University of Rochester breaks ground on new Laboratory for Laser Energetics

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The University of Rochester began construction on a new office and lab building expansion.

The $42 million, 66,000-square-foot project will directly connect the Laboratory for Laser Energetics existing building on East River Road in Brighton.

The three-floor building will accommodate approximately 110 scientists and personnel and includes a class 1000 target fabrication lab and thin film coating lab, laser computing facility, and several other wet labs and general lab spaces.

The largest lab space will house the AMICA laser system, a state-of-the-art, high-energy, long-pulse laser that scientists at the LLE are assembling for Stanford University’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Matter at Extreme Condition Upgrade.

The expansion is being built by LeChase Construction and is expected to be completed in 2024. The building was last expanded in 2003 to house the OMEGA EP laser.

“The LLE’s work in high-energy-density science continues to grow with each new year, and now their physical footprint is catching up,” said University President Sarah Mangelsdorf. “The addition of these state-of-the-art facilities helps strengthen the LLE’s designation as one of the leading laser laboratories in the world and will provide space to support its expanding research agenda. It’s gratifying to see our community rally around the important scientific work that is being done here. I especially want to thank our elected officials for their leadership and advocacy on behalf of the LLE and the tremendous support we continue to receive due to their efforts.”

Earlier this year, LLE received $83 million in federal funding as part of the fiscal year 2022 Omnibus Appropriations bill—a $1 million increase over the fiscal year 2021.

“The work done at University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics is essential for our national security and energy research and is vital to our regional economy, employing hundreds of scientists and bringing millions of dollars of investment into the Rochester area every year,” said US Senator Charles Schumer. “That’s why year after year I’ve been proud to secure the vital federal funding that keeps them on the job to discover new innovations and support our nation. Now with this expansion, the University of Rochester is prioritizing the needs of the employees and students of LLE, and I applaud their efforts to ensure they can continue to focus on their groundbreaking research for years to come.”