Our Story

With the new demand for STEM graduates and steadily increasing enrollmentIgnite Logo in the fields of math and science, Howell Hall is bursting at the seams with both students and ideas. STEM has become the force driving innovation for our future and UCO is ready to provide graduates with the knowledge and skills to both meet and serve this need. The 57,000 square foot Interdisciplinary STEM Teaching and Research Center will house state-of-the-art research labs, several new classrooms and faculty office space. Most importantly it will become the permanent home for the Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Education and Research (CIBER), the Center for Research and Education in Interdisciplinary Computation (CREIC), and additional research laboratories for forensic science and applied mathematics. Additionally, the building will house teaching laboratories in forensic science, cell and developmental biology, genetics, biomedical engineering, and nursing simulation as well as transformative learning classrooms. Faculty and students from different departments will work side by side in these research and teaching laboratories. These individuals are the future of Central STEM.

Our Goal

We can provide the tools to ensure this facility is successful, but we need your help. Your investment allows us to provide the instrumentation and technology needed to outfit every lab and classroom, making this the state-of-the-art facility it was destined to be. In addition to providing the needed instruments and equipment, an endowment will be created to fund the continually changing need for more sophisticated scientific instruments and upgrades. Technology moves quickly and we must remain ready to update laboratories to ensure they meet the needs of our research community. The STEM building allows us to rise up and meet the challenges of our workforce and metro community. With your help, Central will be the leader for Oklahoma STEM and beyond.

STEM Rendering

Research Labs

High Performance and Data-Enabled Computing Center (HiPDECC):

This space will serve as an academic data center housing computing hardware used in student-centered high performance computing and data enabled science and engineering research and education. Students will observe and get hands-on experience in a production data center environment, and use cutting-edge computational technologies and software to perform research and solve applied problems. The HiPDECC provides space, power and cooling for UCO’s growing academic and research computing needs.

Center for Research and Education in Interdisciplinary Computation Lab (CREICLab):

This space will serve as the hub of CREIC and an open and accessible work space for student-faculty-staff computational collaborations. CREICLab will serve as a gathering space for videoconferencing and remote collaborations.

Biomedical Engineering Research Lab:

This laboratory will serve as a space for interdisciplinary biomedical engineering research in a variety of areas, including biomedical imaging, biomechanics and biophotonics. Students will conduct research with biomedical engineering faculty on problems ranging from basic cellular biophysics to novel cancer imaging and novel cancer therapy.

Nanoengineering Systems Research Lab:

This laboratory focuses on the development of micro/nanoengineering systems to address urgent needs in medical diagnostics and treatment through undergraduate student-centered research. Students will be trained in state-of-the-art nanofabrication processes for micro/nanofluidic devices, contribute to innovation and gain transformative research experiences. 

Nano Biology Research Lab:

This space will serve as a place for students to design, fabricate, test and analyze biomedical devices for clinical applications. Specifically, electrospun nanofiber-based biomedical implants and microfluidic-based biosensors will be investigated in this space.

Microbiology Research Lab:

This laboratory will serve as a space for microbiology research by faculty and students in a variety of areas, including molecular mechanism(s) of virus-induced hepatocellular carcinoma, development of novel antiviral drugs for treating liver cancer, isolation and identification of new bacteriophages, the role of biofilms in chronic wound pathogenesis, the pathogenesis of intracellular bacteria that cause a flu-like illness as well as chronic endocarditis, and possible exposure of Oklahoma bats to White-Nose Syndrome, a fungal infection. 

Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology Research Lab:

Students and faculty will conduct cutting edge biomedical research in this space using in-vitro and in-vivo models. This space will provide the environment and equipment to culture live cells and avian embryos to investigate mechanisms of human health and disease.

Forensics, Molecular Genetics and Evolution Research Lab:

This space will serve as open and accessible research space for students and faculty working on a variety of molecular genetics projects, integrated with teaching facilities for forensics students that simulate real-world workflows.

Digital Forensics Research Lab:

The Digital Forensics Research Lab will be used by undergraduate and graduate students conducting research in digital forensics. It will be equipped with the same tools found in today’s digital forensics laboratories and will be connected to the High Performance and Data-Enabled Computing Center (HiPDECC) for collaborative research.

