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Legislators See How Research Helps Grow the Economy

Faculty, Students and Company Reps Demonstrate the Connection

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Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, left, asks Prof. Seongkyu Yoon, right, a question about the Massachusetts BioManufacturing Center on a recent visit to campus. Looking on are, from left, Rep. Stephen DiNatale, Rep. Corey Atkins, Rep. Thomas Sannicandro and Rep. Denise Provost.

By Renae Lias

More than a dozen legislators  —  mostly members of the Massachusetts Higher Education Committee — recently saw for themselves how UMass Lowell’s research and development helps foster an innovative, growing economy. House Speaker Robert DeLeo joined a group of legislators that the committee’s House chairman, Rep. Thomas Sannicandro, had gathered for the visit.

the M2D2 incubator — who said UMass Lowell is helping them to develop new products. 

In the basement of Ball Hall, plastics engineering student Greg Pigeon explained why he chose UMass Lowell over WPI’s honors program. He said he could learn exactly what he needed to be successful in plastics manufacturing through his co-op job at U.S. Army Natick Research Labs and through his coursework. Nanomanufacturing Center Director Prof. Joey Mead explained how nanomanufacturing research fits hand-in-glove with that classroom and co-op experience. 

In the Engineering Building, Prof. Seongkyu Yoon pointed out that small biotech companies access UMass Lowell’s equipment and expertise as they seek to produce new biopharmaceuticals. 

A tour of the Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, which is nearing its final phase of construction, showcased the place where so much of UMass Lowell’s laboratory and industry collaboration will take place in the near future, especially in nanomedicine, personalized pharmaceuticals and medical device research.