Houston Forward Times

02 March 2014 Written by  Forward Times Staff

Texas Southern University Invests in America’s STEM Future: $31 Million Spearman Technology Building Opens

With the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony of the Leonard H.O. Spearman Technology Building, Texas Southern University’s Board of Regents, administrators and faculty officially launched a $31 million investment in the University’s current and future STEM students. The 107,791-square-foot gem features the latest in technology for instruction and research, and will help to offset the inadequacy of STEM education for African American and Hispanic students, which currently has a negative impact on U.S. economic power.  

Named after TSU’s fifth president, the Spearman Technology Building houses 35 state-of –the art labs, such as a full motion flight simulator lab, a vehicle emission testing lab, an air traffic control lab, a high performance computing lab, a construction lab, a Mini -TranStar lab, a driving simulation lab, two design labs, health and nuclear physics labs, a geotechnical/material testing lab, an environmental engineering lab, a wireless sensor networks lab, and various other engineering, physics, and computer science labs. The departments of Aviation Science and Technology, Computer Science, Engineering Technology, Industrial Technology, Physics, and Transportation Studies academic programs will be housed in the building.

“Technology is going to be a great part of creating jobs for TSU graduates,” said Dr. John Rudley, president of Texas Southern University. “This building, which is a great part of the legacy and vision of President Spearman, will not only be a place for students to train and study for the jobs of the future, but will provide them with the resources to participate in the research that our Provost [Dr. Sunny Ohia] is pushing for.”

In addition to the labs, the facility is home to a new Tier 1 University Transportation Center, the Center for Transportation Training and Research, and the new National Science Foundation Center for Research on Complex Networks. Together with the Science Building, the Spearman Building forms a complex that brings all of the departments in the College of Science and Technology into one area of campus to better foster interdisciplinary research and learning.

“I am so pleased to see this step in our college’s evolution,” said Lei Yu, dean of the College of Science and Technology. “As we build more interdisciplinary programs that focus on incorporating technology and research into potential careers for students, the facilities in this building will be critical to our success.”

State Senator Rodney Ellis; U.S. Congressman Al Green; former technology dean and founder of the aviation science program, Naomi Lede; TSU Board of Regents; surviving family of Leonard H.O. Spearman; and other supporters of the College of Science and Technology were on hand and spoke at the dedication ceremony.