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UWyo Magazine
University of Wyoming
Dept. 3226
1000 East University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: 307-766-2379
TTY: 307-766-6729
Email: uwyomag@uwyo.edu

UWyo Magazine

January 2015 | Vol. 16, No. 2

Sen. Mike Enzi

Sen. Michael B. Enzi visits UW’s WPX Drilling Simulator Teaching Lab in the Energy Innovation Center.

High Bay Research Facility

“CEAS finds it difficult to do research on large projects because there’s no space,” Nicholas says. “There are modern technology needs, power needs and vibration-isolation needs.”

“Good research faculty have needs that grow over time,” Northam adds. “For some of our key programs, what we’ve decided to do is get out in front of that and build a laboratory facility that is characterized by sufficient space and capacity.”

Built in partnership with SER, CEAS and the Department of Geology and Geophysics, the High Bay Research Facility will be located on north 19th Street near the UW Centennial Complex, with completion anticipated in 2016. It will contain approximately 90,000 square feet of traditional and high-bay research laboratories, offices and meeting areas.

“The goal of the High Bay Research Facility project is to design spaces that are modular and that can be repurposed or expanded down the road if necessary,” says Project Manager Krista Laursen. “The east wing is true high-bay space with tall, 22-foot ceilings so that an overhead crane can move equipment in and out.”

From a funding standpoint, what makes the facility unique is the public-private investment. “Our partners are private-sector partners that want that research done, including research into flow through porous media, improved oil recovery and geomechanics,” Northam says.

UW raised $15 million through corporate partnerships, matched by a $15 million appropriation from the Legislature, to complete funding to build the facility. In the 2014 Wyoming legislative session, the governor and the Legislature set aside an additional $10.5 million to match investments for technology and equipment, and contributions against those funds are in the final stages of commitment. (See the “Industry Collaboration” sidebar for details.)

“New technology is key to our continued growth,” says Greg Hill, president and chief operating officer of Hess Corp. and co-chair of the task force. “Our work with UW and the Hess Digital Rock Physics Lab will fundamentally change our understanding of oil and gas production from unconventional resources and lead to the development of more efficient and effective recovery techniques.”

“We will have capacity to accommodate multiple principal investigators who are the best in the world,” Northam says. “The thing that will attract them here is that they will have access to experimental and computational facilities that can’t be duplicated anywhere else.”

“The work that’s going to come out of the new research facilities and the whole program is going to make a huge difference in the nation’s energy security,” Botts adds.


Engineering Building Expansion

A new building will be added north of Lewis Street behind the present CEAS buildings. The $106 million project is the largest single capital project in UW history. The majority will come from state appropriations, with additional funds raised from private donations.

“During initial planning, priority-one areas were identified as the spaces that enable undergraduate and graduate education,” Laursen says. “We also need to provide expanded, transformative research capabilities.”

“The current Engineering Building doesn’t have readily made collaboration spaces where students from difference disciplines can work together,” Horner says. “New spaces will allow for integrated learning in a modern context.”

The building will include an auditorium and flexible spaces to accommodate future growth.


Michael B. Enzi STEM Facility

“Some of our labs on campus are running up to 12 hours a day,” says Bryan Shader, professor of mathematics and a member of the Enzi STEM Facility planning committee.

State-of-the art labs and additional teaching space were needed, with a goal of bringing students and professors from the STEM fields together. “The building has the capacity of 900 students per class period, so we’re going to see a lot of activity once programs are up to speed,” says Merl Haworth, associate director of facilities planning. “The building includes a large atrium and common space for the students to gather.”


      "This is a state of dreamers.
This is a state of people with vision."

- Michael B. Enzi

The custom-designed labs were purpose-built to meet modern needs. “Physics and astronomy designed some of their space to support studio labs,” Shader says. “The chemists have set up their spaces so that they’ll have an experimental lab next to an analysis lab.”

Active learning labs for mathematics include group tables with touchscreens where the students can work together and show their solutions, and the professors can then share up to four student screens on a larger monitor. “The goal is that once a week, all of our first-year and sophomore students will actively engage with hands-on math together,” Shader says. “Research shows that students understand concepts better through active engagement. Persistence to graduation follows. When these students are actively engaged, they get excited about what they’re doing.”

One room of the facility is devoted to training elementary math teachers, complete with the math learning tools that teachers will later use in their own classrooms. Science will be on display throughout the facility, with interactive displays and science-themed artwork. Glass walls wherever possible also place science on display, and group rooms encourage student collaboration. The public will be welcome in the Enzi STEM Facility, including school field trips, speakers and events.

Ready for classes in fall of 2015, the 100,000-square-foot facility is home to 32 laboratories geared toward basic science and math courses. “Every student who comes through the Laramie campus is going to go through the STEM building, and every student should leave that with a positive experience,” Shader says.

Each of these new buildings adds an important foundation upon which the Tier-1 initiative can grow, propelling UW to new heights in excellence in education, research and service.


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Industry Collaboration

The University of Wyoming has a proven track record of working with the energy industry to deliver successful solutions to today’s challenges. These partnerships have played a strategic role in funding the High Bay Research Facility, and UW extends its utmost gratitude for these partnerships.

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UWyo Magazine
University of Wyoming
Dept. 3226
1000 East University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: 307-766-2379
TTY: 307-766-6729
Email: uwyomag@uwyo.edu

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