Western Kentucky University

Office of Research

Ribbon Cutting for WKU NOVA Center

Ribbon Cutting for WKU NOVA Center

The Nondestructive Analysis (NOVA) Center, located at the Center for Research and Development on the corner of Nashville Road and Campbell Lane, will position WKU as a leader in nondestructive analysis testing.

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie thanked those at WKU, in the community and in the state and federal governments who had the vision to make the NOVA Center and the Center for Research and Development a reality and provide opportunities for world class research in Bowling Green.

The acquisition of the LC-SEM has positioned WKU as the only university in North America with an instrument of this type. "The Center," Guthrie said, "is no longer referred to as the old mall. Most of us refer to it as a place that’s going to change southcentral Kentucky.” 

Other speakers at the event included WKU Vice President for Research Dr. Gordon Baylis, General Motors Corvette Plant Manager Dave Tatman and NOVA Center Director Dr. Edward Kintzel.

Dr. Baylis, Dr. Kintzel and Tatman said the NOVA Center will provide additional opportunities for collaborations and partnerships between WKU and business/industry.

The LC-SEM is a rare instrument in the United States; the only other similar equipment is at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. The LC-SEM performs scientific, microscopic analysis of extremely large samples, allowing for investigation of components without destroying them. 

Maximum sample size is 40 inches diameter by 40 inches tall, with a weight limit of 650 pounds.  This allows it to easily hold a V-6 engine block. The LC-SEM has a magnification power of 100,000 times, which is 100 times that of a standard light microscope.  

The acquisition of the LC-SEM has positioned WKU as the only university in North America with an instrument of this type. 

“As envisioned, the NOVA Center will be a national focal point for nondestructive measurements,” Dr. Kintzel said. “The capabilities of the instrument are trans-disciplinary and allow new research and industrial partnerships to be developed within the region.”

The LC-SEM is an outstanding instrument because of its ability to minutely examine large manufactured objects, historical artifacts and the like without damaging them.

“With the expertise of Professor Kintzel and his team, the LC-SEM puts WKU in a unique position to carry out both cutting edge scientific research and invaluable assistance to industrial partners in our region,” Dr. Baylis said. “The NOVA facility exemplifies the research mission of WKU: advanced science that is also applied to the needs of our community.”

 Last Modified 2/21/14