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Clemson University breaks ground on $130-million Advanced Materials Innovation Complex

AMIC rendering

Clemson University broke ground on May 16 for a $130-million building that is expected to herald a new era of innovation and workforce development in advanced materials for South Carolina and the broader region.

The new Advanced Materials Innovation Complex (AMIC) will be a 143,000-square-foot facility designed for education and research and is scheduled to open at the end of 2025.

Advanced materials are new types of materials, often developed with cutting-edge technologies, that have special properties making them useful in a wide range of applications. They help make lasers more powerful, cars and planes more fuel efficient and sustainable energy more reliable and economically viable.

More than 960 advanced materials companies call South Carolina home, and the field accounted for 3,411 new jobs and $890 million in capital investment in the state from 2017-22, according to the state Department of Commerce.

Men and women wearing  dress clothes are lined up and using shovels for a ceremonial groundbreaking into an orange raised box.
Clemson dignitaries participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking to mark the start of construction on the Advanced Materials Innovation Complex on the University’s main campus.

Clemson’s new facility will be a major part of Clemson’s efforts to supply the workforce for the advanced materials industry.

“The Advanced Materials Innovation Complex groundbreaking is a pivotal moment for Clemson University,” said President Jim Clements. “This state-of-the-art facility will shape the future of advanced materials through driving innovation, meeting workforce demands and promoting economic development. Through experiential learning, collaboration and cutting-edge research our faculty, staff and students will continue to elevate the State of South Carolina and beyond.”

The complex will be the University’s most technologically advanced facility. It will include cutting-edge research and teaching laboratories, synergistic classrooms and collaborative spaces for exploration and conversation outside the lab and classroom.

All students in the complex will conduct research, helping prepare them to be future leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in advanced materials. The discipline is transformative in numerous fields, including advanced manufacturing, transportation, energy and health innovation.

The building will be the home of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Researchers and educators from the departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering will work collaboratively in the new space.

Here is what Clemson officials had to say about the new facility:

“The groundbreaking of the Advanced Materials Innovation Complex represents Clemson University’s commitment to fostering excellence in education and research. This world-class facility will help Clemson attract some of the best and brightest faculty, students and staff. By providing cutting-edge labs and collaborative spaces, we are cultivating a dynamic environment that nurtures innovation and prepares our graduates to excel in the fast-changing landscape of advanced materials.”

— Robert Jones, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost

“The Advanced Materials Innovation Complex will be a cutting-edge advanced materials education and research facility, serving as a shining beacon for attracting top talent, both exceptional faculty and outstanding students. It will establish Clemson and our state as a national leader in advanced materials supporting industries in advanced manufacturing, transportation, energy, health innovation and next-generation computing. It will be the driver for research, innovation and for creating the future workforce to support our industry and overall economy. When we look back, a decade from now we will point to this very moment when we broke ground to create this facility, celebrating that it has served the very purpose it was intended to do– attracting new industry and jobs, bolstering our economy and bringing prosperity to all South Carolinians.

Anand Gramopadhye, dean of the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

“The teams that will call AMIC home have a long history of collaboration across departments, colleges and campuses. Bringing them together under the roof of this state-of-the-art building will accelerate and amplify our collective impact, enabling us to drive innovation that will improve lives and livelihoods for people across our state, our nation and our world.”

Cynthia Y. Young, dean of the College of Science

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Tamia Sumpter

Tamia is a driven senior undergraduate Bioengineering student currently enrolled at Clemson University. With a strong foundation in her field, she has honed her skills through hands-on experience in research and development at Eli Lilly & Company. During her time in the ADME department, Tamia contributed significantly by working on siRNAs and their applications in finding In Vitro-In Vivo Correlation (IVIVC). Looking ahead, Tamia has set her sights on a promising career in law. She aspires to specialize in Intellectual Property Law, with a particular focus on serving as in-house counsel for leading medical device or pharmaceutical companies. Her enthusiasm for this role is palpable as she prepares to embark on her legal journey! She is also a proud member of the Omicron Phi chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., PEER Mentor for Clemson PEER/WiSE, and currently serves as the President of Clemson Bioengineering Organization (CBO). With her unique blend of scientific knowledge and legal interests, Tamia is poised to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare and life sciences industries.