Dow Foundation Invests $2 Million for LSU College of Engineering Expansion

July 2, 2014 | LSU Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

Leadership incubator to simulate team environment reflected at Dow

Corporations and universities have increasingly expanded their partnerships to address the need for science, technology, engineering and math graduates. In Louisiana, The Dow Chemical (DOW), through its charitable foundation, has aligned with LSU’s College of Engineering to cultivate a 21st century workforce by supporting students in leadership development, educational innovation and research solutions.

“At Dow, we have built a company on innovation. It is the foundation of everything we do. That is why Dow has a long-standing commitment to improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. Having the world’s best and brightest scientists, chemists and engineers is imperative as Dow works to connect chemistry and innovation to solve the world’s most pressing challenges,” said David Mongrue, Vice President of Operations for Advance Materials and Dow’s LSU Executive Sponsor.

students at dow

Today, LSU’s College of Engineering announced Dow’s commitment to establish a student leadership center in the renovated Patrick F. Taylor Hall. This additional $1 million gift augments Dow’s prior $1 million contribution to establish a unit operations laboratory in the chemical engineering addition. Combined, the gifts total $2 million and represent Dow’s largest single investment in LSU’s College of Engineering.

“As a top employer of our graduates, Dow and LSU’s College of Engineering have enjoyed a long, mutually beneficial relationship,” said Rick Koubek, dean and Bert S. Turner chair in the College of Engineering. “Early on Dow supported the College with the first $1 million corporate gift to the chemical engineering addition. Today, we are excited that Dow has enhanced their support with another gift to support our students through this collaborative leadership space.”

The student leadership center will house up to 15 engineering student organizations locally, allowing LSU engineering students to develop leadership skills, work in a team environment and perpetuate a spirit of service through volunteerism. Student organizations occupying the center will be asked to support their community through outreach activities and service projects that promote STEM education. 

The operations laboratory will help students obtain and interpret data needed to solve typical challenges in the design or operation of chemical engineering equipment. The laboratory will provide chemical engineering students optimal industry experience in safe laboratory practices, workplace hazard analysis, chemical safety, industrial hygiene and management of change.

Dow’s contribution will receive the one-to-one state match provided by the state of Louisiana under the agreement between the state and LSU to expand its engineering facilities.

Dow also dedicated $100,000 toward innovative research for sophisticated engineering systems under Dr. Michael Khonsari, Dow Chemical Endowed Chair in Rotating Machinery and Professor in the LSU Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering. Khonsari, who directs the LSU Center for Rotating Machinery, and a group of student researchers are working to determine metal fatigue under stress. Research results will provide significant information in managing the life of equipment by reducing mechanical failures that threaten production. The point at which materials reach a breaking point is a major concern for the manufacturing industry that rely on vast amounts of machinery to run efficiently and safely at all times.

“The LSU College of Engineering's connection with Dow Chemical is the perfect example of how research and development in a university research center can provide innovative solutions to improve production and safety in industry situations,” said Khonsari.

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity.

About Louisiana State University’s College of Engineering

Founded in 1908, the LSU College of Engineering offers eleven undergraduate degree programs and confers approximately 650 bachelor’s degrees per year, ranking it in the top 10 percent nationally for graduates. In 2013, it became the largest academic college in the LSU System and the fifth fastest growing engineering college in the nation. One hundred and thirty five faculty members engage in education, research, and commercialization with a strategic focus on research indigenous to Louisiana: energy and environmental sustainability, and natural and built infrastructure.



Mimi LaValle, LSU College of Engineering, 225-578-5706, 225-439-5633,