PULLMAN, Wash. – Fluke Corporation has donated close to $50,000 in equipment to multiple laboratories in Washington State University’s College of Engineering and Architecture. The equipment assists a wide variety of areas in the college, ranging from disability research in the School of Architecture and Construction Management to biosensor-based environmental research in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

“This is a college-wide gift that recognizes the integration of disciplines that characterizes much of our teaching and research in engineering and the sciences,’’ said Anjan Bose, dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture. “Fluke Corporation is ahead of the curve in acknowledging the interdependency that is needed to solve complex engineering problems in the 21st century.”

In the Biosensor Research Laboratory, equipment from Fluke will be used to assist in training students to learn about water quality monitoring using biosensors. As part of a project funded by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Bernie Van Wie, WSU professor of chemical engineering, is working to develop portable sensors to precisely measure water quality and examine environmental contamination without having to send samples off to a lab. The Fluke equipment will also be used to assist in collecting data from a number of the sensors.

“Our goal is to produce graduates who are well prepared to contribute productively in any position in which they are hired and to make informed evaluations and recommendations on equipment that will best serve the missions of their new employers,’’ said Van Wie. “Fluke’s gift helps assure that we meet our college’s goal of providing students with valuable hands-on experience with current technologies and the highest quality industry-standard tools.’’

The support is particularly important because the state traditionally supplies only a small fraction of the funding needed to purchase sophisticated laboratory equipment in colleges as heavily dependent on technology as the College of Engineering and Architecture.

“Equipment such as portable oscilloscopes and dual-input thermometers are the details that often are left out of the state’s equation of support, but they are an integral part of doing our world-class teaching and research,’’ said Dean Bose.

Areas in the College of Engineering and Architecture that will receive equipment as part of the Fluke Corporation gift are the:
· Mechanical Engineering Experimental Design Laboratory,
· Electrical Engineering Circuits and Electronics Laboratory,
· Disability Research Computing Laboratory, and
· Chemical Engineering Biosensor Research Laboratory.

“The students working on the biosensor project are thrilled with this enhancement to our lab,” Van Wie said. “This instrumentation has enabled us to evaluate our data and mark our progress with greater precision than we have had in the past. Interestingly enough, we have students on our team from the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science laboratories that Fluke has supported in the past. It makes sense to broaden students’ hands-on experience in this way.”

Pete Baffaro, coordinator of corporate contributions from Fluke, facilitated the gift after talking with the college’s associate dean for research, James Petersen, about ways Fluke can help education at this key Washington university.

“Fluke is committed to supporting higher education, with a special emphasis on critical professions like engineering,” said Jim Lico, Fluke Corporation president. “The College of Engineering and Architecture at WSU provides students a quality educational experience and we are proud to be able to contribute to the program. Fluke equipment is used by engineers around the world and will help students to be well prepared in the practical application of technology when they enter the workforce.”