September 5, 2000

Duffield Hall to Provide New Image

Print More

A place for collaborative research and lounging, the partially constructed Duffield Hall will provide the Engineering Quad with a fresh look and new opportunities for research work.

Approved by President Hunter R. Rawlings III about four years ago, construction will probably begin next spring, with completion due for December 2003, said Prof. Clif Pollock, engineering.

Pollock said Duffield will provide the Engineering Quad with a new image as compared to the current “high-school look” of the existing buildings.

Duffield Hall’s architecture will be “much more pleasing, I think, to the eye, and very pretty,” he said. “And I hope it adds a lot of stature to the image of the college.”

Duffield will be positioned along the west side of Phillips Hall. One of the building’s shorter ends will run along Campus Rd., while the other will face Upson Hall. The two longer sides of the building will face Phillips Hall and the middle of the Quad respectively. In addition, the new building will be three stories tall, with upper-level walkway bridges connecting Duffield to Phillips and Upson. The bridges will pass through an atrium located between Duffield and its bordering buildings.

“We’re going to have a beautiful atrium which will directly impact hundreds and hundreds of students,” Pollock said.

Plans also include carrels looking out onto the atrium, to accommodate study groups; tables, chairs and a coffee shop will provide students with a place to read and lounge while data ports will allow easy e-mail access, Pollock said.

In addition to the various physical features and additions, Duffield will provide new opportunities for research as well. “We’re going to benefit with greatly enhanced capability for research and instruction,” Pollock said.

The need for new laboratory facilities was a determining factor in building Duffield. The older buildings on the Engineering Quad lack chemical hoods without which chemical fumes cannot be vented from the buildings and researchers cannot perform specific experiments.

“There was no way to upgrade the current space to make them capable of supporting this kind of research,” Pollock said.

The building will house the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility, and will primarily be used for nanotechnology, the science of patterning and constructing materials and devices at the atomic level, according to the Cornell Nanotechnology website.

Pollock also hopes to have interactive research labs where researchers from different colleges and departments within Cornell can do collaborative research.

“For example, we might have a biologist, a chemist and an engineer working on a problem,” Pollock explained. “Right now, each of them would have a lab at different corners of the University; Duffield will provide a central location where the three groups could collaborate and work together.”

Part of the Nanobiotechnology Center (NBTC), which consists of research groups in various fields of study, will also be housed in Duffield, according to Prof. Harold Craighead, applied and engineering physics and director of the NBTC, who was awarded his doctorate in physics from Cornell in ’80.

With Duffield’s construction, Craighead said he hopes to have a shared research facility for the NBTC.

“This will mean that we will have state of the art, well-designed laboratories for our central facility that will be used by faculty from across campus and other institutions that want to use advanced fabrication techniques combined with chemistry and biology techniques,” he said.

Archived article by Abbie Westervelt