E. L. Wiegand Foundation awards more than $400,000 to Saint Martin’s for new engineering lab building

December 3, 2012

LACEY, WASHINGTON — E. L. Wiegand Foundation of Reno, Nevada, has awarded a grant in the amount of $424,532 to the Engineering Initiative at Saint Martin’s University. The gift has been designated for laboratory and IT equipment as well as furnishings for the new industrial laboratory building, which will complement the new Cebula Hall in The Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering. To commemorate the gift, the laboratories in the new lab building will be named the “E. L. Wiegand Engineering Laboratories.”

wiedgandawards400k “This grant greatly enhances the quality of education and research experienced by all students who enter the E. L. Wiegand Engineering Laboratories,” says University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D. “We are much indebted to the Foundation for its generosity.”

The new engineering laboratory building, nicknamed “The Lab in the Woods,” will house the laboratories for soils, civil engineering materials, manufacturing, robotics and fluids, as well as a wind tunnel, project work space and senior project display space.

The grant was approved on Oct. 19, 2012, by the Trustees of the E. L. Wiegand Foundation. One component includes a hydraulic testing system, which is a universal testing machine that performs tension, compression and bending tests up to 100 tons, and a 2D/3D Stereoscopic Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) System. The PIV fluids measurement equipment will be used for experiments in conjunction with the wind tunnel and fluids lab to measure aerodynamic characteristics. Both systems will be valuable tools for civil and mechanical engineering classes. Additionally, the grant will provide for all the furnishings and IT infrastructure in the lab building.

“We are very grateful and honored to have received this grant from the E. L. Wiegand Foundation,” says Zella Kahn-Jetter, Ph.D., P.E., dean of The Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering. “The equipment will set Saint Martin's apart from other engineering schools. Our students will have the ability to do state-of-the-art testing, design and research.”

“The education and experience students receive from using this equipment will be tremendous,” adds Kahn-Jetter. “The E. L. Wiegand Foundation is enabling The Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering to become a premier engineering institute in the state of Washington.”

Mr. Edwin L. Wiegand invented the electric heating element in the early 1900s, and went on to found the Edwin L. Wiegand company in Pittsburgh, Pa., to manufacture resistance heating units. Under the trade name “Chromalox,” he developed and manufactured heating elements for home appliances and industrial uses. In the 1970s, he became active in Miami Oil Producers, Inc., an operator of oil and gas properties in the United States and Canada, based in Reno, Nevada. The E. L. Wiegand Engineering Laboratories honor the memory of Mr. Wiegand and the important contributions he made as a scientist, inventor, businessman, leader and generous philanthropist.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 375 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at www.stmartin.edu.

For additional information:

Rosanne Nichols
Vice president of institutional advancement
Saint Martin’s University
360-412-6138
rnichols@stmartin.edu

Zella Kahn-Jetter, Ph.D., P.E.
Dean, The Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering
Saint Martin’s University
360-438-4553
zkahnjetter@stmartin.edu

Sarah Holdener
Director of event services
Saint Martin’s University
360-412-6140
sholdener@stmartin.edu