At 3 p.m., Wednesday, February 19, Texas Southern University will take another step in its growth with the dedication of the $31 million, 107,791-square-foot Leonard H. O. Spearman Technology Building. The dedication, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the courtyard of the building at the corner of Ennis and Blodgett streets.
“With the opening of the new Spearman Technology Building Texas Southern is doing more than simply replacing a damaged building,” said TSU President John M. Rudley.
“We are continuing our pursuit of excellence in achievement in a new era in which technology is intertwined in all we do. The facilities in this building open doors to a new way of learning for our students.”
This building replaces the original Spearman Technology building, which was severely damaged and rendered unusable by the impact of hurricane Ike on September 13, 2008. It was consequently demolished. However, the new Spearman building is more than a replacement of the old building. Department offices and laboratory facilities have been augmented to support a new generation of learning and research within the College of Science and Technology.
The building, which has a two-story wing and a four-story wing, houses six academic departments: Aviation Science and Technology; Computer Science; Engineering Technology; Industrial Technology; Physics; and Transportation Studies, and has 35 state-of-the-art laboratories.
The Flight Simulator Lab, which is equipped with eight flight desktop simulators, two fixed training devices and a full motion simulator, gives students a hands-on airplane cockpit experience and enhance the students’ knowledge of aircraft and operating procedures. The Air Traffic Control Lab is equipped with six simulated presentations and a tower presentation of the airfield at Hobby airport. In this lab, students learn the rules and regulations of air traffic control.
The high fidelity, motion capable driving simulator in the Driving Simulation Lab uses three large screens with a 135-degree angle field of view, stereo components, and a rotating platform to give students a true-to-life driving experience that provides practical experiences in traffic operations and driving safety. The only other institution in Texas that has a similar lab is Texas A&M University. Additionally, the Mini TranStar Lab allows TSU access to real-time closed circuit television traffic videos of Houston highways. Provided by an agreement between the university and the Texas Department of Transportation, the video feeds provide valuable data on real life traffic patterns and safety issues.
Increasingly, the studies of physics and biology are overlapping as technology aids medical advances. The Low Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Lab allows students to advance research relating to cancer detection in soft tissues. In the Medical and Nuclear Physics Lab, students and faculty research new techniques for monitoring safe levels of radiation at metical diagnostic facilities, power plants and other environments.
Behind the scenes for much of the work in the College is computer powered data analysis. The High Performance Computing Lab serves a host of students and researchers. The center is hosted in a 672 square foot room and powered by a 205-volt circuit capable of delivering 88 KW of power. It is cooled by three 20-ton air conditioning units and has a sapphire protection system. The cluster has 54 compute nodes with dual quad-core and 12-way cores Intel Xeon hyper-threaded processors amassing a total of 944 cores. The Cluster is capable of running 944 independent computing threads. The total RAM memory of the cluster is 892 GB and total storage capacity is 30 terabytes.
The Spearman Building, together with the Science Building 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.”