wind energy industry.

The 30,000-square-foot (2,787-square-meter) laboratory addition will support a materials and engineering research program designed to capitalize on two of the state's key resources: wind energy and wood. Maine has an estimated 149 gigawatts of offshore wind energy within 50 nautical miles of its shoreline according to figures from the University of Maine. Wood, the state's principal natural resource, is a potential renewable feedstock for new lignocellulose-based nanocomposites. This still-experimental materials technology uses nanoscale, cellulose-based fibers naturally produced in forest products to add stiffness and strength to polymer composites.

The ANREL addition to the Advanced Structures and Composites Center is designed to develop durable advanced composites materials suitable for the harsh offshore environment, which must withstand both high wind stresses and a corrosive environment. The lab will support the development and characterization of conventional nanocomposites, as well as the new lignocellulose-based advanced nanocomposites, and their integration into offshore structures. The new facility will include a nanocomposites laboratory, prototyping space for large composite structures, a large structural testing laboratory with a test stand capable of supporting prototype 70-meter wind blades, and mechanical and environmental testing labs. The research goals of the new laboratory complement work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on advanced materials and nanomaterials and nanocomposites.

The project is expected to be completed by spring 2011.

For further information: 
Dr. Habib Dagher 
Director, Advanced Structures and Composites Center, University of Maine 
(207) 581-2138
hd@umit.maine.edu


Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center (M2SEC)

Artist's rendition of the planned Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center (M2SEC)

Artist's rendition of the planned Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center (M2SEC) at the University of Kansas.

Credit: University of Kansas

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University of Kansas Center for Research (Lawrence, Kan.)
NIST Construction Grant Program Award: $12.3 million
Total project budget: $18.8 million

The new Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center (M2SEC) will give the University of Kansas a modern laboratory structure to support its research programs in energy and transportation, global climate change, composite materials technology and sustainable building practices.

The 34,690-square-foot (10,573-square-meter) M2SEC building will itself be a model and experimental testbed for sustainable, energy-saving technologies including the use of reflected sunlight for illumination, solar shadings for temperature control, and the incorporation of a "green" roof for the purposes of carbon sequestration and insulation. In addition, the facility will house laboratories devoted to biofuels production, characterization and emissions; developing remote sensing technologies for monitoring the movements of glaciers and ice sheets; improving commercial avionics; advanced materials fracture and fatigue research; and evaluation of advanced sustainable building materials, among others.

The work to be performed in this facility will directly support and complement a number of research areas vital to the missions of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

This project is expected to be completed by spring 2012.

For further information: 
Stuart R. Bell 
Dean, School of Engineering, University of Kansas 
University of Kansas news release: KU awarded $12 million for new engineering research facility


Center for Applied Energy Research Laboratory Expansion

Proposed center for Applied Energy Research Laboratory Expansion

Proposed center for Applied Energy Research Laboratory Expansion, University of Kentucky.

Credit: Artist's rendering provided by BHDP Architecture

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University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.)
NIST Construction Grant Program Award: $11.8 million
Total project budget: $15.8 million

The planned expansion of the University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research Laboratory (CAER) will significantly expand the center's research capabilities with a new 36,000-square-foot (3,344-square-meter) building dedicated to research in the biomass and biofuels industries, advanced distributed power generation and storage, and technologies for electric vehicles.

Established 30 years ago, the CAER is a multidisciplinary research center focusing on energy related industries particularly important to the state of Kentucky although the research has broad application. In addition to wide ranging research program in support of the coal and electric power industries, the center has expanded over time to address issues in carbon capture and management, electrochemical energy storage, biomass energy and biofuels, and other renewable energy systems such as photovoltaic and thermoelectric power.

The new facility will include labs for process development, prototype manufacturing and testing as well as applied research on batteries, capacitors, solar energy materials and biofuels. A portion of the new facility will be equipped specifically for capacitor and battery manufacturing research. The Kentucky Biofuels Laboratory, an analytical laboratory managed as an open access user facility, will also be located within the new expansion.

