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The School of Engineering Receives $150,000 Grant for Innovative Equipment

The School of Engineering at Widener University was awarded a grant of $150,000 from George I. Alden Trust to support the upgrade and purchase of engineering equipment for the 2014-15 academic year. This is the largest gift the School of Engineering has received from the trust to date.

According to Dr. Fred Akl, dean of the School of Engineering, “the goal of engineering education at Widener is to prepare students for successful engineering careers, and to instill a mindset of innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship.”

The School of Engineering curriculum provides a perfect balance between the classroom and the lab, and students are required to put theory into practice. The funding from the grant will allow the School of Engineering to replace and upgrade electrical engineering laboratory equipment, as well as to purchase chemical engineering laboratory equipment. “Instructional laboratories are indispensable towards achieving the goals of the undergraduate engineering programs at Widener,” Akl said.

“As enrollment increases and to meet academic needs of the profession, there is significant effort to enhancing facilities and raising the university’s profile,” President James T. Harris III said. “This aligns well with the mission of the George I. Alden Trust as it will further enrich students’ already extensive engineering experience, while simultaneously preparing students for satisfying professional careers.”

Some of the new equipment items include generators, data acquisition software, a high performance liquid chromatograph for chemical engineering lab, and an envision reader for the biomedical engineering lab run by Dr. Sachin Patil, assistant professor of chemical engineering. The envision reader will be used for research programs investigating novel therapeutic agents for such diseases as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease that depend on specific molecular interactions in their function.

All Widener students will now be able to explore cutting edge directions in engineering, while also developing a better understanding of the methodology engineers employ to solve problems.

The George I. Alden Trust supports independent colleges and universities in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and the six New England states having fulltime traditional undergraduate enrollments of at least 1,000 students and with a total undergraduate and graduate student population (full time equivalents) of under 5,000.

 Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free university. Visit the university website,