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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Engineering Systems Building Open House To Be Held Aug. 22

Engineering education at Old Dominion University will be headquartered beginning this semester in the new Engineering Systems Building across from Perry Library.

The building has its official ribbon-cutting in early October, but members of the campus community can see the state-of-the-art labs contained in the new building during an open house from 10-11:30 a.m. on Friday, August 22.

Dean Oktay Baysal of ODU's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology will give his annual State of the College address later that day, at 2 p.m. in 100 Kaufman Hall.

Open for the tour will be the Machine Vision and Computational Intelligence Laboratory (the ODU Vision Lab), the Motorsports Lab, and the Advanced Signal Processing in Engineering and Neuroscience Laboratory (the ASPEN Lab).

Projects by ODU student engineers will also be on display, including the SAE Aero East remotely piloted heavy lift aircraft, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle System International "RoboBoat" autonomous boat, a portable solar power unit with tracking system and 2014 Formula SAE and Baja competition cars.

The Formula SAE challenge is perhaps the most competitive of all the collegiate design challenges. Student teams design, build and race small, high-performance open-wheel vehicles. In 2014 the ODU team achieved its best ever finish in the competition in Michigan, placing 37th out of 120 entries representing at least 10 different nations.

The Baja SAE event focuses on design, construction and racing of a small off-road vehicle. In the 2014 event in Illinois, the ODU team suffered some hardware failures but managed to place 77th out of 121 entries.

The state-of-the-art, 51,000-square-foot Engineering Systems Building also houses a modern clean room, biomedical engineering labs, a lasers lab, a plasma science lab and a dynamic simulation lab, among other assets.

In addition, Baysal said the physical space will help shift the paradigm of engineering instruction on the ODU campus.

"Our goal with the building was to create as much open collaborative space as we could," Baysal said. "Researchers can come out of their offices and meet with their peers informally, to brainstorm, much like Google's 'Skunkworks.' Classrooms that will provide modern labs during the day will be transformed in the evening so students can work on projects."

ODU's engineering management and systems engineering department - the university created one of the first programs of its kind in the country and is ranked in the top 10 nationally - will be housed in the Engineering Systems Building. A modern collaborative environment has been designed for the department to encourage more exchanges of ideas.

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