Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences Opens On Schedule

Duke University's Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences (CIEMAS) opened on schedule Aug. 16 and a week later the first classes were taught in the four-building, 322,000-square-foot complex.

The sprawling center, facing Hudson Hall to the north across the new Engineering Quadrangle, cost $97 million and more than doubles the Pratt School of Engineering's teaching and research space. Construction began in May 2002 and proceeded smoothly, on-time and on-budget. A formal dedication ceremony will be held Nov. 19.

“It’s a magnificent teaching and research facility, and is a major addition to our school, not only for the wonderful new space it provides, but for its capability to bring together scientists and teachers from across scientific disciplines for the benefit of all,” Pratt Dean Kristina M. Johnson said Aug. 20 in her weekly memo to the Pratt community.

The first class taught in the building started at 10:05 a.m. Monday, Aug. 23, in half of the center’s 206-seat Kenneth T. Schiciano Auditorium. Taught by Nenad Bursac, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, the opening class was EGR 101, electrobiology.

"When I first saw the building, I thought, 'Wow, it looks just like the artist’s rendering,' said Lorenna Lee-Houghton, a Pratt junior who toured the center on the first day of classes. "I think CIEMAS is beautiful, and will act as a link between Science Drive and West Campus (once the Perkins construction is finished). Â… I plan on spending a ton of time in the new building. It is making me consider Duke for grad school."

Some finishing-up work is still underway in CIEMAS, particularly in the west complex, and faculty and researchers will be moving in over the next several weeks. Many offices and labs are still empty, except for furniture and lab benches, and technicians are busy installing telephone and other communications systems. Twinnie’s Cafe, Masters of Engineering Management Space and the faculty lounge will open later this fall.

CIEMAS supports teaching and research efforts in bioengineering; photonics and communications systems; integrated sensors and simulators; and materials sciences and materials engineering. It also expands Pratt’s partnership with the School of Medicine, providing laboratories for collaborative research in healthcare, genomics and biotechnology.

In 2005, CIEMAS will have a nanofabrication facility to support Pratt’s collaborations with the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. CIEMAS also supports a professional masters degree program in engineering management and entrepreneurship in collaboration with the School of Law and the Fuqua School of Business.
CIEMAS consists of a west and an east complex, each with two buildings. The west complex is named for Michael J. and Patricia W. Fitzpatrick. The east complex has a yet-to-be-named north building and the attached Jeffrey N. Vinik Building.

The first floor of the Fitzpatrick Building will house the Duke Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility, a visualization laboratory and the Dickinson Arcade. The Shared Instrumentation Facility will consist of a class 100-1000 characterization and testing facility to enable the study, creation and manipulation of biological, chemical, photonic and mechanical materials at the nanoscale, one billionth of a meter. This state-of-the-art facility is a joint venture of Pratt and Trinity. It will open in the fall of 2005.

The Dickinson Arcade will contain a studio with a variety of sensors, and a six-sided Visroom taking data from those sensors and delivering back-projected virtual reality images on each room surface. A unique facility, it will open next spring and be used to visualize three-dimensional data, and explore human perception.

Next to the 10 by 10 by 10-foot cube housing the Visroom is a striking, three-story atrium that provides both an indoor gathering place and a distinctive identity for the center and Pratt.

The second and third floors of the Fitzpatrick Building house the Fitzpatrick Center for Photonics and Communications. The Fitzpatrick Center is dedicated to photonics, the integration of light with electronics to manage and transmit information. The center focuses on exploring and exploiting the interface between the physical and digital world, and educating tomorrow’s photonics leaders. It is the heart of Pratt’s initiative in photonics and communications.

The second floor of the Fitzpatrick building is largely devoted to research and teaching in biophotonics, the use of light and optics for diagnosis and therapeutics. An example is optical coherence tomography, which allows physicians to look for abnormalities beneath the surfaces of organs. On the third floor of the Fitzpatrick Building, faculty and students will concentrate on photonics systems.

On the first floor of the southern Fitzpatrick Building is the 206-seat Kenneth T. Schiciano Auditorium, reflecting the latest multi-media technologies and design. It will be the primary setting for everything from major symposia to academic instruction. CIEMAS donors will be honored on a Wall of Recognition in the auditorium lobby, which faces the new Engineering Quad.

Next to the lobby is the Lenihan Learning Center, a facility where undergraduate students will design, build and test prototype components and systems.

The second floor of Fitzpatrick South is devoted to the Pratt’s Integrated Sensors and Simulators Initiative. This effort, drawing on expertise from the departments of civil and environmental engineering and electrical and computer engineering, seeks innovative approaches to emerging problem areas such as shifting climate patterns detection. The second floor will house the initiative’s hydrology and fluid dynamics groups.

The third floor of Fitzpatrick South is devoted to research to counter land mines and other explosive war residue. Located there will be the Applied Remote Sensing Center, which is leading a four-university effort to develop techniques to direct sensors seeking hidden war targets.

CIEMAS’s east complex consists of CIEMAS north and the connected Jeffrey N. Vinik Building. Linking the east and west complexes are twin two-story bridges. Besides serving as thoroughfares between the second and third floors of both complexes, the bridges provide inviting places for faculty and students to interact.

Beneath the bridges is a paved courtyard serving as a continuation of the pedestrian walkway leading to the Engineering Quadrangle to the north and central West Campus to the south.

Overlooking the courtyard and a paved terrace on the quad will be Twinnie’s Cafe, located in the northwest corner of the first floor of CIEMAS north. The café, expected to open later this fall, will be a natural gathering place for faculty, staff, students and visitors, serving coffee, teas and light fare.

The rest of the first floor of CIEMAS north and the Vinik buildings is devoted to bioengineering. The Pratt Bioengineering Initiative builds on the Department of Biomedical Engineering’s close relationship with the School of Medicine. The initiative aims to improve human health, from insights into cell behavior to devices that regulate the rhythms and chemical tides of the body.

Key programs to be located on the first floor include neuroengineering, tissue engineering, genomic technology, and the Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering, a multi-disciplinary center focusing on protein engineering, cellular engineering and tissue engineering.

The Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy (IGSP) will occupy the second floor of the Vinik Building. IGSP represents Duke’s campus-wide response to the broad challenges of the Genome Revolution.

Most of the second floor of CIEMAS north is dedicated to faculty of the School of Medicine, including cardiology, anesthesiology and orthopedics.

On the second floor of the east complex next to one of the bridges will be the Jim Wyngaarden Hall of Honor. He was chairman of medicine at Duke and chief of staff of Duke Hospital before being appointed director of the National Institutes of Health in 1982.

The third floor of the east complex will house the Master of Engineering Management Program (MEMP) and the Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Materials Systems. The goal of the biologically inspired materials initiative is to “reverse engineer” natural materials to determine their composition, structure and performance in aid in fashioning new products.