UNO dedication celebrates biomechanics research building expansion

From left, Jeff Kaipust of Biomechics, Interim NU President Susan Fritz, Ph.D, benefactor Bill Scott, Chair of Biomechanics Nicholas Stergiou, Ph.D, benefactor Ruth Scott, Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., and NU Foundation President & CEO Brian Hastings, cut the ribbon in celebration of the opening of the Biomechanics Research Building addition at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska, Tuesday, October 22, 2019.
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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and University of Nebraska Foundation hosted a dedication and ribbon-cutting event Oct. 22, 2019, celebrating the philanthropy that made the Biomechanics Research Building’s new addition possible.

The privately funded $11.6 million expansion more than doubled the size of the original building, bringing the facility to 57,000 square feet and adding critical space for research, machining, prototyping and education. The building is home to the Division of Biomechanics and Research Development and houses all research conducted by the Department of Biomechanics, the Center for Research in Human Movement Variability and associated programs.

The William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation of Omaha generously provided the lead donation for the project to the University of Nebraska Foundation.

UNO’s Biomechanics Research Building is the largest academic and research facility of its kind in the world, and its research and education programs are at the forefront of the study of the human body in motion.

The theme of the celebration was The Impossible Dream, a reference to the Spanish novel “Don Quixote” and the musical adaptation “Man of La Mancha.” Nick Stergiou, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Biomechanics and the UNO Distinguished Community Research Chair in Biomechanics, said the theme speaks to the boldness of what his team is working to accomplish and the incredible contributions of Omaha’s philanthropic community.

“We are beyond excited to celebrate how an impossible dream became possible,” Stergiou said. “The vision and the support of Bill, Ruth, and all of our donors has been a tremendous blessing as we’ve grown in size and impact. This event is about how their belief and generosity helped us achieve something we could only imagine when I started at UNO more than 20 years ago. Today, I’m proud to say we always rethink the impossible, since nothing seems truly impossible anymore.”

Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. said the event was about both generosity and vision, and that the best is yet to come for biomechanics at UNO.

“I will tell you that it’s a promise to the future,” Gold said. “The discoveries, the creative activity, the research, the students that will pass through the halls of this building will make you proud, and all of us are here to ensure that that is the case.”

Construction on the addition began in the spring of 2018. Work is now in its final stages.

The dedication event follows the September announcement that the Department of Biomechanics received a grant of $10.3 million, the largest single research grant in UNO history. The new record surpasses the department’s previous record, which lasted five years.

In this video, Chancellor Gold and Department Chair Nick Stergiou discuss the importance of recent grant funding and the research goals of the university’s biomechanics program.

I will tell you that it’s a promise to the future. The discoveries, the creative activity, the research, the students that will pass through the halls of this building will make you proud, and all of us are here to ensure that that is the case.” Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. Chancellor.

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