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Explorations in Science and Technology

Building to Advance Research

Over the last decade, Pitt construction and renovations have added state-of-the-art facilities for research in medicine, science, engineering, and technology.

Opened in October 2005, the Biomedical Science Tower 3 (BST3) houses Pitt’s Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and Center for Vaccine Research, among other scientific units. Designed by award-winning architectural firm Payette Associates, Inc., of Boston, the 10-story BST3 is a nexus for cutting-edge biomedical research and a model for modern laboratory space that promotes interaction among scientists, fosters interdisciplinary research, and can adapt to changing demands and priorities.

When Pitt’s John W. Swanson School of Engineering re-envisioned its curricula and programs, it also initiated substantial renovations to better equip student and faculty research. New state-of-the-art classrooms, part of the innovative Albert G. Holzman Learning Center, encourage interactive, collaborative learning with interconnected computers on shared desktops.

The new home of the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation is not only an expansive hub for Pitt’s “green” design and engineering center but also the latest product of the University’s embrace of efficient and sustainable construction. The revamped Mascaro Center occupies the overhauled second floor of Benedum Hall and the Benedum’s newly built addition—the gleaming appendage of which looms over O’Hara Street.

Meanwhile, below Benedum Hall, a sub-basement hosts a 4,000-square-foot clean room—the Nanoscale Fabrication and Characterization Facility (NFCF) supported by the Peterson Institute of NanoScience and Engineering. Since opening in September 2006, NFCF has expanded rapidly to include state-of-the-art equipment with core nano-level fabrication and analysis capability (the prefix “nano” means a billionth).

A National Institute of Standards and Technology grant enabled Pitt to expand its research facilities for nanoscience and experimental physics. The construction of 13 new experimental physics laboratories in the Department of Physics and Astronomy will enable the department to advance scientific measurement technologies. In addition, novel electronics devices will improve understanding of hurricanes and other storms.

Over the past five years, Pitt has invested millions of dollars in renovation projects, including additions to the chemistry department’s Chevron Science Center; the Thomas E. Starzl Transplant Institute and the pharmacy department’s Salk Hall; and the law school’s Barco Law Building.

Rite-Aid funded a renovation of Salk Hall, home of Pitt’s School of Pharmacy. And an addition to the Chevron Science Center expands research laboratories for the Department of Chemistry.