A Collaborative Approach to Lab Design

Greg Engel, University of Chicago

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When Greg Engel came to the University of Chicago as an Assistant Professor, he knew that a stable and reliable laser lab would enable science that could be done nowhere else and that productivity gains from not constantly tuning equipment would increase competitiveness for grants. He collaborated with an engineering team to renovate an existing space. The collaboration yielded several innovative approaches for precision environmental control and a very stable lab environment for the scientist.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the importance of researcher participation in lab design;
  • Identify ways to enhance communication between the researcher and the design team;
  • Explain the benefits of a design/build construction approach; and
  • Understand the details of precise temperature and humidity control for a high performance laser lab.


Greg Engel obtained his AB from Princeton University in 1999 and his PhD from Harvard University in 2004 under the guidance of Jim Anderson. He then worked with Graham Fleming at UC Berkeley as a Miller postdoctoral fellow. Greg has served as chair of the ACS Biophysics subdivision and is currently a member of the executive committee of the APS Division of Laser Science.


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