News: Ground is broken for polymer center

UA breaks ground for the National Polymer Innovation Center

09/14/2009

Beam signing, September 2009

The University’s newest addition, the National Polymer Innovation Center, was unveiled at a Sept. 14 groundbreaking ceremony during which dignitaries and guests signed the facility’s first construction beam. Pictured from left to right: The Hon. Donald Plusquellic, mayor, City of Akron; Ted Curtis, UA vice president of capital planning and facility management; Dr. Stephen Cheng, dean, UA College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering; Dr. Luis Proenza, UA president;  Ohio Sen. Tom Sawyer, UA alumnus; and Dr. Frank Douglas, president and CEO of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. The 42,750-square-foot center is scheduled for June 2010 completion.


The University of Akron's newest addition, the National Polymer Innovation Center, was unveiled at a groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 14.           

The 42,750-square-foot center, scheduled for June 2010 completion, will house 10 laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art research instruments and a multipurpose-processing high-bay area designed for the installation of prototype manufacturing apparatus. This design and instrumentation will enable UA researchers, in collaboration with industry, to fabricate materials and devices of the future.  

Dignitaries attending the event included:

  • Dr. Luis Proenza, UA president;
  • The Hon. Donald Plusquellic, mayor, City of Akron;
  • Dr. Stephen Cheng, dean, UA College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering;
  • Ted Curtis, UA vice president of Capital Planning and Facility Management;
  • Dr. Frank Douglas, president and CEO of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron; and
  • alumnus State Sen. Tom Sawyer, representing Ohio's 28th District. 
polymer bldg

An artist's rendering of the National Polymer Innovation Center.


All guests later signed the building's first beam, which will be exposed on the facility's interior.

The Center will be used to develop new knowledge and materials for solving problems of national interest in health, energy and the environment. In addition, it will provide a platform for training a skilled work force and for creating new jobs in Ohio.

"We work very, very hard to make this program No. 1 not only in this country, but also in the world," said Cheng, referring to UA's College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. "The University of Akron is a rising star. In the near future you will see its huge impact toward higher education of the United States. You will see."

Faculty, students and research partners from polymer and health industries will work within the new Center, in the emerging areas of biomaterials synthesis, biosensors and bio-devices design, and fabrication of photovoltaic and membrane members.

The $13.2 million building is fully funded with state dollars through the Ohio Third Frontier initiative. Learn more about the initiative.


Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or henryd@uakron.edu.

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