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Kish named inaugural director of Flex Lab

The new $54 million Flex Lab Facility opened early this year with David Kish at the helm as director.
David Kish

The 107,800-square-foot building, located at the southwest corner of Discovery Park, will provide a transformative environment that encourages collaboration, team-based research, learning, and engagement among peers with diverse research interests.

The announcement was made by Robert J. Frosch, associate dean of the College of Engineering and professor of Civil Engineering. Kish will oversee operations, maintenance, and functioning of the facility with an overarching emphasis on safety. In addition, he will provide leadership and support for faculty, staff, and students working in the facility.

“I am very excited to be working at Flex lab,” Kish said. “It’s great to meet with researchers who are interested in moving to the facility. If I weren’t already excited, their enthusiasm is contagious. It’s also very interesting to learn about the research that groups are proposing to conduct here. I can’t wait to see projects come to FLEX and get up and running.”

There are almost 20 teams made up of more than 80 faculty and 170 graduate students who have submitted requests for laboratory and office space, Kish said.

“We have space in the lower level of the facility that is well suited for research using optics tables and lasers. There are two high-bay spaces extending from the first to second floor designed for work with large equipment or experimental apparatus. The building houses space for both wet and computational laboratories, and there are also dedicated and shared office and meeting spaces for building occupants.”

Kish says the building’s construction offers a nice view of the outside and opportunities for passersby to look inside at the work being conducted.

“Looking east, you have wonderful views of the mall space anchored by the Drug Discovery Building. The space is unique - there is lots of glass on the exterior of the building and in the corridors. You can see what's happening in our lab spaces and get great views of the campus.”

Kish had been serving the University as a fire protection engineer, working for Purdue’s Environmental Health and Public Safety Organization (EHPS). He is a Purdue alumnus, earning a BSEE in 1987, an MSEE in 1989, and a PhD in 1993. He earned an MBA from the Krannert School of Management in 1998.

He has worked at Purdue since 1992. His experience in facilities management includes assignments in utilities, facilities services, and EHPS. During his tenure with EHPS, he provided support to staff at Zucrow and Herrick laboratories, helping develop procedures for some of their high challenge research needs.

“I feel that I have a good understanding of the various building systems that need to function for researchers to work effectively. I can draw on that understanding and experience to help make sure the FLEX infrastructure works for occupants.”

Kish is a registered professional engineer in Indiana and is currently immediate past president of the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers.