Lokey Labs: A home for integrative science

Seventeen feet beneath a grassy oval, scientists, students and industry partners are teaming up in the Lorry I. Lokey Laboratories to collaborate on cutting-edge research.

The UO has long been a leader in interdisciplinary science research, but with Lokey Labs, the UO is pioneering “integrative science" -- a team approach to scientific inquiry that blurs distinctions between specific disciplines.

For UO students, Lokey Labs means unparalleled opportunities for hands-on research using the latest technology to prepare them for the most promising of science and research positions.

For researchers located anywhere in the world, Lokey Labs means the ability to rent time on the most sensitive instruments 24/7 through the UO's high-tech extension service, the Center for Advanced Materials Characterization (CAMCOR). Researchers can watch remotely via web cam as their samples are examined.

Set upon bedrock that minimizes vibration interference, with shielding for electromagnetic interference, and with 0.1 degree Fahrenheit temperature control, the building is perfectly suited for research at nanoscales. “This is probably one of the best-performing buildings in the entire world in terms of siting for nanotechnology and characterization,” says John Donovan, director of the CAMCOR facility.

Since opening two years ago, Lokey Labs has put Oregon squarely at the forefront of green nanotechnology. "We want to make it cleaner and safer from the beginning, rather than just letting technology develop and then having to go in, years later, and clean it up," says Jim Hutchison, the UO's Lokey-Harrington Chair in Chemistry and one of UO’s many leaders in green chemistry.

Next, Lokey Labs will be connected to an above-ground research facility, the Lewis Integrative Science Building. Set to open in 2012, the design of the two facilities will take the team sport of science to unprecedented levels by bringing top researchers from across the spectrum -- such as brain science to materials science -- under the same roof to solve some of society’s most challenging problems.