Bogard Hall, home of the Louisiana Tech University Engineering and Science Program, was erected in 1940 during the administration of Louisiana Governor, Earl K. Long. Bogard Hall was named in honor of Frank Bogard, who served as Dean of Engineering from 1910 to 1918 and from 1923 until his death in 1937.
Frank Bogard worked diligently and successfully at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute (changed from Louisiana Industrial Institute in 1921) to build and expand the engineering school. The two-year engineering program was improved and expanded to a four-year program during his tenure as Dean. Degree granting curricula were broadened to include General, Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. During this period, the reputation of Louisiana Tech and its graduates grew, and the companies which employed the graduates often expressed their pleasure about having employed capable and well-trained young men from this school.
Bogard Hall was constructed to meet the needs of the rapidly growing Engineering Program at Louisiana Tech University and it became a milestone in the development and progression of the Engineering Program at Louisiana Tech, as it provided the opportunity for expansion, and the ability to house improved engineering equipment and technology. This new building replaced the smaller Mechanic Arts Building, which was constructed in 1905 to house the Engineering Department. The Mechanic Arts building was demolished soon after the completion of Bogard Hall, but the Corliss engine that was purchased in 1899 to expand the engineering studies in the Mechanic Arts Building is currently on exhibit in Bogard Hall.
Since 1940, Bogard Hall has been a “home away from home” for many engineering students. As students walk through its halls and learn in its classrooms, they can appreciate the history of this building. From the Corliss engine to the great man and “Master Teacher” for whom Bogard Hall was named, knowing the history of such an establishment truly enhances the experience of being a part of the Louisiana Tech University and its Engineering Program.
During the 1960s, Louisiana Tech University experienced phenomenal growth. New building construction constantly expanded Tech’s campus. In 1965, it was decided that new facilities were necessary to house the growing electrical engineering department. A committee of engineering faculty and an architect, Beuford Jacka of West Monroe, planned for the new building. Initial plans were to construct a 25,250 square foot facility, but after federal funds were made available, an additional 12,250 square feet were added to the building plans. The State Bond and Building Commission and a federal grant from the U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, provided the funding necessary for the building’s construction. Federal contributions totaled $260,000. Plans for the new structure included housing the Electrical Engineering Department and interdisciplinary laboratories for all engineering curriculum.
When the new air-conditioned electrical engineering building opened in May 1967, construction costs totaled $806,000. Immediately, the electrical engineering faculty began moving from Bogard Hall into their new offices. Time was not wasted in establishing its first two laboratories, the Photoelastic Stress Analysis Lab and the Pressure Volume-Temperature Lab.
Until the summer of 1970, the building remained nameless, and was referred to as the electrical engineering building. On April 7, 1970, Harly J. Nethken, acting as Dean of Engineering from 1942-1945, died in Punta Gorda, Florida at the age of 82. When the faculty and friends received news of his death, they immediately began to petition for the electrical engineering building to be named in his honor.
Institute for Micromanufacturing
The Institute for Micromanufacturing (Institute for Micromanufacturing) stands as one of the most prominent examples of Louisiana Tech University’s commitment to state of the art research. As one of the most recent additions to the campus, the Institute for Micromanufacturing is a testament to Louisiana Tech’s significant contributions to this expanding engineering field.
Opened in 1996, the Institute for Micromanufacturing was created “to meet the research and development needs of industry in the area of miniaturization technologies.” The Institute for Micromanufacturing strives to provide valuable products to industry, as well as provide research and development to allow for these products to be continually refined and improved so that they remain at the top of their respective markets.
This goal of the Institute for Micromanufacturing is accomplished through an interdisciplinary staff that provides service and education in micromanufacturing technologies. The personnel are composed of full-time workers, industrial representatives and faculty at Louisiana Tech. The backgrounds of these individuals include all fields of engineering, robotics, sensors, materials and geosciences. The Institute for Micromanufacturing works with other innovative research institutions in Louisiana, including the Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices – LSU Baton Rouge, the Louisiana State University Medical Center in Shreveport, and Louisiana State University-Shreveport Technology Transfer Center.
Currently, Institute for Micromanufacturing research is performed by three interdisciplinary teams that devise microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). One team, the Enviro-MEMS group, is responsible for developing chemical microsystems. Their work includes designing environmental sensors and establishing environmentally-friendly chemical production plants. This team consists of two chemical engineers, an electrical engineer, a mechanical engineer and three other Institute for Micromanufacturing faculty members. The second research team is the Bio-MEMS group, which is committed to developing microstructures to be used as implants and sensors so that current clinical procedures will be unnecessary. This team includes one cellular molecular biologist, one bioengineer, one electrical engineer and three micromanufacturing faculty. A third research group, comprised of materials science and microfabrication faculty, provides support in developing the materials and products necessary for the other two teams to conduct their research.
