A $22 million structural engineering laboratory that opened at Auburn University this week is a “revolution in structural engineering,” according to the university’s civil engineering chair.
“What was impossible is now possible,” Andy Nowak, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, said of the Advanced Structural Engineering Laboratory.
The 42,000-square-foot facility includes a high bay laboratory with a strong wall and floor to handle extreme testing loads; a geotechnical chamber within the strong floor; a concrete materials research and testing laboratory; wind testing; and faculty and graduate student spaces.
“In addition to helping us secure research grants and projects, the ASEL will help us to recruit the best faculty and the best students,” Nowak said.
Steve Taylor, associate dean for research in engineering, said the new ASEL puts Auburn’s engineering program on another level.
“We now offer one of the best laboratories in the country — if not the best,” he said. “If I’m a student who wants to be a structural engineer, this is the best place to go to school in the nation.”