The centerpiece of WKU’s NOVA Center, a large-chamber scanning electron microscope (LCSEM), was featured March 10-11 during WKU’s NOVA (Nondestructive Analysis) Center Conference.
The two-day conference attracted faculty, students, scientists, researchers and industry representatives. WKU is the only university in North America with an LCSEM.
In his remarks to open the conference, WKU President Gary Ransdell thanked Martin Klein, president of the company that manufactured the LCSEM, for his assistance in the installation of the equipment. “I know you’re pleased to see the first one installed at a university in this country,” Dr. Ransdell said.
“I look forward to observing it in action,” Dr. Ransdell said. “I’m proud to be part of a university doing something new and innovative in American higher education.”
Dr. Gordon Baylis, Vice President for Research, said the NOVA Center is “great showcase for WKU” and exemplifies what WKU is and wants to become – a university that values research by its faculty, that involves students in research and that reaches out to the business community and provides economic development opportunities for the region.
The NOVA Center is located at WKU’s Center for Research and Development. Dr. Blaine Ferrell, dean of Ogden College of Science and Engineering, said the NOVA Center will benefit from the infrastructure and other centers located at the facility off Nashville Road.
The $2.7 million LCSEM, which was moved to WKU from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, can magnify up to 100,000 times and offers high-resolution imaging for surface analysis, chemical analysis, materials identification, quality control, metal microstructure, subsurface examination and more. The LCSEM’s scanning chamber can accommodate a sample up to 40 inches in diameter, 40 inches tall and up to 650 pounds (large enough for an automobile engine block).
The NOVA Center will provide analytical and technical services for materials science research, advanced manufacturing, engineering and other fields and will enhance WKU’s student recruitment efforts in Kentucky and across the nation, said Dr. Edward Kintzel, NOVA Center director and assistant professor in WKU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Contact: Edward Kintzel, (270) 745-6200.