Clemson University officials say a $130 million building now officially under construction will house an effort to create and train the next generation of engineers and scientists in advanced manufacturing, energy and health innovation.
The university broke ground May 16 on the Advanced Materials Innovation Complex, a 143,000-square-foot facility designed for education and research. It is scheduled to open at the end of 2025, according to a university news release.
More than 960 advanced materials companies call South Carolina home, and the field accounted for 3,411 new jobs and $890 million in capital investment in the state from 2017-22, the news release stated, citing South Carolina Department of Commerce data.
The new facility will be a major part of Clemson’s efforts to supply the workforce for the advanced materials industry.
“The Advanced Materials Innovation Complex groundbreaking is a pivotal moment for Clemson University,” President Jim Clements said in the release. “This state-of-the-art facility will shape the future of advanced materials through driving innovation, meeting workforce demands and promoting economic development. Through experiential learning, collaboration and cutting-edge research our faculty, staff and students will continue to elevate the state of South Carolina and beyond.”
The building will be on the corner of Williamson and S. Palmetto streets in a parking lot near Sirrine Hall and a group of dormitory buildings known as the “Shoeboxes.”
The complex will be the University’s most technologically advanced facility. It will include cutting-edge research and teaching laboratories, smart classrooms and collaborative spaces for exploration and conversation outside the lab and classroom.
“The Advanced Materials Innovation Complex will be a cutting-edge advanced materials education and research facility, serving as a shining beacon for attracting top talent, both exceptional faculty and outstanding students,” Anand Gramopadhye, dean of the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, said in the release. “It will establish Clemson and our state as a national leader in advanced materials supporting industries in advanced manufacturing, transportation, energy, health innovation and next-generation computing. It will be the driver for research, innovation and for creating the future workforce to support our industry and overall economy. When we look back, a decade from now we will point to this very moment when we broke ground to create this facility, celebrating that it has served the very purpose it was intended to do — attracting new industry and jobs, bolstering our economy and bringing prosperity to all South Carolinians.”
All students in the complex will conduct research, helping prepare them to be future leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in advanced materials, the release stated. The discipline is transformative in numerous fields, including advanced manufacturing, transportation, energy and health innovation.
The building will be the home of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Researchers and educators from the departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering will work collaboratively in the new space.
“The groundbreaking of the Advanced Materials Innovation Complex represents Clemson University’s commitment to fostering excellence in education and research, Provost Robert Jones said in the release. “This world-class facility will help Clemson attract some of the best and brightest faculty, students and staff. By providing cutting-edge labs and collaborative spaces, we are cultivating a dynamic environment that nurtures innovation and prepares our graduates to excel in the fast-changing landscape of advanced materials.”
Jones is executive vice president for academic affairs.
More details about the building, its programs and its faculty can be found here.