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Valspar donates $1 million to university lab

Valspar Corp. has pledged $1 million to the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering over the next five years, provided through the Valspar Foundation.

“The alliance of Valspar with the University of Minnesota is clearly a strong match with our strategy for science and innovation leadership in the coatings industry,” said Dr. Cynthia Arnold, Valspar’s SVP and CTO. “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.”

The donation will go toward purchasing high-tech equipment for the new undergraduate science and engineering laboratory, to be named Valspar Materials Science and Engineering Lab, located in the Gore Annex of Amundson Hall. This will include mechanical performance testing equipment, electron microscopes that image at the nanoscale, and equipment capable of measuring magnetic, electrical and optical properties.

The company cited a substantial increase in the number of materials science and engineering students at the University of Minnesota over the last few decades, driven in part by the value placed on this field by various industries. Valspar is currently in the process of expanding its Minneapolis R&D facility.

“The University grew the materials science and engineering program very purposefully with world-class faculty, quality graduate programs and now a robust undergraduate program,” Bates said. “This new lab will allow us to deliver on our promise of excellence and put Minnesota at the forefront in materials science and engineering.”

Construction is slated to conclude this summer in preparation for the upcoming fall semester. Full completion is expected in early 2015.

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