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Oklahoma State University

OSU announces plans for Core Research Facility

Fri, March 31, 2017
Estella Atekwana

The Oklahoma State University Boone Pickens School of Geology has announced it will break ground on a $3 million, 6,500-square foot Core Research Facility as early as this fall.  Financing for the building is made possible by generous donations from alumni and corporate partnerships. 

The facility will serve as a “one-stop-shop” for treatment, storage and analysis of core samples (cylindrical rock samples obtained by drilling), which is a needed service in the region. The building will include a grinding and polishing lab, thin section preparation, an area designated for coloring, porosity and permeability, significant layout and review space, as well as office space and a conference room. 

More than a repository, the facility will house active research, which already exceeds $3 million in funding.  It will be located in the northwest section of campus, near the corner of McElroy Road and N. Willis Street. 

“The Core Facility will give our faculty and students new research opportunities, which will better prepare students for their careers while also allowing OSU to fulfill its land-grant mission,” said Dr. Estella Atekwana, Regents Professor of Geology and Sun Chair Professor and Head of the Boone Pickens School of Geology.  “We are grateful to the donors for supporting this important addition to the campus.”

The facility will allow OSU to host geology professionals from around the world for industry short-courses and core workshops in reservoir characterization and other topics.  It will also support OSU’s public outreach mission, as a land-grant institution. 

Additionally, new undergraduate and graduate programming opportunities will emerge, including reservoir rock analysis, which will contribute to petroleum geoscience research.  As a result, OSU students will have a better and more comprehensive understanding of core samples and their extensive uses. 

“Rocks are the foundation of the geosciences, and their study can unlock a multitude of diverse understanding and resources for the world,” said Mike Kuykendall, geoscience manager at Felix Energy.  “Applied core research is integral to achieving this potential.” 

The $3 million total cost to build, equip, and endow the Core Research Facility, includes $2 million in construction, $500,000 in equipment, and a $500,000 endowment for maintenance and technology support.

The Boone Pickens School of Geology has a strong and growing national and international reputation for excellence in research and teaching in the applied geosciences.  The Core Research Facility is expected to grow grant revenue and establish a technological infrastructure to allow the School to be leader in emerging research. 

Major contributions for the facility are provided by: Mike and Karen Kuykendall, Lawrence and Patty Walker, John A. Brett III, Kent A. Bowker, Dr. Dale E. Fitz and Mrs. Anne Kuah, Mike and Sue Gaskins, Chesapeake Energy, Inc., and Charles Taufest.

PHOTO: Dr. Estella Atekwana https://www.flickr.com/photos/ostatenews/32863187504/in/dateposted-public/