LOUISVILLE, Ky.—It's not always about what you learn. Sometimes, it's about how you learn it.
Undergraduate students at Oklahoma State University's College of Engineering Architecture and Technology are expanding how they learn with the opening of new materials testing facility, Endeavor. The $35 million, 72,000-sq.-ft. facility spans three floors and features laboratory and maker spaces for multi-disciplinary, collaboration-based learning aimed at preparing students to tackle big challenges in their chosen careers.
"We put the future in Endeavor," Paul Tikalsky, dean of OSU's College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, said in a statement. "This laboratory takes classic engineering principles and delivers them in a new, hands-on approach."
In designing Endeavor, the university committed to providing the undergraduate students with hands-on learning through student-led, faculty-mentored projects, and sought partnerships that would allow students to connect what they learn in the classroom with the rapidly changing 21st century careers ahead of them.
That's when Shimadzu Scientific Instruments stepped in.
"We had a couple customers at the university already, and we were approached by them when they decided to open up their Endeavor facility," Donald Stull, Shimadzu's product coordinator for physical measurements, said during the ACS Rubber Division's International Elastomer Conference and Expo. "They wanted to open a physical and mechanical properties testing lab, but they didn't want to just purchase equipment from a vendor, they wanted to partner with somebody and really get some added value from the partnership."
Through a Shimadzu Partnership for Academics, Research and Quality grant, Oklahoma State's Endeavor facility was outfitted with six Shimadzu high capacity test frames: Two from the AG-X Plus series and four AGS-X test frames.
Included in the test equipment was a AG-X Plus model with torsion testing; it is the only one in the U.S. with the capabilities, according to Stull.
The AGS-X test frames, he said, are outfitted with environmental testing chambers, allowing students to see how changes in the environment impact the physical and mechanical properties of the materials they are working with.
"A lot of times, you hear about that as an engineering student, but you don't get to experience it," Stull said. "Being able to experience it and see practically how that works is really great for them."
As a partner, Shimadzu also provides technical support, according to Stull. In return, Shimadzu's partnership with Oklahoma State helps to grow the brand recognition.
"In the U.S., we struggle a little bit with name recognition. So any time we get the opportunity to get in front of young up-and-coming professionals and be able to showcase what it is that our products are capable of, that is a really great opportunity for us," Stull said. "(We are) able to provide them with the tools they need to be successful in the future and let them experience what the Shimadzu experience is about."
Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, a subsidiary of Kyoto, Japan-based Shimadzu Corp, is headquartered in Columbia, Md. SSI provides analytical support and solutions from more than 50 locations, serving laboratories throughout North and South America. More information is available at ssi.shimadzu.com.