The OSCAR building officially opens with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The ribbon was cut by a beam of laser, a novel and befitting way of unveiling the prism-shaped building dedicated to optics related research and innovation. Gov. Jack Markell contolled the laser cutting, alongside with State Rep. Charles Potter Jr., DSU President Harry L. Williams, OSCAR scientist Dr. Matthew Bobrowski and OSCAR Founding Director Dr. Noureddine Melikechi. The ceremony was followed by a celebration gala attended by some three hundred guests, among them are DSU students and faculty. Before the ceremony, OSCAR students and faculty hosted the building tours to officials and guests.
The research facility was made possible through the support of Gov. Jack Markell and the General Assembly, which contributed $10 million in state funding toward the building’s construction. “The state’s investment in this OSCAR Building will help to build on the years of progress made by the students and faculty of DSU’s Optics Program,” Markell said. “With this unique infrastructure in place, we are hopeful that OSCAR researchers will be better able to find solutions to some of the scientific challenges facing us today.”
The building’s completion highlights the 20-year work of Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, Founder and Director of OSCAR, who initiated DSU’s involvement in optics research in 1998 with the Center for Applied Optics Research. Through the diligent research of Dr. Melikechi and other optics scientists at DSU over the years, the program has attracted tens of millions of dollars in research grants from sources such as the NSF and NASA.
In reflecting on the tremendous progress that DSU has made in the sciences and technologies of light, Dr. Melikechi said he is “hopeful and humbled” by the possibilities that the Optical Science Center for Applied Research Building will present.
“This spectacular building is a convergence point where interdisciplinary science, technology, education and innovation will flourish together for the benefit of all. OSCAR is about light,” Dr. Melikechi said. “Light is life. Light is in our past and present and I have no doubt that its impact on our lives will be even more profound in the future.”
DSU President Harry L. Williams said that visionary thinking and pursuits are what transformed optics into the prolific research program it has become at DSU.
“Just as we have witnessed the development of optics research here over the last 20 years, DSU has other science disciplines such as neuroscience, chemistry and others that appear to be on a similar trajectory,” Dr. Williams said. “The mentality of limitless possibilities is a mindset that is being adopted by more and more of our faculty and portends an exciting future for this institution.”
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