Gifts Propel UNIQUE INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDENT EXPERIENCE
Left: The Iversen High Bay will be a 5,000-square-foot facility for large-scale engineering testing and demonstration. Below: Construction work continues on the Schoenecker Center STEAM complex on south campus.
Bay as well as the Robotics and Automation Laboratory.
By BRYCE BUTZER
IVERSEN HIGH BAY A generous gift commitment from the Alfred A. Iversen and Family Foundation is supporting the construction of a state-of-the-art high bay facility. Upon completion, the Iversen High Bay will be a 5,000-square-foot facility for large-scale engineering testing and demonstration where undergraduate students attending the University of St. Thomas will have the unique opportunity to experience hands- on experimentation as part of their regular curriculum. The Iversen High Bay will be equipped with a reaction wall and floor, hydraulic actuators capable of up to 200,000 pounds of force in all three principal axes, and a large open area for construction material preparation and fabrication. The space will accommodate large- scale testing of structural systems and provide opportunities to demonstrate the behavior of various structural components, such as reinforced concrete and steel beams. Creative and curious opportunities abound; the high bay was designed to be an engineer’s “sandbox” for experiential learning and contextualization of theoretical curriculum. “We are grateful to Al Iversen and his family for helping to usher in
T hanks to the support of generous donors, the student experience at the Schoenecker Center will be second to none when the new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) complex opens in 2024. Specific Schoenecker Center areas supported by donors announced so far include the Iversen High
” We are grateful to Al Iversen and his family for helping to usher in a new era of engineering right here in the heart of St. Paul.
a new era of engineering right here in the heart of St. Paul,” said Don Weinkauf , dean of the School of Engineering. “We are literally building something truly special here in Minnesota and this facility will help support innovation in structural engineering around the world.” ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION LABORATORY Henry and Angelena Blattner’s Foundation 94 committed $1 million to help support the construction of a new facility to house multiple robotic arms within the Schoenecker Center. Upon completion, the new Robotics and Automation Laboratory will be a 900-square-foot facility for robotics and automation research, in addition to hands-on experiential learning for all undergraduate and graduate students attending the School of Engineering. It will be essential to creating new avenues for industrial collaboration and research in the growing fields of advanced manufacturing. “Hands-on robotics research and lab experiences are foundational
components of engineering education at St. Thomas,” Weinkauf said. “Through this gift, combined with generous support from our corporate partners, students will feel an immediate impact on their experience.” Thanks to this gift from Foundation 94, St. Thomas students and faculty will have access to state-of-the-art automation technology, including two six-axis robotic arms – one that is geared toward high-speed and high-load industrial applications and another that is used for collaborative tasks with nearby human operators. In addition to tackling pressing robotics research questions involving machine vision, part manipulation and assembly,
this advanced technology will enable large-scale manufacturing automation and process development projects focused on specific industrial applications, such as medical devices. “St. Thomas already boasts impressive engineering facilities; we are pleased to be able to donate to the new Schoenecker Center and for the opportunities it will provide to current and future Tommies,” the Blattner family said. n
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St. Thomas Engineer 2023 Page 11
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