Technology and science tours on Pittsburgh's economy

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Who: Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) have driven a dramatic shift in the Pittsburgh economy during the last four decades, transforming the city from a manufacturing town to an international knowledge-based center for research, education and medicine. These three institutions account for more than $1 billion annually in research funding and have spun off hundreds of companies and thousands of jobs in the last 15 years, enhancing the region's economy and quality of life.

What: A series of tours will provide journalists with behind-the-scenes information and images needed to tell the story of how Pittsburgh has rebuilt its economy.

When: Noon, 2 and 4 p.m., Monday, Sept. 21.

Where: Media can register for any tour at

Tours include:

Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute: One of the largest robotics education and research organizations in the world with an annual research budget of $55 million, the Institute is a leader in autonomous mobile robots, computer vision, human-robot interaction, locomotion and real-world applications of robotic technology in mining, agriculture and manufacturing.

Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC): Student artists and technologists draw on every bit of their imaginations to develop interactive video games, robots, and virtual worlds to entertain, inform and inspire. The ETC was co-founded by Carnegie Mellon's Don Marinelli and the late Randy Pausch, who became famous for his online lecture and book titled "The Last Lecture."

Carnegie Mellon's "Intelligent" Workplace: Carnegie Mellon researchers in the "office of the future" are working to make the world more sustainable, from searching for ways to reduce pollution and generate cleaner energy to creating greener buildings and more fuel-efficient cars.

The Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh Quality of Life Technology Center (QoLT): The QoLT creates intelligent systems that enable older adults and people with disabilities to live independently. By partnering with industries like Intel, its scientists conduct transformative research, commercialize products and educate people of all ages and ability about the need for technology in everyday life.

The University of Pittsburgh's Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation, 
Education and Research (WISER): WISER is one of the world's largest and most advanced health care simulation centers. Using life-like, computerized mannequins, the center trains more than 3,500 health care professionals annually.

University of Pittsburgh's Biomedical Science Tower 3 (BST3): Built in 2005, the $205.5 million state-of-the-art BST3 is evidence of the region's growing biotech industry, housing some 50 laboratories engaged in such fields as molecular genetics, cellular biology and biochemistry.

University of Pittsburgh's McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine: Researchers at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine use a variety of approaches to address tissue/organ disease, including the replacement of tissue function with entirely synthetic devices, such as in artificial organs.

University of Pittsburgh Center for Global Health: In the global alliance to control the world's deadliest diseases, Pitt's Center for Global Health works with international partners to track infections and develop treatment strategies. Renowned Pitt researcher Donald S. Burke will explore those partnerships and demonstrate the tools Pitt lends to global disease prevention. Burke will create a computer simulation of the H1N1 virus to predict how best to prevent its spread.

University of Pittsburgh "Green" Tour: Researchers at Pitt investigate and develop sustainable methods for powering and building our society. This tour provides a glimpse of Pitt's Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation efforts to improve people's lives and environment. Featured projects include local, small-scale hydroelectric power, buildings constructed from bamboo, the first cradle-to-grave assessment of LED lights, and low-cost water purifiers for developing countries.

University of Pittsburgh Center for Energy: This tour offers demonstrations in energy research, including nanophotonics for better energy conversion, carbon dioxide capture and storage, harnessing the world's smallest transistors for more energy-efficient technologies, engine simulators that can test engine and fuel combinations at a low-cost, a virtual nuclear reactor used for training nuclear engineers, and advancing hydrogen-based fuel cells with enhanced hydrogen-storage technology.

UPMC's Children's Hospital: The $622 million hospital and research facility is one of the first all-digital pediatric hospitals in the U.S., a leader in using "green" practices, and a model of patient-centered care. The hospital enters 99.5 percent of its data electronically, from doctors' notes to medication orders.

UPMC Sports Performance Complex: The $40 million complex, the former site of one of Pittsburgh's steel mills, is home to the world-renowned UPMC Center for Sports Medicine and state-of-the-art training facilities for the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the University of Pittsburgh Panthers.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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