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Investment in innovation

March 30, 2015

From anti-cancer drugs to chemical warfare antidotes to energy-efficient materials, Ohio State's new CBEC building will enhance the university's already leading-edge work in many different areas.

Four buildings, one state-of-the-art facility. Ohio State’s new CBEC building is one of the very few in the country specifically designed to promote an innovative, collaborative research environment. One of the results? Ohio State will play a leadership role in important scientific advancements.

The building is located in the heart of the science and engineering neighborhood in the Academic Core North. It was conceived as a community of scientists, engineers, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and technical staff working collaboratively in the areas of research strengths in chemistry and chemical biomolecular engineering.

“This unprecedented partnership between the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering is a visionary leap forward in the way we do research — it allows us to tackle problems too big for one discipline,” says David Manderscheid, executive dean and vice provost for the College of Arts and Sciences.

“From future-focused biomedical innovations to energy-efficient materials research, we are taking on some of today’s most critical challenges.”

Students are able to work in labs with fume hoods in the new CBEC building. (Photo by Brad Feinknopf)
Students and professors use CBEC's new colorful computer lab. (Photo by Brad Feinknopf)
The open modular design allows rooms to be completely reconfigured, as nothing is bolted down. (Photo by Brad Feinknopf)
Students, staff and faculty can enjoy a nice view in CBEC's conference rooms. (Photo by Brad Feinknopf)
The new CBEC building's design allows natural light to fill the rooms. (Photo by Brad Feinknopf)

The building comprises a six-story tower for offices and theoretical research connected by bridges to a four-story lab wing with experimental research and teaching spaces.

Every floor includes open communal areas, or laboratory neighborhoods, that provide research space for more than 400 scientists/engineers.

Laboratories have been custom-built with the proper floor-to-ceiling height — some of them 20 feet — to accommodate the massive, state-of-the-art instrumentation required to support intensive research that can be done there.

“Since I’ve been at Ohio State for a semester in this brand new building, I’m comparing the labs that I tour on graduate school visits to this lab,” says Hannah Zierden, an undergraduate majoring in chemical engineering. “Not very many of them can measure up to what I have here.”

CBEC is the space for the William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, as well as Koffolt Laboratories, creating an innovative, interdisciplinary environment that optimizes education, research and discovery.

CBEC classroom

Ohio State is dedicated to students’ successes inside and outside the classroom. And with the new CBEC building, Ohio State will continue to train and prepare future engineers and scientists who can solve the world’s toughest problems.

“With areas optimized for collaboration, top-notch research facilities and premiere learning spaces, this building is the ideal environment for these future leaders to thrive,” says College of Engineering Dean David B. Williams. “CBEC is our investment in innovation.”