Oklahoma State University’s ENDEAVOR is the glass and steel embodiment of a new era in undergraduate engineering learning, where walls have been torn down between disciplines and individual expertise is melded into interdisciplinary teams.
The new hands-on laboratory center, located at 215 N. Hester Street, will be dedicated at 3 p.m. Sept. 22. The 72,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility is the centerpiece of an educational paradigm shift in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology and across OSU.
“This one-of-a-kind laboratory is a shining example of Oklahoma State's commitment to academic excellence and student discovery,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “We owe a huge thanks to the many donors who saw the vision for this facility and helped make it a reality. ENDEAVOR will empower interdisciplinary innovation and learning that produces advanced ideas and solutions.”
Dr. Paul J. Tikalsky, dean of OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, said, “The United States is at a crossroads, requiring an investment in a new paradigm of educational infrastructure. The 20th-century vision of infrastructure has moved from platforms for planes, trains and automobiles to 21st-century platforms that support cyber, analytics, mobility, logistics, energy, water, education and economic engines.
“Oklahoma State University has partnered with several of the nation’s leaders in energy and aerospace to launch the ENDEAVOR initiative, making it a place where interdisciplinary faculty can present engineering principles, advanced process and manufacturing technologies, and entrepreneurship in exciting ways.”
ENDEAVOR makes immersive education possible, allowing undergraduate students to take theories learned in the classroom and apply that knowledge through hands-on, student-developed and faculty-mentored projects. OSU is on the cutting edge of the movement. In fact, ENDEAVOR and OSU’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology are joining the nation’s most elite institutions in combining engineering, advanced technology and entrepreneurship.
“We are leading a new age of education for undergraduate students,” Tikalsky said.
ENDEAVOR boasts more than $5 million in state-of-the-art equipment and instruments available to undergraduate students trained and certified to use them. No equipment is off-limits, and all OSU students are welcome. There are 23 interdisciplinary engineering science and project labs, including four that are each the size of a basketball court. Laboratory classes focus on areas such as mechatronics, robotics, digital manufacturing, fluid and aero dynamics, thermodynamics, materials, sustainable building concepts, sensors and electronics, energy systems and radio frequency communications.
Donors paid for more than half of the cost of the $35 million facility, and students changed their fees to ensure it would be staffed, accessible and open for their innovations.
ENDEAVOR has been designed by FSB Architects to be a learning tool in and of itself, with visible elevator components, exposed structural design and visible plumbing and power systems. Its design, including the placement of its utilities, makes it adaptable, scalable and reconfigurable, able to evolve with changes in technology and industry-mentored design projects.
ENDEAVOR encompasses three floors of labs and makerspaces for innovation, assembly and fabrication. Industry-aligned labs, sponsored by corporations, are home to seniors working on interdisciplinary capstone design projects in collaboration with industry leaders. One sponsor, petroleum refiner Valero, gave $1.25 million to bring the newest technologies in process and transport to the next generation of students. Sponsors fund labs aligned with their businesses and provide company employees to mentor students and their entrepreneurial projects.
Other industry donors include Chesapeake Energy (the largest donor at $1.85 million), ExxonMobil, Devon Energy, National Instruments, Shimadzu, ONEOK, Williams Cos., McAlpine Energy, NorthStar Battery and others. Individuals such as Mark and Beth Brewer, C.S. Cho, Bill and Jane Travis, and Debbie and Charlie Adams also made the project possible.
“We put the future in ENDEAVOR,” Tikalsky said. “This laboratory takes classic engineering principles and delivers them in a new, entrepreneurial approach.”
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