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This item originally appeared in the May 5, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Writer

Groundbreaking for the new biomedical engineering building is set for Wednesday, and the Institute for Micromanufacturing should have its new neighbor by late 2006.

"It's like a dream come true; it's a very important building for Tech," President Dr. Dan Reneau said. "In fact, it will be a keystone-type building to maintain our excellence in biomedical engineering, nanosystems and nanotechnology."

Reneau said the new building will be located between Davison Hall and the IfM building.

"There is actually going to be a passageway connecting it to the IfM called 'collaboration alley,'" Reneau said.

Reneau said the new biomedical engineering building will be in a space where Tech has all of its research areas.

"It needed to be close to the IfM because of nano work that they are doing," Reneau said.

He also said the new building will facilitate research in the biomedical engineering range in instruction, research and teaching.

"[The new building] will have some specialized laboratories of what we call nanobiotechnology and nanobioengineering," Reneau said.

In addition to the laboratories, one wing will be a high-tech business incubator center, he said.

"Nanotechnology is the wave of the future," he said. "It's going to change the way we live and everyday life."

Kelli Huckaby, a senior biomedical engineering major, said she thinks this building will be a good addition to Tech.

"This building will increase the value of research, so Tech can receive more grants," Huckaby said.

Huckaby said the new building will draw more students to Tech.

"Tech has a faculty of expertise that puts us at the forefront, and without the new facility of this type, we can't stay at that forefront," Reneau said.

Dr. Stan Napper, the dean of the College of Engineering and Science and professor of biomedical engineering, said he is looking forward to the new biomedical engineering building.

"We are very excited that the realization of this dream will soon be visible," Napper said.

Napper said the building will meet the needs for faculty and students in biological science, chemistry and other programs.

"This building will be the most complex and multifunctional building on campus, with wide functional and aesthetic appeal," Napper said."It will be one of the most beautiful and practical biomedical engineering buildings in the country."

Reneau said Tech received funding for the new building from state and private funds.

"We got approved by a capital outlay project, and you start the project by recommending it to the board of supervisors, and if they approve it then they recommend it to the Board of Regents," Reneau said. "[The Board of Regents] works it into their system over a period of years, and they recommend it to the legislature and the governor and then the legislature has to act on it."

Reneau said the legislature has been kind to Tech.

"[The idea] started out with an attempt to renovate the old biomedical engineering building, but we kept hammering away," Reneau said. "What we really needed was a new one."

Reneau said Tech's first specialized animal care facility will be in the building and serve the whole campus.

"If you are in this type of work of living systems with biologists in the biomedical engineering, then you need to have animal care facilities, like a medical school."

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