ROLLA, Mo. – New projects are ahead at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, as several projects have been approved to advance the campus.

University officials said steps are being taken towards the creation of the school’s manufacturing technology and innovation campus.

“The most exciting part of our future plans, as I said starting with the Protoplex, is a whole new campus of innovation and manufacturing,” said Missouri S&T Chancellor, Mohammad Dehghani.

Chancellor Dehghani said the Missouri Protoplex facility is a manufacturing research and development facility which will serve as the anchor building for the university’s planned manufacturing technology and innovation campus.

“Over 90 percent of manufacturing companies in the state of Missouri employ fewer than 100 people,” Dehghani said. “Therefore, they don’t have their own bandwidth to have their own research and development arm. We are hoping to become that center, where they can come to and get answers to their research and development questions.”

He said they hope to help these small to medium companies in their product design process.” We like to refer to ourselves as tech-know,” Dehghani said. “We have about 900 PhD students here on this campus that are working on problems that are critical to manufacturing industry.”

On top of that, Dehghani said a front arrival gate will now be on the west side of the campus.

“The front end of the campus, decades ago, used to be towards downtown Rolla,” Dehghani said. “The west side of the campus has been developed so everything has shifted in the city of Rolla to the west side of the city.”

Director for Design Construction and Space Management, Fred Stone, said university officials have done a lot of reflection on what they would like to see for the campus.

“Sometimes traveling Highway 63 today, you wouldn’t know that you’re passing a science and technology university,” Stone said. “Kind of opening a window of our campus onto Highway 63 so people can see into our campus and start to understand that we’re here and sort of put us on the map.”

To read more about the recently approved projects, click here.