SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington State University today announced the extension of its internationally recognized Institute for Shock Physics (ISP) to Spokane.

U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt joined university leaders and a Navy representative in Spokane to announce $6.5 million in grant funds from the Office of Naval Research. The grant funds will support research to be conducted under the auspices of the new Applied Sciences Laboratory (ASL), with operations in Spokane and Pullman.

“Today demonstrates the power of a research university’s mission,” said WSU Provost Robert C. Bates. “Our faculty create knowledge the entire world values, right here in Washington, and right here in Spokane. That is a unique mission within the spectrum of higher education, and one essential to economic development in Spokane and to the state’s overall economy.”

“Examples around the nation show that research universities can have a profound effect on cities and regions,” he said. “The Inland Northwest is poised to grow as a region because of the presence of a top-tier Carnegie I research institution: Washington State University.”

The announcement marks the launch of a new focus area at the Spokane campus, expanding the scope of the campus’s applied research efforts to include the physical sciences as well as the health sciences. The ISP, established with Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration support, is a multidisciplinary research organization that conducts fundamental research in shock-wave and high-pressure compression of matter. The scientific activities involve understanding physical and chemical changes in solids and liquids under very large and rapid compression.

The ASL will emphasize scientific and technical activities at WSU’s Riverpoint campus that are different from, but build on, the fundamental research of the ISP. The new laboratory in Spokane, as a multidisciplinary contract research organization, will undertake a broad range of applied research activities of interest to federal government agencies and private corporations.

Yogendra Gupta, institute director and professor of physics, described the vision for research interactions between the Pullman and Spokane campuses. “We can give the nation the best of our research by working across the campuses to put the science and technology where it makes sense. Fundamental research belongs in Pullman with its well-developed infrastructure for fundamental science. Applied research is well-suited for Spokane, where we can leverage the presence of the private sector to build partnerships.”

“We are honored to have a scientist with Dr. Gupta’s international reputation see the potential for applied research at WSU Spokane,” said WSU Spokane interim chancellor Rom Markin, “and to have the continuing confidence of federal agencies that invest in the work. At the same time that we are leveraging the state and federal investments in Pullman and Spokane, we are expanding the asset portfolio for this region’s economic development efforts. Great cities and great companies are brought to life by great minds at work.”

The laboratory’s work will focus on three main areas within the broader scope of research conducted at the ISP. The areas include nanophase enhanced optical devices, the first of the three to be housed at WSU Spokane, and unconventional energetic materials and pulsed power facility for materials science applications. The latter two, located on the Pullman campus, will move to WSU Spokane as facilities become available.

The ASL research in unconventional energetic materials will be carried out in collaboration with the Navy Laboratory in Dahlgren, Va. Development of the pulsed power facility will involve interactions with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M.


Related Web sites:

Institute for Shock Physics: www.shock.wsu.edu

News release on ISP building dedication held August 27, 2003: http://wsunews.wsu.edu/detail.asp?StoryID=4019
For more information about the Applied Sciences Laboratory/Institute for Shock Physics click on the following:  http://wsunews.wsu.edu/Shock%20Physics2.pdf