University of Tennessee Opens Eastman Engineering Lab
April 13, 2015 /3BL Media/ - Eastman has long been a strategic partner for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Engineering. The opening of the new Eastman Unit Operations Laboratory on Thursday, April 9 was an excellent example of business and education collaborating to enable students to be successful in the workforce.
"Eastman's support of our college is certainly important to our growth and success," said Wayne Davis, dean of the college. "The opening of this lab is a key moment for us, one that would not have been possible without this partnership."
Housed in the Nathan W. Dougherty Engineering Building, the lab will offer state of the art facilities for engineering students to learn real-world practices.
Unit operations labs are often used to help chemical engineering students take the theoretical knowledge from the classroom and put it to use under monitored conditions.
In particular, students can go through the process of converting raw materials into finished products, something that helps them prepare for employment after college.
"Having a lab such as this will allow us to expose our students to the practices and experience that are so critical to success after college," said Bamin Khomami, head of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
For a Fortune 300 company like Eastman, being roughly 100 miles away from UT has provided them with one of their most critical resources: people.
While funding and mentoring provided by Eastman help UT, having such a highly-skilled crop of graduates in their backyard is one of the significant ways that UT returns the favor.
"Having the best engineering school possible benefits the region, not just Eastman," said Etta Clark, Eastman’s vice president for global public affairs and policy. "Our relationship is about collaboration and teamwork, and developing a solid foundation for students to succeed in the workforce. When those students secure local jobs, it benefits everyone."
In addition to the lab itself, Eastman also has sponsored a commons area, where students can go to study, relax, or just grab a quiet moment, as well as three professor of practice positions, the HITES— High School Introduction to Engineering Systems—camp, more than $2 million in total.