The project is expected to be completed in summer 2011.

For further information: 
Jimmy Stanton 
Executive Director, University of Kentucky Public Relations 
(859) 257-6605
jimmy.stanton@uky.edu


A Center for High Performance Buildings at the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories

Planned Center for High Performance Buildings

Planned Center for High Performance Buildings at Purdue University.

Credit: Purdue University

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Purdue University (West Lafayette, Ind.)
NIST Construction Grant Program Award: $11.8 million
Total project budget: $23.5 million

The planned Center for High Performance Buildings at Purdue University will develop knowledge, technologies, processes and integrated solutions to enable high-performance systems related to built environments of the future. This research is an important part of addressing grand challenges related to energy, global warming, and human health/productivity. In the U.S., buildings are responsible for roughly 40 percent of primary energy usage, 71 percent of electricity and 38 percent of the country's CO2 emissions. Furthermore, Americans typically spend over 90 percent of their time indoors and about 20-30 percent of occupants have health problems related to built environments.

The Center for High Performance Buildings will be housed within a new 68,000-square-foot (6,317-square-meter) facility that will replace the current Ray W. Herrick Laboratories at Purdue University, a multi-disciplinary graduate research and teaching facility with a long history of technology transfer and collaboration with industry. The existing Herrick Laboratories facility dates to the late 1950s and has since become seriously overcrowded. The new facility will roughly double the Lab's existing space. A special feature of the new facility will be the "Living Laboratory," a working office wing designed with replaceable, modular elements such as communications, controls, equipment and façade; a reconfigurable air distribution and lighting system; and instrumentation to monitor systems and occupants. Researchers will be able to use the Living Laboratory to test and validate new building systems and concepts. Similarly, a new Perception-Based Engineering laboratory will be able to simulate a wide span of building environments. Lighting, acoustic environment, air quality, temperature, humidity, air flow and vibration will all be controlled independently. At the same time, existing Herrick Laboratories facilities, such as the advanced engines test area will be replaced and expanded. In addition to the Center for High Performance Buildings, the new Herrick Laboratory facility will house components of the Federal Aviation Administration multi-university Centers of Excellence for Air Transportation Noise and Emission Reduction and for Airliner Cabin Environment Research, as well as The Center for Perception-Based Engineering.

The project is expected to be completed in winter 2012.

For further information: 
Emil Venere 
Purdue Office of Marketing and Media Press 
(765) 494-4709
venere@purdue.edu


Pilot-Scale Laboratory for Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions

Rendering of the South Elevation of the Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory

Rendering of the South Elevation of the Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Credit: Georgia Institute of Technology

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Georgia Tech Research Corporation (Atlanta, Ga.)
NIST Construction Grant Program Award: $11.6 million
Total project budget: $23.3 million

The planned 45,000-square-foot (13,716-square-meter) Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory (C-NES) will be a "one-of-a-kind" project with regard to the incorporation of sustainable design techniques and greatly expand and enhance Georgia Institute of Technology's research efforts to create energy efficient products and sustainable energy sources for American industry and consumers.

This flexible facility will house cutting-edge energy research efforts including, but not limited to, studies of high efficiency combustion engines, biomass gasification kinetics, biochemical-enzymatic conversion of biomass, and carbon dioxide capture from sources including power plants and combustion engines. The building's design aims to achieve carbon neutrality with net-zero site energy use. Its innovative nature will exceed the project's initial goal of gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and is currently tracking platinum.

This new facility will provide state-of-the-art space for the investigation of new technologies germane to the mission of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and vital to the national drive for increased efficiency and renewable energy.

The project is expected to be completed by spring 2011.

For further information: 
Howard Wertheimer 
Georgia Institute of Technology 
(404) 385-7604
howard.wertheimer@spaceplan.gatech.edu


The Laboratory for Advanced Quantum Science at the Physical Sciences Complex

View of the new Physical Sciences Complex

View of the new Physical Sciences Complex at the University of Maryland College Park, which will house the basement laboratories of the Laboratory for Advanced Quantum Science.

