Dan Cavanagh, chair of Bucknell University's Department of Biomedical Engineering, has a piece of advice for high school students touring college campuses. When they show you their labs, and their state-of-the-art equipment, make sure to ask, "When do I get to use that?"
Academic East, which opened for classes this week at Bucknell, is a center for high-tech innovation with 25 labs housing cutting-edge research equipment found almost nowhere else in the world. What sets it apart is that undergraduate students get to use it all, starting in their very first year on campus.
"We're proud to be an institution that values expanding the worldview of our students as much as we do shaping the world through groundbreaking research," says Bucknell President John Bravman. "With Academic East, we intend to do both, by putting the latest research technology and methods in the hands of undergraduates, and letting them explore."
Standing behind Bertrand Library and next to Academic West — a similarly expansive academic building opened in 2013 — the 78,000-square-foot Academic East nearly doubles the lab space available for the College of Engineering and provides offices, labs, classrooms and research spaces for the Department of Education.