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ElectroScience Laboratory, Industry Partner on Facility Expansion

The ElectroScience Laboratory is reinventing itself to incorporate a model where private companies and public universities work together under the same roof.

ElectroScience LaboratoryThe new 40,580-square-foot Wireless Communication/Radio Frequency Research Building, shown in an architect's rendering here, is scheduled to open in spring 2011 and will connect to and complement the existing ElectroScience Laboratory.Having outgrown its aging 55-year-old home, the ElectroScience Laboratory has partnered with the Science and Technology Campus Corp. (SciTech) to occupy space in a new $7.3 million Wireless Communication/Radio Frequency Research Building. SciTech, the university-affiliated developer of the building, has begun construction on the 40,580-square-foot facility, with completion expected in early 2011. A covered walkway will connect the new facility to the existing ElectroScience Laboratory building, where ESL’s laboratories, anechoic chamber, cleanroom and other research equipment will remain.Almost 70 years ago, the ElectroScience Laboratory was created as a government-sponsored research facility to satisfy national defense needs in wireless communications, radars and optics. Since then, the lab has evolved into a center of excellence in the College of Engineering with a legacy of teaching, scholarship and cutting-edge research.

In addition to providing a modern space to house ESL’s 100 faculty, researchers, staff and students, the new facility will also support novel research partnerships. It will enable individuals from private industry to have direct access to the best faculty and researchers in the country in electromagnetics, sensors, wireless communications and optics/photonics, as well as expensive and specialized research facilities.

Browne is developing to capture high-resolution images through walls using 900 MHz to 2.3 GHz frequencies. The radar could be used for military search or reconnaissance missions or in emergencies such as earthquake rescues.Along with gaining hands-on experience working with industry partners to solve real-world problems, ESL’s graduate and undergraduate students will benefit from new and expanded resources to better support their education and research, including a computing facility, multimedia creation room and interactive conferencing room.“We expect these unique research partnerships to launch spinoff companies that develop new technology, leading to commercialization of university research and increased research funding for the ElectroScience Laboratory,” Interim Engineering Dean Gregory N. Washington says, adding that the partnerships offer additional opportunities for internships and jobs for students.

“This critically needed new space will enable the ElectroScience Laboratory to continue to attract world-class faculty and students, strengthen ESL’s legacy of innovation, teaching and scholarship, and ensure pre-eminence in research for decades to come,” says John Volakis, director of the ElectroScience Laboratory and professor of electrical and computer engineering.

The construction of the new facility is supported by nearly $5 million in Ohio Third Frontier funds and generous alumni donations, Volakis says.
Read more information about the new facility.

Candice Clevenger is public relations coordinator for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the ElectroScience Laboratory.