Credit: HDR/CUH2A

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University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
NIST Construction Grant Program Award: $10.3 million
Total project budget: $15.5 million

The Laboratory for Advanced Quantum Science (LAQS) will be a 21,000-square-foot (1,951-square-meter) underground laboratory space incorporated in the planned Physical Sciences Complex to be built at the University of Maryland at College Park. Designed specifically for the needs of research at the frontiers of quantum science, the LAQS will feature environmental controls for clean air, low vibration and electromagnetic interference, and stable temperature and humidity, on a par with the Advanced Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The laboratory will primarily support the work of the Joint Quantum Institute, a collaboration of NIST, the University of Maryland and the National Security Agency's Laboratory for Physical Sciences, which studies phenomena in atomic, molecular and optical physics, condensed matter physics and quantum information. Quantum science contributes to our basic understanding of the universe, but also can fundamentally affect such practical issues as cryptography, advanced computing, and the design and use of sensors based on new technologies. Modern quantum science requires exquisite control of the research space—the lasers, for example, often must be physically stabilized to restrict motion from vibration or thermal expansion to less than a few nanometers. The LAQS has been designed to meet these exacting specifications.

Construction of the Physical Sciences Complex, including the LAQS, is expected to be completed by spring 2013.

For further information:
Lee Tune 
University of Maryland 
(301) 405-4679
ltune@umd.edu


Laboratory for Ocean Sensors and Observing Systems (LOSOS)

Site plan for the new Laboratory for Ocean Sensors and Observing Systems (LOSOS)

Site plan for the new Laboratory for Ocean Sensors and Observing Systems (LOSOS) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Credit: Ellenzweig

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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Barnstable, Mass.)
NIST Construction Grant Program Award: $8.1 million
Total project budget: $10.1 million

The new Laboratory for Ocean Sensors and Observing Systems (LOSOS) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) will be an interdisciplinary research center for scientists and engineers developing the next generation of sensor technologies for ocean observation. WHOI is the largest private oceanographic research institution in the world. Located on the WHOI Quissett campus in Woods Hole, Mass., LOSOS will support three major oceanographic projects:

The Ocean Observatories Initiative, a major program funded by the National Science Foundation to build networks of sensors to collect long-term ocean and sea floor data over several years. WHOI is lead institution for the Coastal and Global components.

The Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory, a combination undersea instrument platform and shore-based observation facility developed by WHOI to provide a unique, real-time, coastal ocean monitoring station in the New England region.

The Ocean Bottom Seismometer Instrument Pool, a service funded by the National Science Foundation to build, maintain and operate a pool of advanced sea floor seismometers for use by NSF funded researchers. WHOI is one of three institutions responsible for developing, maintaining and operating the instruments.

The 21,000-square-foot (2,000-square-meter) LOSOS facility will include a 3,800-square-foot (350-square-meter) high bay area for assembly and maintenance of buoys, mooring assemblies and other equipment for the sea floor instrumentation, along with instrumentation and electronics test and prep labs. The site at the WHOI Quissett Campus is adjacent to the existing WHOI Clark Lab and Rinehart Coastal Research Lab, allowing the LOSOS to take advantage of several existing technical facilities, including a salt water tank for instrument testing.

The LOSOS facility will support work by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in ocean observing, climate studies, weather observing, and earthquake and tsunami research. The laboratory's work in instrument design and calibration also is relevant to the mission of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The project is expected to be completed by spring 2012.

For further information: 
Dr. Laurence P. Madin 
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 
(508) 289-2515
lmadin@whoi.edu


Nanoscience Metrology Facility

planned Nanoscience Metrology Facility at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The planned Nanoscience Metrology Facility at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The nanoscience facility is on the right hand side of the picture, and is an addition to the existing building on the left hand side.

Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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University of Nebraska - Lincoln (Lincoln, Neb.)
NIST Construction Grant Program Award: $6.9 million
Total project budget: $13.8 million

The planned Nanoscience Metrology Facility (NMF) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will stimulate major new collaborative research by upgrading central facilities for nanofabrication, electron microscopy, and other synthesis and characterization laboratories.

The 32,000-square-foot (9753-square-meter) NMF will be a temperature-stabilized, low-vibration, low electromagnetic field building designed to achieve a minimum LEED certification of silver. The ground floor of the new facility will house a nanofabrication cleanroom and materials preparation facility, and the upper floor will house laboratories for nanofiber characterization, manufacturing metrology and nanophotonics. Also included in the project will be the construction of electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, X-ray materials characterization, mechanical characterization and crystallography labs.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln possesses one of the largest and most robust research programs in nanomagnetism and spintronics in the world. The construction of these facilities will enable the university to expand and improve its programs in these and other areas complementary to research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) including basic nanoscale science and the development of measurement techniques to support nanotechnologies.

The project is expected to be completed in summer 2011.

For further information: 
Vicki Miller 
Research Communications Coordinator 
(402) 472-3813
vmiller2@unl.edu
 
University of Nebraska - Lincoln news release: UNL wins $6.9 million grant to help fund nanoscience facility


The Institute for Soft Matter Synthesis and Metrology

Rendering of the proposed Science Research Building

Rendering of the proposed Science Research Building at Georgetown University.

Credit: Payette

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Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.)
NIST Construction Grant Program Award: $6.9 million
Total project budget: $55.7 million

The Institute for Soft Matter Synthesis and Metrology, I(SM)2, at Georgetown University will be a special research facility included in a planned new Science Research Building on Georgetown's main campus.

The emerging field of soft matter research deals with materials that are neither traditional liquids nor solids, including liquid crystals, gels, colloids, polymers, foams, granular matter and many biological materials. Soft matter is increasingly important in new products and technologies and brings with it new challenges for measurement, characterization and synthesis. In particular, soft matter often is fragile at various points during processing and requires tight environmental controls over factors such as temperature and humidity and, in some cases, light and vibration.

Housed within the new Science Research Building, which will provide the necessary environmental controls for the sensitive measurement technologies needed for soft matter research, the new I(SM)2 will enable expansion of on-going soft matter research by scientists at Georgetown, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other regional institutions, and promote the development of precision instrumentation for soft matter synthesis and measurement and the training of future generations of researchers in soft matter science.

The project is expected to be completed by summer 2012.

For further information: 
Rachel Pugh 
Acting Director of Communications, Georgetown University Medical Center 
202-687-4328
rmp47@georgetown.edu


The Ultraclean Geochemistry Laboratory at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Ultraclean Geochemistry Laboratory

The Ultraclean Geochemistry Laboratory will be housed in the Comer Geochemistry Building on Columbia University's Lamont Campus in Palisades, NY.

Credit: Lamont staff

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Columbia University (New York, N.Y.)
NIST Construction Grant Program Award: $1.4 million
Total project budget: $2.7 million

The planned Ultraclean Geochemistry Laboratory expansion and improvement at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University will double the capacity of existing highly specialized laboratory space devoted to the study of global climate processes.

Studying global climate processes, such as dust in the climate system, deep ocean currents, and other ocean circulation processes, requires that environmental samples be handled in extremely clean laboratories in order to minimize the risk of contamination, high quality air handling to exhaust the chemical solvents, and the ability to precisely control temperature and humidity. The design of the new laboratory space promises to achieve particle counts of fewer than 10 parts per billion and meet all the other requirements, all very energetically expensive, efficiently enough to save the university $60,000 per year in energy costs.

The construction of this facility will directly support the mission of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its efforts to monitor climate.

This project is scheduled for completion by spring 2011.

For further information: 
G. Michael Purdy
Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University 
(845) 365-8348
mpurdy@ldeo.columbia.edu