gets $15 million for materials science research
School of Engineering
and Applied Science has received a gift of $15 million, the
largest ever received in the school's history. Alumnus Gregory
H. Olsen, president and CEO of Sensors Unlimited Inc., a fiber
optics firm based in Princeton, N.J., pledged the gift, which
will complement a significant effort under way to expand engineering
research activities at U.Va., particularly in the area of new
years later, I am still using the background I got in materials
science. The principles are the same, whether we're talking
metals, semiconductors or plastics.
Gregory H. Olsen 1971 alumnus
are especially grateful to Greg Olsen for his most generous gift
to the Engineering School," said University President John
T. Casteen III. "It comes at a critical time as the University
accelerates efforts to strengthen the areas of science and technology.
Greg's interest and understanding of what is needed to move the
school forward will be key to Engineering's ability to achieve
excellence in materials science."
The gift will assure the construction of a new $14 million building
that will greatly expand the department's research and teaching
space and also will provide new conference rooms and faculty offices,
among other facilities. The Engineering School will recommend
to the University's Board
of Visitors that the building be named Wilsdorf Hall in honor
of the late Heinz Wilsdorf, first chair of the department, and
his wife, Doris Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf, University Professor of Applied
Science. The new structure, due to begin construction in 2002,
will connect the University's Materials Science and Chemical Engineering
"The additional space provided by this building will allow for
new collaborative projects between various departments and schools
at the University," Engineering dean Richard W. Miksad said. "Such
collaborations are important to our school's leadership in emerging
technologies." The contribution will enable an already highly
ranked program to move into new areas of advanced materials research.
Olsen, who earned his Ph.D. in 1971 from the materials science
department, speaks highly of the depth and breadth of the training
he received in the Engineering School. "The principles are the
same, whether we're talking metals, semiconductors or plastics,"
he said. "Twenty-four years later, I am still using the background
I got in materials science."