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2013.09.05 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Communications
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: unonews@unomaha.edu

UNO Opens $6 Million Biomechanics Research Building

Omaha - On Thursday, Sept. 5, at 4:30 p.m. the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is hosting a ribbon cutting to mark the opening of a new state-of-the-art Biomechanics Research Building – one of the first stand-alone buildings in the world dedicated to biomechanics research.

The $6 million building, which spans 23,000 square feet, provides more than twice the space currently used by the Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility (NBCF), headed by Nicholas Stergiou, professor of biomechanics at UNO.

“This new building is an incredible addition to what we are already doing at UNO,” Stergiou said. “This really puts UNO – and Omaha – on the map as a center for important research in human movement.”

For the last 20 years, Stergiou has been working out of the second floor of UNO’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) building, making due with former classroom and lounge space.

The space constraints have not limited the expanse of Stergiou’s research. The UNO alum has secured millions of dollars in grant funding for research on human movement from NASA, the National Institute of Health and U.S. Department of Education, just to name a few.

Stergiou and his team, many of which are current and former UNO students, have published extensively on topics including muscle rehabilitation for astronauts after extended time in space, treating cerebral palsy in early childhood and how to overcome the effects on mobility of a stroke or peripheral arterial disease.

“Truly, what Dr. Stergiou has done not just for UNO, but for Omaha, is to encourage some of the best and brightest minds in the world to study here and stay here” said Nancy Edick, dean of the College of Education, which houses the School of HPER and NBCF.

Due to the groundbreaking research being conducted by Stergiou’s lab, his fellow researchers have needed to build much of their own equipment, including a three-dimensional video/mobile track and pressure-sensitive balance plate, many of which are being submitted for patents or commercial use.

The Sept. 5 ribbon cutting also marks the highlight of this year’s American Society of Biomechanics Conference. The event is being held in Omaha for the first time, from Wednesday, Sept. 4 through Saturday, Sept. 7, with over 700 researchers in attendance.

“We are incredibly excited to have some of the world’s foremost biomechanists on the UNO campus for this ribbon cutting,” UNO Chancellor John Christensen said. “It speaks volumes about the work done by Dr. Stergiou and his research team.”

When open, the Biomechanics Research Building will not only be the only stand-alone building in the world dedicated entirely to biomechanics research, but will also be the only stand-alone building dedicated to clinical research of any kind on the UNO campus.

Stergiou and the rest of the NBCF will be the primary users of the new building; this includes representatives from UNO as well as the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Creighton University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The building project is fully funded by private support including a lead gift made by the Ruth and Bill Scott family to the University of Nebraska Foundation.

“I’ll never forget the first time I met Dr. Stergiou and heard about his amazing research,” said Ruth Scott of Omaha. “He and his staff are improving the lives of people of all ages throughout the world. It’s incredibly inspiring.”

Ruth Scott, a native of Ashland, Neb., has an education degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Bill Scott, also a UNL graduate, was a member of the Buffett Partnership and Berkshire Hathaway before his retirement in the early 1990s.

For more information on the Biomechanics Research Building, the American Biomechanics Conference or the Sept. 5 ribbon cutting, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129 or by email at unonews@unomaha.edu.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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© 2014 University Communications. voice: 402.554.2129, fax: 402.554.3541, unonews@unomaha.edu