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Valero gives $1.25 million to support OSU’s new ENDEAVOR lab

Monday, June 26, 2017

College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology facility includes Process and Transport Lab and a technology classroom

Oklahoma State University’s new ENDEAVOR undergraduate laboratory facility for the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology will feature two prominent enhancements thanks to the generosity of Valero Energy Corporation. The San Antonio-based Fortune 50 company has donated $1.25 million to OSU to support the building’s Process and Transport Laboratory as well as the Pre-Laboratory Instruction Room.

“We are proud to partner with Valero in the new ENDEAVOR lab,” said Paul Tikalsky, dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at Oklahoma State. “We share the collective values in engineering with safety, environment and community at the top of the list. The extraordinary support which Valero has offered OSU to educate the next generation shows their commitment to interdisciplinary education in the most advanced areas of energy. The ENDEAVOR is a new type of building that is laboratory, entrepreneurial development, and hands-on collaboration all in one. 

“It is an innovative hub of learning that shifts the college’s pedagogy from traditional engineering education to a robust combination of theory and systems education with hands-on applications to better prepare the next generation of engineers, architects and technology professionals. Our partners in industry, and especially Valero, are helping us build an inspirational tool that engages the next generation of OSU students and faculty to meet the intellectual capital needs of business and industry throughout the state, region and nation.”

The Valero Process and Transport Laboratory will provide students with hands-on learning experiences by affording them access to state-of-the-art equipment and process similar to what is used at modern refineries. It will allow 15 active experiments to run simultaneously and include a high bay space for a distillations, separations and absorption processes to assist in engineering studies. The Valero Pre-Laboratory Instruction classroom will provide advanced teaching technology to prepare students for hands-on lab experiences.

“Valero’s investment in the new ENDEAVOR lab is an incredible way to support the next generation of engineers,” said Lane Riggs, Valero Executive Vice President of Refining Operations and Engineering. “This unique learning lab will provide current and future students an opportunity to immerse themselves in an environment similar to Valero refinery operations. The hands-on experience is invaluable and we are proud to be a part of it.”

Valero, an independent petroleum refiner and ethanol producer, employs approximately 10,000 people. It markets products in 44 states, six Canadian provinces, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The 72,000-square-foot ENDEAVOR facility will include state-of-the-art design that is reconfigurable so that it meets future educational needs. The structure is designed to be used as a teaching tool for architecture and energy utilization. It will support an estimated 84 courses with approximately 118 laboratory sections.

Valero’s gift is a significant step toward completing the $35 million ENDEAVOR building, which will support the college’s changing instruction, while adding value and quality to the degrees earned at OSU. ENDEAVOR will support students’ entrepreneurial ideas with large makerspaces and develop tomorrow’s innovation leaders. This facility will greatly increase the space for multidisciplinary laboratory activities and give OSU students an experience beyond those at peer institutions.

ENDEAVOR will help OSU address Oklahoma’s shortage of engineers and technology professionals, who play a vital role in the state’s growing economy. Engineering enrollment at OSU has doubled in the past decade, creating a critical need for modern laboratories that address the challenges of tomorrow and drive economic development in Oklahoma.

The facility will enhance academic outcomes through hands-on education, interdisciplinary and collaborative problem-solving and entrepreneurial innovation. Its goals were established by collaboration between industry leaders, faculty and students. These include creating a flagship facility for undergraduate programs; encouraging interaction and cross-pollination among all constituents; creating topic-specific laboratories; exhibiting and utilizing building systems as instructional tools; including an exposed steel structure, meters displaying energy and water usage, and color coding and labeling of utility systems.

The building will include areas designed to facilitate specific undergraduate, project-based learning. The chemical and environmental labs will be state-of-the-art facilities that support scaled-unit plant operations, allowing students to understand the design parameters of processing chemicals and industrial materials into usable products.  The flow and thermodynamic lab will support hands-on experimentation of advanced fluid and heat transfer systems. ENDEAVOR will have mechanical and physical properties testing labs to allow students to characterize materials by physically testing the engineering properties. The electronics and communications labs will be a hands-on environment that allows students to put theory to practice and develop innovative devices that measure, evaluate and control electrical systems. Finally, ENDEAVOR will support a large Venture lab that will provide additive manufacturing (3D Printing), automated machine manufacturing, robotic control and coding for control systems.

The building will house 14 undergraduate research laboratories spread strategically throughout its three floors along with a lecture hall and student-project space. It will be at the corner of Hester Street and Athletic Avenue, bridging architecture, engineering, entrepreneurship, and industry interactions.

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