LSU officials joined BASF executives in the public unveiling of the BASF Sustainable Living Laboratory on campus. The lab, which is the first-of-its-kind at LSU and in the Southeast region, is an innovative space that promotes problem-based teaching and research focused on sustainable solutions to meet global challenges. As part of BASF’s workforce development and science education efforts in the region, the lab is the result of a $1 million donation BASF made to LSU Foundation and the College of Engineering, first announced in 2014.
“BASF has had an ongoing relationship with LSU and the investment in the BASF Sustainable Living Lab is a natural fit for us,” said Tom Yura, senior vice president and general manager of BASF’s site in Geismar, La. “The lab promotes innovative research to achieve sustainable solutions, enhances science education for students of all levels and helps foster workforce development opportunities in the Gulf Coast – all of which are at the core of BASF’s mission to create chemistry for a sustainable future.”
BASF’s support of LSU also includes a $100,000 donation to complete the new LSU Career Center, more than $20,000 in annual scholarships to College of Engineering students and annual summer internship opportunities. In addition, BASF is supporting LSU with several initiatives that focus on sustainability opportunities on campus for students, alumni and the general public. These efforts are establishing LSU as a leader on sustainability in the Southeast region.
“BASF is not just a financial contributor, but a true partner dedicated to the education of students both in and out of the classroom,” said Richard J. Koubek, LSU executive vice president and provost. “It’s a collaborative relationship that our students benefit from by having enriched educational opportunities that prepare them for the workforce and real world exposure to a company’s approach in finding innovative and sustainable solutions to today’s challenges.”
The lab is housed in Patrick F. Taylor Hall, the largest freestanding academic building in Louisiana. BASF products were used throughout the construction of the lab, including ceiling tiles, flooring and wall paint. The lab also features a state-of-the-art communication system that enables virtual participation through webcasting technology.
Researchers chosen to reside in the BASF Sustainable Living Laboratory must meet several key criteria including research designed to meet sustainable solutions as defined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, independent funding for their research and a STEM educational outreach plan for the local schools and community. Kevin McPeak was selected in May, 2016 as the first researcher in residence. He and his group of student researchers are working to develop a water disinfection system using visible light from the sun. This portable water filtration system has the potential to provide safe drinking water in developing countries where traditional energy-intensive disinfection methods are not feasible.
For more information about BASF’s sustainability efforts, visithttp://sustainability.basf.com.
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Suggested Caption: Representatives from BASF and LSU participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the BASF Sustainable Living Lab at Louisiana State University.
Suggested Caption: Kevin McPeak, Ph.D., associate professor at LSU, is the first researcher in residence selected for the BASF Sustainable Living Lab.