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Center for Materials Research

Transformational impact on the field of engineering and materials research

Boise State University will be receiving a $25 million gift from the Micron Foundation. It will be the largest gift in the university’s history, and will fund the establishment of a new Center for Materials Research, operated by the College of Engineering.

“We are thrilled with the generosity and continuing partnership of Micron,” said Boise State President Bob Kustra. “This gift recognizes our growing reputation as an innovator in the area of materials science and will allow us to contribute on a grander scale to a field that has incredible significance in today’s ever evolving world.”

“Since its inception, we have proudly partnered with Boise State’s College of Engineering to inspire the next generation of innovators,” said Mark Durcan, chief executive officer of Micron Technology and chairman of the Micron Foundation. “This donation builds on the program’s accomplishments by giving the brightest minds the tools and resources they need to compete on a global level. Together, we are empowering both our students and our community to engineer the future.”

Manufacturing Technology, New Materials, Cancer Research, Energy Studies, Space and Aeronautics, Sensors, Microelectronic Devices

The new Center for Materials Research will allow Boise State to better answer industry’s call for a more broadly based, technically fluent workforce. Students earning a degree in materials science and engineering emerge as important contributors across many scientific disciplines.

“There has never been a more urgent need for this center,” said Amy Moll, dean of the College of Engineering. “It will elevate our materials research to national prominence and allow students and faculty access to a world-class facility in which to conduct research that will lead to profound discoveries.”

A Department on the Move

Materials define the performance limits of any device, from the car to the computer chip, added Peter Mullner, chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). “Materials define what is technologically possible, and through their manufacturability, they also define what is economically possible.”

To meet a growing demand for materials scientists, Boise State’s program has doubled its faculty since 2012. Undergraduate and graduate enrollment continues to increase with a goal of 10 Ph.D. graduates per year. More than half of materials science graduates find employment in the Treasure Valley (many with Micron) and others continue their education with graduate school or as post-doctoral researchers.

Micron Foundation logo

Boise State Academic Logo


Boise State will welcome Micron CEO Mark Durcan onto the blue turf at Albertsons Stadium during halftime of the New Mexico football game on November 14 (Idaho Technology Day)

“In all of my past internships, my employers have constantly stressed how crucial hands-on experience is in the hiring process. Being able to present myself with confidence and a lot of experience, especially as an undergraduate, opens up countless opportunities for me in the field of materials science.”

Jenni Domanowski, a materials science junior

MSE Building Lead Image

“Micron’s investments in Boise State’s programs and facilities have made it an indispensable partner in the university’s ongoing transformation as a metropolitan research university of distinction. Our histories are deeply intertwined, going back more than 20 years. The partnership is a stellar example of how philanthropy creates intellectual capital and enhances economic development.”

Laura C. Simic, vice president for university advancement.

Boise State’s College of Engineering was first established in 1997 with a $6 million donation from Micron to build a new engineering complex. Through generous gifts from Micron and the Micron Foundation, undergraduate and Ph.D. programs in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) were created.

The Center for Materials Research is one of several facilities and spaces announced or under construction at Boise State, including a 40,000-square-foot Alumni and Friends Center across from Albertsons Stadium, a 236,000-square-foot Honors College Building on the site of the former University Christian Church across the street from the Student Union, two floors of space for the computer sciences program in the Clearwater Building being constructed at City Center Plaza by The Gardner Company, and the 90,000-square-foot fine arts building to be constructed just south of Towers Hall.