Center Propels Ou into New Preeminince in Energy Industry
The Energy Center was presented a multimillion-dollar gift by the Sarkeys Foundation of Norman on Thursday.
"The Energy Center is the most ambitious project in the history of Oklahoma higher education, and it will propel the University of Oklahoma into a second century of pre-eminence in the energy field," said Van Horn.
Believed to be the first facility of its scope and breadth built by a university, the Energy Center encompasses more than 20 academic disciplines and individual research programs and consortia focusing on such energy-related topics as oil and gas exploration and recovery, energy and the environment, remote sensing and production engineering. Also, the academic programs in the Energy Center have active research efforts in methane conversion, surfactants, ultra-thin polymer films and meteorology. Other programs being developed focus on national energy priorities, energy policy, technology transfer and natural gas and its role in the future.
"The Energy Center is much more than a building; it is one of the intellectual centers of the university and is a symbol of OU's commitment and determination to be a dominant force in national and international energy education and research," Van Horn said.
The Energy Center, located on a seven-acre site and containing 340,000 gross square feet, consists of two below-ground levels and a 13-story tower. Designed for energy efficiency, the center houses the Laurence S. Youngblood Library, 207 teaching and state-of-the-art research laboratories, 30 classrooms, and faculty and administrative offices.
The Energy Center concept is as important as the building. Since its inception, the Energy Center was planned to foster an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research and provide for interaction with industry.
"One of the primary contributions of the Energy Center will be to integrate work and programs that have traditionally been separated by disciplinary boundaries," said Barney Groten, executive director of the Energy Center. …