The College of Science and Engineering received a gift of $1 million over five years from Minneapolis-based Valspar Corporation to provide high-tech equipment for the new “Valspar Materials Science and Engineering Lab.”

Located in the Gore Annex of Amundson Hall in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, the new undergraduate lab was completed this summer. Once fully equipped in early 2015, the lab will include testing equipment that characterizes the mechanical performance of materials, electron microscopes that image at the nanoscale, and other equipment that can measure magnetic, electrical, and optical properties.

“This gift from Valspar allows us to grow our undergraduate materials science and engineering program and outfit the new lab with state-of-the-art equipment that is second to none,” said Frank Bates, head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. “We are thankful for Valspar’s support and forward-looking mission to help us build one of the best materials science and engineering programs in the country.”

Valspar’s shared mission to develop world-class materials science and products, along with proximity of research laboratories were primary factors in the company’s decision to award the gift. The gift comes as Valspar completes a major expansion of its Minneapolis R&D facility this spring. The Valspar Applied Science and Technology Center will enable the current campus to accommodate up to 135 additional researchers and technologists.

“The alliance of Valspar with the University of Minnesota is clearly a strong match with our strategy for science and innovation leadership in the coastings industry,” said Dr. Cynthia Arnold, Valspar’s Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “Valspar will benefit from the University’s outstanding interdisciplinary program for materials science, a specific coatings program, and proximity to one of our major research laboratories.”