Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie presided over the recent (Nov. 19) dedication of the Science and Engineering Laboratory Building at IUPUI, a $25 million high-tech building that provides needed facilities for education and research that contributes to the economic vitality of the state.

The building, the first nonmedical science academic building to open on the IUPUI campus in 20 years, contains about 35,000 assignable square feet for research and teaching spaces. Located at 350 N. Blackford St., it’s attached to the existing science building constructed more than 20 years ago.

"We must provide our scientists and scholars spaces that enable them to engage in collaborative, multidisciplinary activity,” McRobbie said. “Such facilities are critical to help recruit and retain the best faculty and researchers, to ensure that IU remains competitive in research and scholarship, and to help provide a high-quality living and educational environment for IU students -- on all campuses.”

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie speaks at dedication ceremony.Photo courtesy of Indiana UniversityAccording to McRobbie, collaboration is at the heart of discovery, underscoring the importance of the interdisciplinary programs that are housed in the new Science and Engineering Laboratory Building. Among those programs are biomedical engineering, forensic science, psychobiology and renewable energy research.

“The research and education that will take place in the new facility will lead to innovative new ideas, and, potentially, to the transfer of additional technologies that will enhance our standard of living and our quality of life,” McRobbie said.

The ceremony featured a keynote address by John C. Lechleiter, chairman and CEO of Eli Lilly and Co., and McRobbie presented Lechleiter an honorary Doctor of Science degree. Lechleiter joined Lilly in 1979 as a senior organic chemist and rose through its ranks to his current position.

“What we’re dedicating today is not just steel and stone and glass … or even new labs and teaching space, as important as they are … but rather the promise of better lives for millions of people,” Lechleiter said.

Other dedication ceremony participants included IUPUI Chancellor and IU Executive Vice President Charles R. Bantz, School of Science Dean Simon J. Rhodes, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology Dean David J. Russomanno, and two students, one from each of the schools.

The two deans said the new building will support education and transformative research by faculty and students. Some research labs have already moved into the space and will start operations this week. Teaching labs will be used for classes starting next semester.