College of Arts & Sciences

School of Geology to break ground on $3 million research facility


Estella Atekwana ResizeThe Oklahoma State University Boone Pickens School of Geology announces it will break ground on a $3 million, 6,500-square foot Core Research Facility.  Financing for the building is made possible by generous donations from alumni and corporate partnerships. 

A “one-stop-shop” for treatment, storage and analysis of core samples (a rarity in the region) the facility will include a grinding and polishing lab, thin section preparation, an area designated for coloring and porosity and permeability, significant layout and review space as well as office space and a conference room.  More than a repository, the facility will house active research, which already exceeds $3 million in funding.  It will be located in the northwest section of campus, near the corner of McElroy and N. Willis St. 

“The Core Facility will give our faculty and students new research opportunities, which will better prepare students for their careers while also allowing OSU to fulfill its land-grant mission,” said Dr. Estella Atekwana, Regents Professor of Geology and Sun Chair Professor and Head of the Boone Pickens School of Geology.  “We are grateful to the donors for supporting this important addition to the campus.”

OSU will be able to host geology professionals from around the world for industry short-courses and core workshops in reservoir characterization and other topics.  It will also support public outreach, as is OSU’s mission as a land-grant institution. 

Additionally, new undergraduate and graduate programming opportunities will emerge, including reservoir rock analysis and contribute to Petroleum Geoscience research.  As a result, OSU students will have a better and more comprehensive understanding of core samples and their extensive uses. 

“Rocks are the foundations of the geosciences, and their study can unlock a multitude of diverse understanding and resources for the world,” said Mike Kuykendall, Geoscience Manager at Felix Energy.  “Applied core research is integral to achieving this potential.” 

The total cost to build, equip, and endow the Core Research Facility is $3 million, including $2 million in construction, $500,000 in equipment, and a $500,000 endowment for maintenance and technology support.

The Boone Pickens School of Geology has a strong and growing national and international reputation for excellence in research and teaching in the applied geosciences.  The Core Research Facility is expected to grow grant revenue and establish a technological infrastructure to allow the School to be leader in emerging research. 

Major contributions for the facility are provided by:

Mike and Karen Kuykendall

Lawrence and Patty Walker

John A. Brett III

Kent A. Bowker

Dr. Dale E. Fitz and Mrs. Anne Kuah

Mike and Sue Gaskins

Chesapeake Energy, Inc.

Charles Taufest