When the OSU Unmanned Systems Research Institute asked for a cutting-edge, collaborative environment that supports student education and research while expanding their reach for student recruitment, Selser Schaefer Architects listened. Inspired by the creative and innovative nature of flight, Selser Schaefer Architects exceeded OSU’s vision and requirements for this highly technical and specialized space.
Oklahoma State University’s new state-of-the-art research lab is creating a little slice of Silicon Valley in Oklahoma.
In November 2019, OSU’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute (USRI) celebrated the grand opening of the new research lab, Excelsior, designed by Selser Schaefer Architects.
Organizers say the new center is aiming to provide groundbreaking educational opportunities to students who are studying unmanned systems like aerial drones, and unmanned land and water vehicles.
“The integration, testing, and maker spaces allow teams to use unmanned systems for research related to the environment, ecology, weather, climate change, and national security,” USRI director Dr. Jamey Jacob said.
Excelsior also contains features like an electrical manufacturing room, 3D printing room, and an engine-testing chamber, which enables USRI to utilize a single facility instead of moving between multiple engineering facilities to work on each portion of a project.
The main public entry, marked by the projecting roof that cantilevers over the entry plaza, is a simple gesture that boldly captures the sense of flight and motion that defines the activities that happen within.
“The new facility acts as a central hub and contains all of the resources needed for all campus and industrial collaborators,” Jacob said.
In addition to working with departments on campus, USRI teams are collaborating with the Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma Emergency Management, the National Weather Service, the U.S. Armed Forces, and General Electric for projects.
“Excelsior not only offers a better working space for both students and USRI customers, it also reminds us to encourage our students to push the boundaries of what is possible,” said Dr. Paul Tikalsky, CEAT Dean.