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Innovation Center Named for Innovative Leader, Former President Matt Branam
September 24, 2012
||Center Name Unveiled: President Robert Coons joined members
of the Branam family in unveiling the Branam Innovation Center in
honor of the late president Matt Branam.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has officially named the
Matt Branam Innovation Center in recognition of the late
president's many contributions to the campus and its students.
Branam, the institute's 14th president, died unexpectedly in
The Terre Haute native and 1979 Rose-Hulman alumnus fostered the
development of a large open-concept building for students to build
innovative projects, test them, break them, race them, win glory,
and tear them down to try something new.
"Starting his career at UPS as a civil engineer, Matt Branam
built a lot of big garages -- some of the biggest in America.
However, he had never built one with such a fun and exciting
purpose as this one," said Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons
during the naming ceremony on September 22. "He imagined a big
space where students could work late into the night perfecting team
projects. This is where theory turns into practice, where
conflicting ideas get debated and tested, where friendships are
born and respect is earned.
"The Branam Innovation Center is an innovative, dynamic, and
energetic place for our students to hang out, test big ideas, push
the limits of engineering, and lead competitive engineering
competitions around the world," Coons continued. "It is a
fitting tribute that the Branam name will forever be synonymous
with 'innovation' on our campus."
The Branam Innovation Center is a 16,200-square-foot building
that's located on the east side of the Rose-Hulman campus. It was
officially opened last fall and has work spaces for each project
team, a machine shop, and a conference room. The facility is home
to several student project development teams, including:
- EcoCAR2, where students have accepted the challenge of reducing
the environmental impact of a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu without
compromising performance, safety, and consumer acceptability.
- Human Powered Vehicle Team, which has won eight of the
past 10 national American Society of Mechanical Engineering
collegiate racing events.
- Robotics Team, which has students developing robots to meet
complex challenges -- on land and under water.
- Rose Efficient Vehicles Team, which has developed vehicles
achieving more than 1,800 miles per gallon and earned top
recognition in the annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas
- Rose Grand Prix Engineering Team, which develops vehicles
from scratch for an annual Society of Automotive Engineering
- Concrete Canoe Team, which has civil engineering students
showing that concrete can truly float on water.
- Team Rose Motorsports, a team which has students exploring
their need for speed while competing at area hot rod race
Matt Branam served as Rose-Hulman's president from the spring of
2009 until April 20, 2012.