The new facility will provide student, faculty and administrative offices, meeting rooms, and state-of-the-art research laboratories and support spaces, designed to meet the current and projected needs and requirements for the predominantly grant funded optical research currently conducted. The overall 69,000 sf corresponding to the full program for the project will be initially planned, with completion of the design and constructed in two separate, sequential phases.
The Optical Science Center for Applied Research will be a new stand-alone, ground up facility for the research, graduate, doctoral, and post-doctoral, programs in optics within the Department of Physics and Pre-Engineering at Delaware State University. The project is intended to address space requirements for future growth of the optical programs and the addition of new programs and faculty while remedying the inadequacies of the current facilities related to the nature of optical research.
The new facility will enhance and expand current research capabilities with the addition of amenities such as a class 100 cleanroom and expanded image testing and analysis facility, and as well bring a focus toward promoting outreach to both the scientific and business communities. A mediated 150 seat auditorium is planned for the ability to host or virtually attend lectures, conferences and other events intended for the sharing of ideas and knowledge.
A portion of the facility will be dedicated to fostering the development of start-up companies built on innovative applications of optical research. The Incubator, as it is referred to, will offer on-site office, and optical laboratory accommodations for such tenants, as well as access to the other resources within the building such as the imaging testing facility, conferencing areas, reading room, and auditorium. Moreover it will give entrepreneurs the opportunity to work closely with the university’s principal investigators, and students on a daily basis to develop their ideas into marketable products or systems and in the process create ties between the academic and private sectors. Additionally the history, research, accomplishments, personnel, and sponsors, as well as current research activities of the programs will be showcased through the design of the public spaces within the project as a means of education and outreach.