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Photo by Phil Hall, UAA Photographer

Students in the gathering area at the new Engineering and Industry Building at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

level, so students can gather data from dropping objects from various heights. The new building has been designed with adaptability in mind, as well. Barlow says that the gas and power systems leading into all of the lab spaces are flexible, allowing them to be modified with relative ease and little expense if the needs of the college change over time.

New Tech

Technology has been integrated into every room in the building, with many classrooms equipped with computers, and most of the lab and classroom spaces have builtin projectors, screens, and computer systems. “This is a state-of-the-art facility that allows us to do distance education,” Barlow says. “We can have individuals at various off-site locations on monitors” in the Elearning classrooms. These rooms are also equipped with microphones and cameras that follow motion and sound, meaning they will automatically focus on whoever is speaking. Lectures in these rooms can be recorded, and this presents the opportunity for long distance learning as well as a study material for students to access. A control room is situated between two of the E-learning classrooms. If necessary, an operator can sit in that room and address any issues that may arise as the technology is being utilized. “Teaching a class a job in itself; you don’t want to be trying to make technology work at the same time. This allows faculty members to just focus on their teaching,” Barlow says.

Labs and More Labs Aside from the strong-floor lab, the building

is equipped with several specialized labs to allow students an opportunity for handson learning. One is the cold lab, monies for which were donated by Ted and Gloria Trueblood. It consists of two large, walk-in freezers. Barlow says, “We can store samples, or machine cold samples, allowing us to investigate frozen soils without thawing them.” There’s a construction materials lab, which includes cement mixers in a mixing room and a curing room that’s capable of controlling temperature and humidity as samples cure. Across the hall a lab contains impact testers, a machine that does tensile and compression tests, and a specialized machine that can do compression tests in a temperature-controlled chamber. The pavement lab has equipment for mixing asphalt and pavement, as well as machines that simulate road wear with various attachments, including those that behave like a tire with or without studs. There’s a fluid mechanics lab with a fortyfoot flume that can be filled with water, allowing students to gather erosion information or to test small scale hydroelectric projects. That lab contains a wind tunnel, allowing research into wind power. All in all, the building has been welldesigned and well-constructed by a team of more than thirty contractors and subcontractors led by general contractor Neeser Construction, Inc. and design consultant Livingston Slone, Inc. Barlow says, “It’s a fabulous team, and we’re very pleased with them.” R Tasha Anderson is an Associate Editor at Alaska Business Monthly. March 2016 | Alaska Business Monthly


Alaska Business Monthly March 2016  
Alaska Business Monthly March 2016  

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