The legacy of William Alfred Cook will be further enhanced on
campus through a new laboratory for bioscience research bearing the
name of the life sciences pioneer.
William Alfred Cook Laboratory for Bioscience Research will
allow students to develop knowledge of the biological sciences
through hands-on education in plant life. The 1,350-square-foot
facility will be constructed on the south wall of Crapo Hall, and
will become the visual focal point in the academic center of the
"This spectacular facility will serve as a living laboratory
experience for our students, showcasing our commitment to the life
sciences, and helping us produce graduates who can combine superior
problem-solving abilities with an awareness of the role of biology
and botany in technical solutions," says President Matt Branam.
A $500,000 donation making the laboratory possible came from
Carl Cook, chief executive officer of the Cook Group global network
of companies and Rose- Hulman trustee, in honor of his late father
and company founder. A noted philanthropist, William Alfred Cook
and his family were involved in numerous charitable activities, and
have supported the expansion of the biosciences at Rose-Hulman.
Over the past 10 years, there has been the establishment of the
Department of Applied Biology and Biomedical Engineering, expansion
of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and addition of
research programs in biofuels, biochemistry, biology, and
"My father was a cross-disciplinary inventor who used
engineering technology to solve complex problems in the field of
internal medicine," says Carl Cook in announcing the Rose-Hulman
"Our family is proud to help advance this cross-disciplinary
approach to learning and experimentation in the new William Alfred
Cook Laboratory for Bioscience Research. In this facility, students
will explore the roles of biology, botany, chemistry, and
engineering in finding solutions for complex problems."
The biological sciences continue to play an increasing role in
innovative solutions to technical challenges.
Research into alternative energy sources has included the
development of algae to produce biodiesel fuel. Similarly,
remediation of releases such as oil spills has been achieved using
bacteria that consume oil as a food source. Also, pharmaceutical
companies continue to investigate innate plant and animal
properties for the creation of new drugs.
"Knowledge of the biological sciences has opened the door to
innovative technical solutions," says Michael Mueller, head of the
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
"This new laboratory will offer our students-whether they are
majoring in the biological sciences or any of the engineering
disciplines-the plant materials and laboratory experiences that
will ensure a hands-on education that is the hallmark of
The laboratory will be constructed by Garmong Construction
Services and fabricated by the Winandy Greenhouse Company, led by
Hank Doherty (CE, '79). The lead structural engineer will be
Michael Waldbieser (CE, '93). ■
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