November 21, 2006

University dedicates NSF Science and Technology Center

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Kent Hale Smith Building

Case Western Reserve University leaders, joined by officials from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Cleveland Municipal School District (CMSD), officially dedicated the Center for Layered Polymeric Systems, or CLiPS, the university's first ever NSF Science and Technology Center, based in the macromolecular science and engineering department at the Case School of Engineering (CSE).

Interim President Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D., hosted the celebration yesterday at the site of the new center in the Kent Hale Smith Building. Provost and University Vice President John L. Anderson; CSE Dean Robert F. Savinell; and Anne Hiltner, the Herbert Henry Dow Professor at CSE and director of CLiPS, also gave remarks.

Arden L. Bement Jr., director of the NSF, spoke at the dedication of the center, which will receive about $19 million from the NSF over the first five years. The lifetime of a center is usually 10 years with total funding of around $40 million.

Eugene T.W. Sanders, CEO of the CMSD, also spoke to honor the center's faculty who will engage students from the Cleveland Municipal School District in the exploration of polymer science and engineering as academic pursuits and eventual careers.

According to Hiltner, the goal is for CLiPS to lead the nation with an integrated program of research and education through a distinctive microlayering and nanolayering process created at Case during the last 20 years. This forced-assembly process brings together dissimilar polymers and other materials to produce hierarchical structures that are otherwise unattainable. The CLiPS approach strategically integrates polymer science and engineering with research in nanotechnology, optics, laser physics, membranes, biomedical engineering and other scientific disciplines in the "polymers plus" concept.

Under the pioneering leadership in the 1960s and 1970s Eric Baer, former department chair and current Leonard Case Professor in the department of macromolecular science and engineering, Case established internationally recognized research and educational programs in polymer science and engineering. CLiPS, which evolved out of this platform of excellence at Case, will partner with Fisk University, a historically black university in Nashville, Tenn., and The University of Texas at Austin, as well as enter into an educational partnership with the Cleveland Municipal School District.

To complement its pioneering research programs, CLiPS will serve as a model for successful recruitment of diverse American students into the science and engineering workforce. A full research and education partnership between Case and Fisk will broaden participation of African American students in the science and technology programs at both universities. The Case-Fisk Alliance will serve as a compelling model for expanding relationships between Historically Black Colleges and Universities and research universities.

In addition to The University of Texas at Austin, Fisk University and the Cleveland Municipal School District, Case has other partners in this endeavor, including the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss.; Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio; Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.; the State University of New York at Fredonia; the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y.; and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

View a video clip from the dedication.

For more information contact Laura M. Massie, 216.368.4442.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, November 21, 2006 10:27 AM | News Topics: Collaborations/Partnerships, Community Outreach, Research, Science

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