By Mariah Medina
University News Service
March 16, 2015
Texas State University’s Polymer and Advanced Materials Laboratory in the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park is now operational and working with industry partners.
The lab, which facilitates a broad range of polymer projects such as food packaging products, plastic film and storage, is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery that will be available to third-party corporations, students, faculty and staff as a fee-based service.
"You can’t learn how to use commercial machinery through books," Clois Powell, laboratory director, said. "The lab provides hands-on experience with the equipment, which is important to students when searching for jobs."
Texas State offers a bachelor’s degree and a doctoral degree in the field of materials science, engineering and commercialization (MSEC).
With a newly functional lab, graduate students will have the opportunity to conduct commercially important research with commercial-scale equipment. This, however, is just one of the benefits of the lab. The other benefits, Powell said, are the partnerships the university and students forge with third-party companies utilizing STAR Park facilities.
STAR Park is currently partnered with Quantum Materials Corporation, MicroPower and Systems and Materials Corporation, among others. With the introduction of the polymer and advanced materials lab, Tyler Nash, technical operations manager and research associate for STAR Park, said this provides the opportunity for greater collaboration with outside companies.
"The lab is beneficial to students, industry and the university," Nash said. "Typically, we get students involved in these projects, giving benefit to students, and Dr. Powell will be teaching a course this fall allowing students hands on access to the lab."
In addition to working with industry partners and aiding student research, the polymer and advanced materials laboratory technical staff provides training for those requesting permission to utilize the lab.
Training and appropriate qualifications are required before gaining access to the lab’s resources.
The lab is equipped with commercial injection molders, twin-screw extruders, impact testers, a gas barrier meter, a pelletizer and other equipment donated to, or purchased by the university.
The lab’s operational status comes after the Texas State University System Board of Regents authorized a 16,000-square-foot expansion of the STAR One research building. Expansions to the STAR One building will be complete by summer of 2015.
Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
October 3, 2014
The Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park at Texas State University has received a $100,000 gift from the Wells Fargo Foundation in support of sustainability and alternative energy research.
The gift was presented Friday to Texas State University President Denise Trauth during the university’s annual Distinguished Alumni gala.
"This generous gift from the Wells Fargo Foundation provides essential startup funding to support new initiatives being launched at Texas State in renewable energy and environmentally sustainable water technologies," said Texas State Provost Gene Bourgeois. "These partnership efforts leveraged through resources at STAR Park will further Texas State's mission of providing research with relevance."
Renewable and green technologies are areas the university is exploring with its research partners, said STAR Park Director Stephen Frayser. The gift from the Wells Fargo Foundation will help further the development of these new technologies.
"Wells Fargo believes that, as a company and as a member of the community, it’s our responsibility to help protect and restore the environment. We embrace that responsibility in all we do," said Mark Curry, Wells Fargo Community Banking president for Austin. "In 2012, we created the Wells Fargo Clean Technology and Innovation grant program as part of our effort to donate $100 million for environmental projects across the nation by 2020. Texas State University’s STAR Park is a terrific fit for our program, as it supports and fosters the development of new and emerging clean technologies that can positive impact us all."
The 58-acre STAR Park is a collaborative effort of Texas State and research partners serving as a catalyst for continued public/private development of new or improved technologies. Anchored by the STAR One technology business incubator, STAR Park is currently home to five new and emerging technology companies, a soon-to-be-opened advanced polymers and nanomaterials center, Texas State's Small Business Development Center and the Office of Commercialization and Industry Relations.
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Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
December 4, 2013
Texas State University's STAR Center for Materials and Life Sciences has been awarded $300,000 by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced grant Nov. 27 as part of the Economic Development Administration's (EDA) $2.4 million in grants to support economic development projects in Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas. The projects are expected bolster job creation and spur stable and sustainable economies, according to grantee estimates.
“The Obama administration is committed to investing in higher education and fostering innovation,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The EDA grants announced today support regional economic competitiveness and job creation in Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas.”
The $300,000 designated to Texas State will work to strengthen materials and life sciences clusters by expanding capacity for industry interaction at the university, creating critical support services to grow an effective innovation environment, increasing support for student entrepreneurship activities, increasing participation in programs by underserved populations and increasing awareness of programs to support startup/early stage companies to the Austin region.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.