University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of EngineeringOnline: Autumn 2012
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Nancy Keegan and Don Voelte CIVE '75 stand in front of the UNL nanoscience facility, dedicated in 2012, that bears their names. The building was funded in part by their $5 million gift.



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With its namesakes present, UNL’s Voelte-Keegan Nanoscience Research Center was dedicated Sept. 27. UNL Civil Engineering alumnus Don Voelte ’75 and his wife, Nancy Keegan (also an engineer and former chair of the University of Nebraska Foundation Board of Directors), praised not only the facility but also the people and tools working inside to make lives better.

The couple’s $5 million donation was matched by a competitive federal grant from sources including the National Institute of Standards and Technology, plus a university commitment, to fully fund the $13.9 million building. Completed earlier in 2012, the center’s 32,000 square feet include lab spaces for scientists and engineers to collaborate in nanotechnology. Advances shaped at the nanoscale level include better materials for electronics, such as computers and cell phones, and for disease detection.


Located at 16th and W streets, across from Scott Engineering Center and adjacent to Jorgensen Hall (home to UNL’s Physics and Astronomy programs), the facility will house as many as 20 research groups, said David Sellmyer, director of the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience, who added that a facility of this caliber is rare.

The new facility offers researchers access to specialized tools like a $2 million high-resolution electron microscope purchased with a grant from the National Science Foundation. Another high-tech area is a clean room that eliminates dust particles in high-level research.


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