September 29, 2018

Turner Hall Transformation | the smart classroom

Six years after more than 100 alumni, faculty, students, and friends of Illinois gathered to kick-off a 5 million dollar fundraising campaign, the University of Illinois Turner Hall transformation has been completed. 1964 ag sciences grad William Kirk and his wife, Lillian, made a $500,000 donation to seed the project.
 

Turner Hall West Lobby

Phase I of the Turner Hall Project transformed the crop science and soil science laboratories into 21st-century learning environments. Undergraduate courses are taught in these two labs. Donors also funded a two-story renovation of the west lobby. In total, Phase I renovated 7136 square feet. These renovated spaces allow for active learning, utilizing new technologies. The Dow AgroSciences Crop Sciences Laboratory and the Monsanto Soil Science Laboratory welcomed students for the first time in fall 2015.



Phase II construction began in 2017 and will conclude in 2018. This 38,377 square foot, three-floor renovation will fully transform classrooms on the first and second floors of Turner Hall, as well as advanced laboratories in the basement. Transformed classrooms feature new technologies, state-of-the-art equipment, new flooring, HVAC and lighting. It encompasses a new computer lab, new “smart” classroom, new conference room and student collaboration areas.


September 28, 2018

New Bioprocessing Crops Lab


The market for commodity crops processed into new products is expected to more than double in the next six years to some 490 billion dollars. The IBRL building on the Univesity of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign is investing in the future of these agricultural innovations.

The last week of September a new building was dedicated on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign. The Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory is designed to bridge the gap between discovery and commercialization. IBRL’s director, Vijay Singh, says every year some 250 invention disclosures are filed at the University of Illinois. Most are never commercialized because there isn’t a proof of concept facility to scale up new ways to process ethanol or other agricultural biofuels.



The labs in IBRL, Singh says, will do just that, “This facility is also a link joining academia with business development. With plug and play utilities and flexible equipment offerings, IBRL is agile enough to serve a variety of needs across the bioprocessing industry.”

However, it’s not just the IBRL building on the University of Illinois ag campus that creates this commercialization synergy. There’s the Food Science pilot plant, the Institute for Genomic Biology, the array of greenhouses, the energy farm where all kinds of crops are explored for biofuels, and Research Park where big data technology is fused with the hard sciences. Together, Vijay Singh believes, these create an unmatched eco-space that can drive a bio-economy in Illinois and beyond.


September 22, 2018

A Primer on African Swine Fever

Veterinarian Jim Lowe from the University of Illinois talked with Farm Broadcaster Todd Gleason about African Swine Fever Saturday morning September 22, 2018. Lowe was doing yard work when Todd caught up with him.


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