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Bansal Gift Will Help Fund New UB Engineering Building

By Cynthia Machamer

Release Date: July 2, 2007

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A $500,000 gift from Ravinder K. Bansal, Ph.D., and his wife, Pratibha Bansal, M.D., of Clarence, to the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences will be used for costs associated with the construction of a new engineering building on UB's North (Amherst) Campus.

Ravinder K. Bansal is chairman and CEO of Buffalo-based AirSep Corp., a manufacturer of PSA oxygen-generating systems for medical and industrial applications. Pratibha Bansal, a pain management specialist, is the medical director of Pain Rehab Center of WNY in Buffalo.

In recognition of the Bansals' generosity, UB will name the building's atrium the Bansal Atrium. The Bansals' gift reflects their confidence in the future of UB Engineering and its vision to attract the top students and faculty and to pursue new partnerships, innovations and research opportunities that will impact positively the region, state and beyond.

According to Ravinder Bansal, the majority of AirSep's senior engineering and R&D staff are graduates of the UB engineering school. "These alumni have greatly contributed to the success of AirSep," he said. "As a result, AirSep has grown to become the world's leading manufacturer of PSA oxygen-generating equipment for use in industrial and home health-care fields."

He continued: "We are proud of the developments and initiatives being undertaken by the School of Engineering. We wanted to support UB engineering because there is great promise for the region, the state and for national economies that are becoming increasingly dependent on science and technology."

New York State has embraced the engineering school's vision, providing $49.6 million toward the $73 million needed to build the structure. UB Engineering is engaged in a fundraising effort to generate the remaining $23 million in private funds.

"We are grateful to the Bansals for their generous gift, for their commitment to UB Engineering and for helping us to achieve our ambitious goals," said Harvey G. Stenger Jr., dean of the school. "Their gift will have a positive impact on engineering education for years to come."

The new building will modernize programs and facilities for the departments of computer science and engineering and electrical engineering. The planned 130,000-square-foot structure will boast a "clean room" for intricate work with nanodevices; a "cybortorium" with sophisticated communications devices and smart technology; and flexible research labs, classrooms and meeting areas for interdisciplinary work.

The facility will allow UB to use existing buildings to expand both enrollment and high-demand fields like bioengineering. These goals are aligned with the UB 2020 strategic plan, which aims to grow UB by 40 percent between now and the year 2020 and to invest in areas of strategic strengths such as information and computing technology and integrated nanostructured systems.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 27,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.