Dow funds and names Knowledge Commons in new engineering facility

Mindy Krause
June 29, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Dow has committed $500,000 to develop and name the Dow Chemical Knowledge Commons within the new Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Building at Penn State.

The Dow Chemical Knowledge Commons will be a 1,667-square-foot student space designed to foster peer-to-peer interactions, teamwork and engaged learning. It will offer students in the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering a place to work collaboratively with one another and with colleagues and mentors at peer institutions, in industry and in locations abroad. 

“We realize the journey toward innovation is enhanced through collaboration, and Penn State has been a good partner for us,” said A.N. Sreeram, corporate vice president of research and development at Dow, when the partnership was announced last spring. “The University shares our goal of ensuring that exceptional chemical engineering students have access to premier educational opportunities so that they can begin their careers with a well-developed understanding of industry operations, ready to make an immediate impact.”

The Dow Chemical Knowledge Commons will feature a variety of meeting venues and collaborative spaces equipped with state-of-the-art technology to support virtual gatherings and to advance the profile of academic initiatives at the University and beyond.

"Dow’s gift will provide engineering students with an exceptional collaboration and networking space. Their support underlines the company’s commitment to, and belief in, Penn State engineering as a leading partner,” said Amr Elnashai, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering at Penn State.

The generous gift serves as a symbol of the company’s longstanding relationship with Penn State. Dow has previously supported the advancement of the department through research contributions, most notably in 2011, when they announced their commitment to support 11 leading U.S. universities, including Penn State. That year, the company began a multi-year research project with Penn State focused on flexible and printed electronics and chemical linguistic analysis.

“As both a Dow employee and alumna of the Penn State chemical engineering program, I am incredibly proud to see this partnership grow,” said Lisa Callender, global supply chain manager at Dow. “The new building will help attract additional talent to the already outstanding department and serve as a beacon for innovation and collaboration.”

The new Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Building is expected to open in 2019. The six-story, 194,500-square-foot facility will co-house the chemical engineering and biomedical engineering departments and will be hallmarked by its transparency, adaptability and abundant opportunities for cross-operation.

The facility is expected to usher in a new era of chemical and biomedical innovation at the University and position Penn State as a pioneer in engineering education for years to come.

The total estimated cost of the building is $150 million, $10 million of which must be raised by the College of Engineering. Anyone interested in supporting the Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Building Project can visit the project’s website for more information and naming opportunities.

About Dow

Dow combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The company is driving innovations that extract value from the intersection of chemical, physical and biological sciences to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, clean energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's integrated, market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions.

Penn State Giving

Penn State’s alumni and friends are invaluable partners in fulfilling the University’s land-grant mission of education, research and service. Private gifts from alumni and friends enrich the experiences of students both in and out of the classroom; expand the research and teaching capacity of our faculty; enhance the University’s ability to recruit and retain top students and faculty; and help to ensure that students from every economic background have access to a Penn State education. The University’s colleges and campuses are now enlisting the support of alumni and friends to advance a range of unit-specific initiatives.

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Last Updated June 29, 2016