Mathematical Biology Research Lab:

The mathematical biology research group investigates a variety of scientific problems using mathematical modeling and analysis. Collaborations with other scientists on and off campus provide interdisciplinary research experiences for students. Students will use this lab space to meet and work with each other, collaborators and advisers.

Project SCHOLAR (Statistical Consulting Help for Organizational Leaders and Academic Researchers):

SCHOLAR is a statistical consulting group in which undergraduate students, supervised by faculty in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, complete statistical consulting projects submitted by researchers at UCO, or leaders of organizations and businesses in the community.  The SCHOLAR space will consist of a conference/work area in which students and faculty can meet with clients and can work together to address the clients’ questions. 

Operations Research Lab: 

The Operations Research Group uses mathematical techniques to solve real-world decision problems. This space is designed to be adaptable so that projects involving 40 computers, 300 pages of data or five community leaders can be accommodated. It will provide a place for the group to share and grow new ideas, to meet with clients and to work together.

Computational Rehabilitation Research Lab: 

We aim to utilize cutting-edge computational technologies, such as mobile cloud computing, virtual reality, etc., to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. The lab space will consist of a small office for a postdoc/visiting scholar, a storage room for wheelchairs, an open area where we can study wheelchair dynamics, and a conference area where faculty, research assistants and research collaborators can meet and discuss projects.

Computer Science and Software Engineering Interdisciplinary Research Lab:

This lab will serve as a shared space for graduate and undergraduate students for original research projects that address challenges in the fields of computer science and software engineering.  The lab will accommodate interdisciplinary research activities that advance the academic growth of our students as well as their teamwork and collaboration skills.

Teaching Labs

Computational Education and Research Classroom (CERC):

This space will serve as a full-service classroom hosting courses, workshops, webinars and other larger-scale interactive computational educational offerings. CERC will accommodate UCO courses and activities that engage students-faculty-staff in interactive/hands-on computationally-oriented learning.

Biomedical Engineering Teaching Lab:

The Biomedical Engineering Teaching Lab is designed as a multipurpose teaching facility to support students in their education in biomedical engineering. This lab will provide the necessary equipment and supplies for the computer-based acquisition and processing of physiological signals. It will support the lab components of biomedical instrumentation and biomedical imaging courses. This lab will also have the experimental and computational facilities for teaching biomechanics, and will be used by students working on their senior design projects.

Cell Biology/Virology/Developmental Biology Teaching Lab:

This lab will serve as a space where students can explore and practice the techniques of modern cellular and molecular biology, virology, and developmental biology.  They will undertake investigations in these areas, and gain a foundation for advanced studies in these and related fields. 

Genetics/Histology/Experimental Biochemistry Teaching Lab:

This lab will serve as a space where students can explore and practice the techniques of modern genetics, histology and experimental biochemistry.  They will undertake investigations in these areas, and gain a foundation for advanced studies in these and related fields.

Forensic Biology Teaching Lab:

The Forensic Biology Teaching Lab is a one of a kind laboratory classroom. The entire laboratory has been designed with the forensic science student in mind, and is central to the success of each student. The design of the Forensic Biology Teaching Laboratory has been modeled after the most modern crime laboratories, and provides each student with “real world” experiences in a classroom setting.

Impression Evidence Lab:

The Impression Evidence Lab will be used by undergraduate and graduate students to conduct impression evidence laboratory activities.  The lab will offer the same equipment utilized in today’s crime laboratories.  Techniques will include chemical and physical processing of latent fingerprints, fingerprint analysis and comparison, handwriting and related document examinations, firearm and tool mark identifications, and shoeprint/tire tread analysis. Automated evidence database applications will also be practiced within this lab.  This space will also function as a research lab for undergraduate and graduate students conducting research in the field of impression evidence.

Digital Forensics Teaching Lab:

The Digital Forensics Teaching Lab will serve as a space to teach digital and mobile device forensics to UCO students and law enforcement professionals. The classroom will have its own internal network and students will use current and cutting-edge digital forensics tools to examine digital devices.