IAST Groundbreaking: October 20

A groundbreaking ceremony Friday will mark the official start of construction of what will become Penn's newest research facility, the Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (IAST).

University officials and guests will gather at 1:45 p.m. at the site on 34th Street between Smith Walk and Spruce Street for the event. All students, faculty and University staff are invited to attend.

President Judith Rodin will preside over the groundbreaking, which will include remarks by the former Vice Provost for Research, Dr. Barry Cooperman, and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr. P. Roy Vagelos. Two students, Holly Gratkowski and Fred Allen, will speak on opportunities the IAST will afford young people to do research at a state-of-the-art facility.

The IAST, planned for construction in four phases, is expected to become the capstone of the University's science and engineering district. The facility, designed by renowned architects Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, will add over 160,000 square feet of new or renovated research space that will give scientists unprecedented opportunity to work collaboratively.

IAST will encompass five distinct but interacting centers:

* The Center for Excellence in Computer, Information and Cognitive Science;
* The Center for Excellence in Chemistry
* The Center for Excellence in Bioengineering;
* The Center for Scientific and Technological Information Resources;
* The Center for Technology Transfer.

-- Carl Maugeri, Associate Director Federal Relations