Ever since IE University was founded, practical and experiential learning has been just as important to our teaching methodology as academic rigor and deep theoretical thinking. Our graduates leave ready to make their impact in the workplace with demonstrable experience behind them in seeking real solutions to the very real challenges facing humanity.
Fundamental to that approach are our state-of-the-art labs in Segovia. Students have access to the latest resources, equipment and expert guidance in Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Physics labs, where they conduct original research as part of IE University’s mission to expand the boundaries of our scientific knowledge. Now, we can add three more cutting-edge labs to that list, centered on innovation in the increasingly critical fields of environmental sciences and sustainability.
A new lab network for emerging challenges
IE School of Science and Technology’s new Environmental Solutions Lab Network, based at our historic Segovia Campus, focuses firmly on areas of science that are more important than ever, and could hold the key to success in humanity’s search for a better and more sustainable world. The labs will address Environmental ADN and Microbiology, Biogeochemistry and Geobiology. And if some of those disciplines sound like a mixture of more than one area of science, it’s because they are: the way humanity lives, the materials we use, the impact we’re making on our environment and how the planet reacts to those variables are all fundamentally intertwined.
In these cutting-edge new labs, what the students are studying may often be tiny, but the impact of their research could be huge. Innovative, tech-first solutions to mitigate environmental damage could lie in bacteria, algae or fungi, for example. Clues to the rise in antibiotic resistance might lie in environmental factors, with the pieces of that particular puzzle to be found in our water, soil and wildlife. And microbiological organisms could point the way to enhanced carbon capture and storage, or even detect and indicate water-borne pathogens.
As ever at IE University, these labs’ work will not all be restricted to the inside of the laboratories themselves. For research to have a practical focus, context is key. So the students have the opportunity to collect their own samples for study in field trips to the Sierra de Guadarrama UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve in Segovia.
Contemporary and critical Capstone Projects
Everything from pathogen transfer and new biotechnology to sustainable agriculture and microbiological responses to climate change will be explored in these new labs, opening new opportunities for our undergraduate students’ Capstone Projects in particular. Potential new topics for groundbreaking research include Hydrological Processes and Water Resources, Geomorphological Evolution and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, among many others.
They will place our students at the forefront of emerging areas of study, giving them knowledge and experience that will not only prepare them to make a global impact in their future careers, but could make them drivers of global change for humanity and the planet. We can’t wait to see what secrets these new labs, and our community, will unlock between them!