Issue Contents
Print This Issue

Singing the Praises of Penn's Krishna P. Singh Nanotechnology Center

February 22, 2011, Volume 57, No. 23


At Thursday’s groundbreaking for the Krishna P. Singh Nanotechnology Center, Penn Trustee Chair David L. Cohen, President Amy Gutmann, Penn alumnus and Trustee Dr. Krishna (Kris) Singh, SEAS Overseer Dr. David M. Magerman, SEAS Dean Eduardo Glandt and SAS Dean Rebecca Bushnell signaling the start of construction.

Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and School of Arts and Sciences have joined forces to realize a shared priority: the construction of a state-of-the-art nanoscale research and teaching facility on the north side of the 3200 block of Walnut Street, occupying Penn land that has been a parking lot.

Mr. Cohen said this new building will provide a welcoming and iconic gateway to the University of Pennsylvania from Center City.

President Gutmann called Kris and Martha Singh “visionary people” for helping Penn make history with their words and deeds. The Singhs gave a $20 million naming gift (Almanac September 4, 2007).

Dean Glandt, who President Gutmann called “one of Penn’s most transformative deans” has agreed to extend his second term for three additional years beyond 2012 to 2015. Dean Glandt described nanotechnology as a facility-intensive field and noted that this user-friendly building would have a “scientific concierge.” He called the building’s namesake “an innovator.”

Dean Bushnell said it was a “wonderful day for science at Penn;” since nanotechnology engages physics and chemistry—hallmarks of SAS—there would be opportunities for collaboration with engineering.

Dr. Chris Murray, Richard Perry University Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering, Nanoscale and Inorganic Materials Chemistry, SAS and SEAS, said that this is a transformational investment, bringing together theoretical knowledge and innovation, with true global impact.

Dr. Dawn Bonnell, Trustee Professor, SEAS, noted that nanotechology will lead to new discoveries and therapeutics for cancer, efficient solar cells, and other progress enabled by cross-disciplinary collaborations in this state-of-the-art facility.

The Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology will signal the University of Pennsylvania’s leadership in the emerging field of nanotechnology, supporting the cutting-edge research that transcends disciplinary boundaries of engineering, medicine, and the sciences. As a new multi-level facility, the Center will bring together researchers from multiple disciplines through technical lab spaces and vibrant public spaces.

The new 78,000 gross-square-foot facility will have state-of-the-art lab spaces including a 10,000 square foot bay/chase cleanroom, 6,500 square foot characterization suite, and 9,000 square feet of general laboratories as well as centralized public spaces including the 15,000 square foot courtyard, public galleria, forum space and high profile conference rooms.

This will become a regional resource for atomic scale imaging and compositional analysis of nanoscale materials as well as fabrication of nanoscale materials.

It will facilitate interaction between faculty and students, researchers and industry, the University and the City, and the region. Occupancy is scheduled for 2013.

The building is targeting LEED Silver Certification.

Key features:

• capture 90% of storm water runoff with a green roof

• reduce building water use by up to 30%

• divert up to 75% construction waste from a landfill

• reduce pollution and land development impacts from auto use

• optimize energy performance at least 17.5% beyond industry requirements

• use of low-emitting materials such as adhesives & sealants, paint and carpet

• 35% of total power to come from a registered green power supplier

NanoTechnology Center

A rendering of the exterior of the Krishna P. Singh Nanotechnology Center at night along Walnut Street, from the architect Weiss/Manfredi Architecture.


Almanac - February 22, 2011, Volume 57, No. 23