George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Micron Technology Foundation Gift Supports Renovation of Engineering Lab Space

August 3, 2017   /   by Rob Riordan

Leaders from Mason Engineering and Micron Technology, Inc. celebrate a gift of $125,000 with a mock check presentation. From left: Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Oscar Barton, April Arnzen, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Micron Technology, Inc., Tim O’ Brien, Micron Site Director; VMEC Executive Committee Vice-Chair, Dean Ken Ball, and Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Monson Hayes.

Micron Technology Foundation has donated $125,000 to fund the renovation of laboratory space for the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University. 

The gift will underwrite the renovation of existing general-purpose space into a state-of-the-art characterization and fabrication lab in Bull Run Hall at the Science and Technology Campus in Prince William, Virginia. The 1,100-square foot lab will be named for Micron Technology in recognition of its corporate foundation’s generosity.

“We could not ask for a better industry partner than Micron,” said Ken Ball, PhD, dean of the Volgenau School of Engineering. “This gift is just the latest in their long history of support for engineering programs at Mason. This partnership helps us to offer our students the best engineering education and career opportunities in the region.”

A global leader in the semiconductor industry with more than 30,000 employees worldwide, Micron has been a major supporter of Mason Engineering, STEM education, and other programs at the university for more than a decade. Located near one of the company’s largest manufacturing facilities, the campus in Manassas will provide opportunities for Micron employees to mentor undergraduate and graduate students, engage with faculty, and participate in research.

“We have partnered with George Mason University in Northern Virginia for many years to inspire the next generation of innovators,” said Dee Mooney, Micron Foundation executive director. “This donation builds on the university’s success in science and engineering and gives the brightest minds the tools and resources they need to compete on both a local and global level.”

The renovated lab is one of three distinct spaces in a larger laboratory suite. The suite’s open design will encourage creativity, free-flowing exchange of ideas, and collaboration among students and faculty in varied departments, including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer engineering.

Students who use the facility will be exposed to recent advances in engineering education in the areas of materials characterization and reliability, materials science, device fabrication and testing, microelectronics, mechatronics, and autonomous systems and controls. These are fields in which the nexus of electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, and data analytics is leading to innovations that are transforming the nation’s economy. The lab can also be a location for outreach programs to excite K-12 students about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), using hands-on experiences.   

Construction is expected to be completed in mid-August. Part of Mason’s comprehensive $500 million Faster Farther campaign, the gift was announced at an August 2 ceremony with leaders from Mason Engineering and Micron Technology held at the Science and Technology Campus.