The first new building to open on UW-Milwaukee’s East Side campus in 20 years, the $80 million Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Complex provides world-class facilities and state-of-the-art equipment for research in physics, public health and other fields. Here’s a look inside the 132,000-square-foot building that is destined to be a guiding force in scientific discovery and innovation.
The basement is home to the university’s High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM) shared facility, which can examine samples down to the atomic level. Here, physicists and UW-Milwaukee collaborators from engineering, chemistry and biology study the properties of condensed matter surface samples with an eye toward the development of new nanomaterials.
2. FIRST FLOOR
The High Performance Computing Data Center, known as Mortimer, houses processors that work together to allow scientists to perform groundbreaking research in science, math, engineering, digital humanities and bioinformatics, a growing interdisciplinary field focused on analyzing and interpreting biological data.
3. SECOND FLOOR
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s Shimadzu Laboratory for Advanced Applied and Analytical Chemistry houses six new mass spectrometers and a controlled tissue culture suite. Researchers across disciplines use the facility to study issues related to water, soil, agriculture, food and beverage, materials science and health care. One primary user is the Milwaukee Institute for Drug Discovery, which conducts early-stage research and proof-of-concept studies with funding from the National Institutes of Health.
The Small Business Collaboratory, funded by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Partnerships for Innovation program, includes a multiphoton microscope, which stimulates electrons in a sample with two pulses of light to produce 3-D images. Imagery of proteins and antibodies could lead to breakthroughs in health care.
4. THIRD FLOOR
Physicists working under the umbrella of the NSF-funded Science and Technology Center use powerful visible and X-ray lasers, as well as synchrotron light and forced-base microscopes, to study the structures of proteins and viruses, and how they work within the human body.
Meanwhile, physicists with support from the federal departments of Energy and Defense, along with the NSF, grow unique multifunctional crystals that could revolutionize the production of batteries, data storage devices and superconductors.
5. FOURTH FLOOR
Researchers in the Leonard E. Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics are rewriting our understanding of the universe after the February 2016 announcement that they helped detect the elusive gravitational waves Albert Einstein first predicted 100 years ago. Center scientists provided the computing power and analytical tools that allowed an international group of astrophysicists to determine that a wave detected in September came from the collision of two black holes more than a billion years ago. More discoveries are likely as physicists worldwide comb through the data collected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO.
6. FIFTH FLOOR
Faculty members and graduate students in Environmental Health Sciences, a division of the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, work to identify environmental causes of disease with a special focus on how contaminants in water and air can affect health during pregnancy and childhood.