Vision 2025 Money Put To Good Use At OSU-Tulsa

Friday, February 16th 2007, 9:51 am
By: News On 6

There’s another step in the construction of a research center at the OSU-Tulsa campus. The News on 6’s Emory Bryan reports on a feature that's making some folks take a second look.

It's something that's caught the eye of people driving by on the expressway, big green towers on the roof of the OSU research center. That's just a hint of the technology that's going to be used inside the Helmerich Advanced Technology Research Center, which got its start from the Vision Plan.

"Well they've got the roof on so they can work in the weather," OSU-Tulsa President Gary Trennepohl said.

Trennepohl says the building is on track to open in November and he's close to hiring a top researcher to work there, with the lure of a $2 million privately endowed chair.

“That combined with the building puts us in the position to be able to attract the kind of people we want to Oklahoma,” said Trennepohl.

Outside, the building looks traditional, but inside it's high tech. There are big labs, the largest 60 by 120 feet, and there's going to be a wind tunnel in the basement. That's because the technology center will focus on advanced materials. Those materials will have big implications for the field of aviation, promising lighter weight and greater strength for new aircraft.

While most of the building looks like the others on campus, one feature stands out, three giants vents on the roof that get rid of any chemical fumes in those high tech labs.

"I think the best analogy is it's like having a large jet engine on your roof because they are designed to blow a plume of air out of there 80 feet high straight out each one of those," Trennepohl said.

The researchers in the center are going to be working on ideas that can be marketed. A leading candidate for one of the jobs already has 25 patents, and two of his projects led to entire companies being created. And that's what OSU hopes will happen at the Helmerich Advanced Technology Research Center, new technologies will be created, then marketed, while graduate students work alongside.