New $30.4 Million Facility Supports UT Research (310)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– The University of Tennessee’s Science and Engineering Research Building, one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in the South, will be dedicated here June 19.

 The $30.4 million building, which offers more than 200,000 square feet of laboratory and research space, is the largest in Tennessee designated exclusively for research.

 UT President Joe Johnson said the building, which is located on “The Hill” where the old “Science Hall” stood from 1892 to 1967, is a symbol of the University’s research mission.

 “The opening of this tremendous research facility is a statement that governors, legislators, and other Tennesseans recognize the unique mission of UT-Knoxville,” Johnson said. “We appreciate their hard work to make this building a reality.”

 “The folks who occupy this building will be focused on vital issues important to Tennesseans — working to improve our environment, health and safety, and economic competitiveness.”

UT-Knoxville Chancellor Bill Snyder said the building will have an important role in supporting the campus’ research mission.

 “This facility will strengthen our role among the nation’s leading research universities,” Snyder said. “It will help make UT-Knoxville even more competitive for research grants and contracts.”

 UT currently attracts approximately $160 million annually in external research funding — more than any other university, public or private, in Tennessee. Approximately one-half or $80 million of the funding is UT-Knoxville’s.

The building, designed by the architectural firms of Barber and McMurray and Lindsay and Maples, is itself a research laboratory for studying “building behavior.”

 Sensors and monitoring devises installed throughout the structure as the building was constructed allow faculty and students to monitor the effects of wind, settling and other movement.

 The information gained is expected to lead to the development of better building codes and construction techniques.

 Research projects to be housed in the building include the following:

 — The Imaging, Robotics and Intelligent System Laboratory, where technologies are developed to do work and gather information in environments unsafe for humans.

 — The Sports Bio-Mechanics Impact Research Laboratory, where equipment for athletic activities ranging from rodeo to Little League is tested and new recommendations developed for safety standards.

— The Center for Environmental Technology, where specially cultured bacteria are developed that cleanup contamination without creating adverse by-products.

 Contact: Dr. Joe Johnson (423-974-2441), Dr. Bill Snyder (423-974-3288)