California Institute of Technology
A design-build project with CO Architects to provide a new research lab and offices for Dr. Katherine Faber, Simon Ramo Professor of Materials at the California Institute of Technology. Covering approximately 2,400 sf on the third floor of Keck Laboratories, the Caltech Faber Lab project reconfigured the space to adequately serve the unique requirements of Dr. Faber’s work.
The Faber Lab focuses on the fracture of brittle materials and mechanisms by which such materials can be toughened and strengthened through composite strategies and residual stresses, often using synchrotron radiation for internal stress measurement. Dr. Faber’s studies investigate ceramics for energy-related applications, including thermal and environmental barrier coatings for power generation components and porous solids for filtration and flow. For these studies, the Faber Lab required processing equipment with capabilities that span -50°C to 1700°C and characterization methods which probe the structure and mechanical properties at micrometer and nanometer scales. The Lab also houses facilities for the analysis of three-dimensional X-ray tomographic images.