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Townes Science Center quick links:

Dedication program (PDF)

Dedication schedule

Maps (1st, 2nd, and basement levels) (PDF)

Exhibits and demonstration areas

Furman press release
Townes Science Center Dedication

Date/Time/Location Event Description CLP?
Fri., Oct. 31, 2008, 2:30-5pm
Townes Science Center
Kohrt Commons and Departments

Townes Science Center Dedication


Townes Science Center
Townes Science Center
This dedication celebrated the opening of the Townes Center for Science after two years of new construction and renovation of Plyler Hall. The two new buildings with 75,105 square feet are connected to Plyler Hall, the old science building, which has 138,300 square feet. See press release.

Dedication Schedule (starting 2:30 pm) - see full program (PDF)

Welcome David E. Shi '73, President
Invocation Charles A. Arrington '60, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor Emeritus of Chemistry
Remarks President Shi
Brian C. Goess, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Kathryn Elizabeth Mittauer '09, Physics Major
Presentations Kathleen Crum McKinney, Chair, Board of Trustees
William Barnet III, Mayor of Spartanburg
Carl F. Kohrt '65, Co-chair, Science Advisory Board
Remarks Charles H. Townes '35, Co-chair, Science Advisory Board
Frances H. Townes, Community Activist
Closing Remarks President Shi

The reception and open house will be held in Kohrt Commons and the departments.

Townes Center Maps

Click on links below for maps for the 1st floor, 2nd floor, and basement level:

Townes Center, 1st Floor Townes, 2nd Floor Townes Center, Basement Level
1st Floor (PDF)
2nd Floor (PDF)

Also see all three maps in the same PDF.

Exhibits and Demonstration Areas

As part of the dedicatory events, there will be demonstrations and exhibits in the following areas:

Exhibit/Location Description
Ligler Molecular Biology Lab

Rooms 165, 166
Research on molecules such as DNA and protein is central to modern cellular and developmental physiology. In the Townes Science Center, innovative laboratory design encourages collaboration among researchers and shared use of instruments. Visit the integrated laboratories of five biology professors, and have a chance to talk to students about the research they are conducting.
Zoological Museum

Room 128
Furman’s Zoological Museum has a large collection of vertebrate and invertebrate specimens. Normally this is a research collection and is not open to the public, but in honor of the Townes Science Center dedication the facility will be open. Examine specimens on display and meet students doing research on insect and vertebrate biology.
Environmental and Aquatic Biology Labs

Rooms 014, 022
The controlled environment facility includes eight environmental chambers in which temperature, light, and humidity can be programmed for any conditions, allowing students to grow plants and animals in desert, tundra or rainforest conditions. The aquatic biology labs include controlled-temperature aquaria and an indoor stream for research on the physiology and adaptations of fish. Professors and students will be on hand to discuss current research in environmental biology.
Kubler Chemistry Research Lab

Room 265
One of ten such chemistry labs of this type, Professor Brian Goess’s lab was selected to illustrate a student-faculty research lab. Students will talk about their research in the synthesis of potential cancer chemotherapeutic agents and the development of new organic chemistry reactions.
Childers Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Lab
(Chemistry Dept.)

Room 262
This 1500 square-foot room houses the two large superconducting magnets used in the NMR spectrometers. Furman is one of some ten undergraduate research colleges in the nation to have NMR research capabilities of this caliber available to undergraduates. In general, the NMR instruments cost about $1 million and their magnets must always be kept under liquid helium at 4 degrees absolute in temperature to maintain their superconductivity. The medical application of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was developed in earlier years from basic research in chemistry and physics applying NMR spectrometers to studying the molecular structure of molecules. The method is also used to monitor the progress of chemical reactions and to study the transport properties of chemical diffusion, important in such things as drug delivery methods. Undergraduate chemistry students at Furman gain direct NMR experience early in their college careers by having access to the equipment. Even in large undergraduate programs, it is most unusual for undergraduates to be allowed to use such expensive and delicate instrumentation. Austin Smith ’09 will explain how to use these NMR instruments, and he will discuss the biochemical-biological research project he conducted over the summer.
Knight Mass Spectrometer Lab
(Chemistry Dept.)

Room 235
Professor John Wheeler will direct various high-end analytical instruments, and students will explain the instruments in the context of their research. Student talks may involve the following: emission instrument used in a project probing the structural and environmental effects on DNA relative to Huntington’s disease; trace metal analysis in water supplies; development of new molecules that might have activity for treating cancer; a project involving the study of halogen bonding—an unusual type of chemical bond.
Blackwell GIS Lab
(EES Dept.)

Room 118
In this lab, satellite image analysis software and geographic information systems (GIS) are used to do land transformation. GIS, in particular, is a software tool used across multiple disciplines such as EES, biology, history, classics, and political science, to study any problem that requires spatial analysis. See how GIS and remote sensing has been used in the River Basins Research Initiative to better understand how urbanization has affected stream processes in the upstate of South Carolina.
Hill Biogeochemistry Lab
(EES Dept.)

Room 109
Here, you will have a chance to ask students about research they are conducting as part of the interdisciplinary River Basins Research Initiative. Students examine carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur biogeochemistry in surface waters, groundwaters, and atmospheric deposition. This research focuses on understanding the relationship between urbanization and the chemical composition of streams.
Solid Earth Systems classroom
(EES Dept.)

Room 108
Solid Earth Systems involves teaching and research on minerals and rocks in order to better understand the tectonic evolution of the Appalachian Mountains. See how students learn to identify rocks and minerals using macroscopic, mesocopic, and microscopic techniques, and how mineral composition and structures in the rock tell us about the conditions under which rocks form and inform our understanding of mineral resources and their supply.

Room 206
The Physics Department has three optics labs in the Charles H. Townes Center for Science. One of them is dedicated to research in optical spectroscopy. The optical spectroscopy lab at Plyler 206 is the home of Raman and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy systems. The Raman platform consists of a double-stage spectrometer (Gemini 180), a powerful Diode-pumped solid-state laser operating at 532 nanometers, and numerous optical components delivering and collecting light. The FTIR system (Varian 640 research spectrometer) is a commercially-made turnkey system, which could also be upgraded to a Raman-FTIR system for Ramanimaging applications. Raman and FTIR are two powerful complimentary techniques providing fingerprint information of the chemical compositions. They are widely used in material science, bio-medical research, chemistry and physics, to name a few. Including these facilities greatly enhances and extends our research and education capabilities, and opens up new opportunities for our students.
Physics Optics Research Lab

Room 205
On display will be a working fiber pre-form optical laser. This is part of the joint project between the Clemson University Townes Optics Laboratories and Materials Science Center and the Furman Department of Physics. The pre-forms are part of the process that develops special optical fibers for communicate applications. These fibers are doped with rare-earth elements to enhance transmission at appropriate wavelengths.
Timmons Planetarium and Simulation Classroom

Room 253
This impressive classroom is equipped with a 24-foot dome projection surface for displaying images of the night sky, full dome videos, computer-generated visualizations from other scientific disciplines, and non-scientific media such as digital art.