AEP Foundation grant will power materials research and STEM student success

Posted: October 1, 2019

A $2.5 million grant from the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation will help finalize construction of The Ohio State University Biomedical and Materials Engineering Complex’s first phase. The funding also will support new K-12 STEM education and outreach efforts.

The Ohio State University College of Engineering is co-locating two accomplished departments—biomedical engineering and materials science and engineering—together in a facility offering unlimited opportunity for discovery. Phase one construction of the Biomedical and Materials Engineering Complex, scheduled to open in 2020, will transform the aging engineering buildings on West 19th Avenue into a cutting-edge five-floor facility commensurate with the excellence of the departments it will welcome.

The $59.1 million, 124,000-square-foot Biomedical and Materials Engineering Complex (BMEC) is fueled by sizeable investments from the university and the State of Ohio—and by philanthropic support from generous individual and corporate sponsors like AEP Foundation.

BMEC renovation exterior view
Progress of BMEC first phase renovation and construction on October 1, 2019

“With AEP Foundation’s generous support, we have an extraordinary opportunity to build on our mutual strengths,” said College of Engineering Dean David B. Williams, “and focus on the next generation of materials research and innovation to address challenges facing our local, national and global communities.”

The renovated space will enable expansion of research in areas of data analytics, corrosion, materials characterization, structural materials, and superconductors—each critical to developing resilient energy infrastructure and solutions for the future. AEP Foundation will be recognized through a named space to be determined at a future date.

“We are committed to educating our young people and providing opportunities for future scientists, engineers and technologists to learn, innovate and make our communities stronger,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chairman, president and CEO, and chairman of the AEP Foundation. “We’re delighted to join Ohio State in a mutual desire to ensure a brighter technological future for us all.” 

Upon completion of BMEC, the College of Engineering will hold two AEP lecture series events each year in the 159-seat auditorium, adjacent to the central atrium.  The lectures will focus on integrated system resiliency, technological innovation and how the energy company of the future can imagine changes to the existing grid and development of new infrastructure needed to support Ohio and our region, and will be open to the public.

Embedded in the heart of the university’s academic core and located across from the recently completed North Residential Quad, BMEC is uniquely positioned to serve as modern STEM outreach facility, hosting resident programs for high school students and day camp programs for younger students during the summer. 

The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by AEP and its utility operating units. The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area.

Category: Giving