The couple funded the center to not only advance the construction industry through innovative research, but also to create better, stronger, safer, sustainable and more resilient construction systems and materials. Housed in WMU’s Floyd Hall and administered by the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the center already has awarded $350,000 in grants to seven projects being conducted by faculty members at the University, according to the press release.
In addition, construction has begun on a $1 million lab that will open this fall in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences annex near the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport. The state-of-the-art laboratory facility will allow researchers to evaluate roofing system designs under extreme wind loads as well as study the properties of large-scale structural elements and samples under different loading conditions, including seismic loads.
Phil Georgeau earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from WMU. He went on to found Chem Link, a company that manufactured adhesive, sealant and coating products for the construction industry that employed 104 people at the time Phil and Betty sold it in 2016.
The couple also gifted $250,000 in 2016 to the WMU Office for Sustainability to boost its studies in environmental and renewable building materials issues that impact the Earth's survivability.
In addition, the Georgeau family established a $500,000 endowed scholarship in Betty's name to support undergraduate students pursuing engineering degrees in programs offered through the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at WMU. Betty was a registered nurse who worked locally at Bronson Methodist Hospital for many years as well as spent 14 years with the American Red Cross.
Gorgeau then founded GREEN LINK Engineering, an innovative engineering company that develops and produces polymeric architectural products for the construction industry including specialized markets such as controlled environments. GREEN LINK is committed to processes and products that cause no harm to the environment or human life. Visit them at www.greenlinkengineering.com.
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