Spokane spinoff gets $6.5M

Washington State University recently announced the extension of its internationally recognized Institute for Shock Physics to Spokane.

U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt joined university leaders and a Navy representative in Spokane on Jan. 30 to announce $6.5 million in grant funds from the Office of Naval Research. The money was set aside by Nethercutt in the 2004 defense budget.
The money will support research to be conducted through the new Applied Sciences Laboratory, 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.”

The announcement marks the launch of a new focus area at the Spokane campus, expanding the scope of applied research efforts to include the physical sciences as well as the health sciences.

“The Institute for Shock Physics has developed a reputation for its work in the development of world class, cutting-edge experimental capability,” said Judah Goldwasser, program manager for energetic materials, U.S. Office of Naval Research. “The facility being established here has the potential to cut years and significant cost in the development of new materials for a myriad of applications.”

The Applied Sciences Laboratory will emphasize scientific and technical activities at WSU’s Riverpoint campus that are different from, but build on, the fundamental research of the Institute for Shock Physics. 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 Rom Markin, interim chancellor at WSU Spokane. “Great cities and great companies are brought to life by great minds at work.”

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