The building includes three research and development laboratories, the Lithography Lab where x-ray processes are conducted and the Micrometrology and Testing Lab and the Micromachining Processes Laboratory where drilling and laser processes are carried out.
In the future, the Institute for Micromanufacturing hopes that its research will lead
to the ability to interact with biological processes so that these devices can be
manipulated to control these processes. This goal, if accomplished, will lead to momentous
advances that will benefit mankind.
Biomedical Engineering Building
The Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST)
The Biomedical Engineering Building, also known as the Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology, is 31,000 square feet of classrooms, instructional libraries, faculty and administrative offices and research and service laboratories. It houses a comprehensive program for developing and applying technology in rehabilitation and the study of disabling conditions. It is funded both at the state and national levels and has been identified as a Center of Excellence at Louisiana Tech University by the Louisiana State Legislature and the University of Louisiana system.
The building that now houses CREST once served as the Ruston Hospital. In the late 1970s, the Ruston Hospital Corp. donated the 23,000 square foot Ruston Hospital building to the Tech Biomedical Engineering department, headed by Dr. Dan Reneau. The Ruston Hospital Corp. established a 35-year rent-free lease with the department and granted $10,000 to be used by the program to expand services to the severely disabled and make their lives more independent. The facility was renovated to include classrooms, electronics and computational shops, laboratories, work areas, faculty offices and a machine shop in the former morgue. The east wing of the building was renovated to include ten beds for the housing of rehabilitation clients who have no acute medical difficulties – part of the center’s research aspects. When the Green Clinic relocated to a larger facility in 1989, its adjacent building was also leased to Louisiana Tech until recently.
Today, CREST offers endless programs and research projects for the disabled. One such program, the Driver Assessment program, evaluates an individual’s potential to operate a motor vehicle. From this information, the center can make recommendations on vehicle selection, adaptive aids and devices and vehicle modifications needed to allow the individual to drive a car. Other programs include a Seating and Positioning clinic for wheelchair patients, and an Augmentative Communication clinic for persons who are unable to communicate normally.
The center also provides a comprehensive collection of catalogs, brochures and print material on special equipment for disabled persons, including cost and purchase information. The 10-bed facility on the east wing is now dedicated to Louisiana Tech students that are severely disabled. The center staff are dedicated to meeting the needs of these students by caring for them and transporting them anywhere that they may need to go.
The Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Science is working to improve the quality of life of severely handicapped persons, increase their productivity and employability, and help them increase their mobility and communication. The Center for Biomedical Rehabilitation Services also has a new facility located on the main campus adjacent to the Institute for Micromanufacturing. The new facility offers similar services as the CREST building, plus additional labs for tissue cultures and an animal research facility.
Mechanic Arts Building
The rapid growth of engineering during the first several years of the Industrial Institute and College of Louisiana led to the construction of the Mechanic Arts Building in 1904. Professor Harry Gwinner was the head of the Mechanic Arts Department at the time, and he led the $20,000 project. The construction was funded through an appropriation requested by President Aswell in his 1904 biennial report. The Mechanic Arts building served as the primary engineering building from 1904 until 1940, when it was replaced by Bogard Hall. All of the engineering branches were housed within the building, and Industrial Art classes and various crafts were taught on the second floor. The Mechanic Arts Building was located behind the Old Main, approximately where the front steps of Howard Auditorium are today.
During its existence, the Mechanic Arts building saw some of the most significant changes that have been made in engineering and in Louisiana Tech University. Shortly after Mr. Frank Bogard became the head of the Mechanic Arts Department in 1910, a new curriculum was established which would allow graduates of the Industrial Institute and College of Louisiana to receive a true engineering degree for the first time, a Bachelor of Industry Degree in General Engineering. In 1921, the name of the college was changed from Louisiana Industrial Institute to Louisiana Polytechnic Institute. The Bachelor of Science in General Engineering was offered until 1926, when the curricula of Louisiana Tech was divided into three schools: Education, Engineering, and Liberal Arts and Sciences. At the same time, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering were established within the School of Engineering. This format was relatively unchanged until 1936, when the Electrical Engineering Department separated from the Mechanical Engineering Department. Degrees were subsequently offered in both branches.