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Gustafsson RESEARCH AREAS CONVERGE IN UH'S SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING RESEARCH CENTER

  • The Science and Engineering Research Center (SERC) at the University of Houston was designed to be both efficient and aesthetically pleasing.

  • To properly design this building, world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli - the visionary behind SERC - assembled members of his architectural firm who had scientific backgrounds in addition to their architectural expertise.

  • Pelli's vision for this building was a state-of-the-art research and teaching center that encourages collegiality and collaboration. The architects succeeded in designing a highly flexible laboratory structure that supports practically any and all kinds of scientific endeavors.

  • SERC recently won a Citation of Excellence design award in the "new construction" category from Buildings Magazine in October 2008.

  • The powerful synergy expected from this building comes from multiple disciplines - spanning the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics to the Cullen College of Engineering - being brought together and allowing researchers to more closely interact and collaborate.

  • SERC not only opens doors on campus between science and engineering, but also is poised to erase lines between universities and other like-minded institutions.

  • The 152,460-square-foot laboratory building, situated at the corner of Cullen Boulevard and Entrance 14, is a five-story structure with an innovative design that facilitates interaction, featuring labs opening up to other labs with no walls to isolate them. UH scientists and engineers had input into the design of the new lab facilities, with an estimated 40 research laboratories available.

  • The ground floor is home to a dedicated, full-service Class-100 "clean room" facility of the caliber found at major pharmacological and high-tech institutions. Among the first of its kind in Houston, this "clean room" features a non-vibration floor, static-free environment and special air filters to remove virtually all dust particles to reduce contamination and control vibrations that jeopardize delicate experiments.

  • These "clean room" capabilities permit instrumentation not available in UH's other structures, thus allowing for more collaborative research between engineering and science faculty, as well as benefiting local industry partners who participate in UH's research efforts.

  • Research benefiting from SERC includes areas that cover bionanotechnology, DNA chips, protein chips, synthetic medicinal chemistry, drug design, nano-lithography, materials and optoelectronics. SERC promotes collaborative interaction among UH's bioscientists and engineers, enabling them to pursue solutions to significant societal problems in the biomedical and environmental areas, among others.

  • The resources this building offers put UH on the cusp of an interface among research areas and disciplines where magnificent discoveries will occur. The complimentary capabilities of SERC create a stimulating environment, addressing the evolution and future directions of research to facilitate increased cross-disciplinary interaction among UH's faculty.