We can't wait to move into the new Vagelos Laboratory for Energy Science and Technology


Photography by Alex Schein

This Spring, VIPER students had the opportunity to leave their mark as they signed the final steel beam of the Vagelos Laboratory for Energy Science and Technology (VLEST), a magnificent $173 million state-of-the-art research facility dedicated to energy research at Penn. This will be the new future home of the VIPER program and the Vagelos Institute for Energy Science and Technology and is estimated to be completed in winter 2025.


VLEST will be Penn's new research hub for energy science and technology. With sleek, modern architecture and innovative energy-efficient designs, this space promises to be a game-changer in the pursuit of a greener future. The research facility itself is also an inspiration for energy efficient design. The building's carbon emissions will be ~80% less than normal, due to advanced sustainable features such as its unique triangular sunshades which block sunlight and help keep cool the building. With a focus on minimizing the carbon footprint and optimizing energy consumption, this remarkable building aligns seamlessly with the program's mission of promoting sustainable practices. The collaborative and shared spaces within the facility are expected to foster a vibrant community of aspiring energy researchers, bringing together brilliant minds from various disciplines to work side by side, exchanging ideas and pushing the boundaries of knowledge. VLEST will undoubtedly serve as a breeding ground for transformative ideas and discoveries. Take a virtual tour of the building here.


In a momentous celebration, many VIPER students attended the “Topping Off” ceremony where the signed steel beam was installed onto the building, which marked a significant milestone in the construction of the facility. The atmosphere buzzed with excitement at the prospect of utilizing the cutting-edge collaborative spaces to fuel their groundbreaking work in energy.


Photography by Lisa Godfrey

What truly set this celebration apart was the presence of Dr. P. Roy Vagelos, whose vision laid the foundation both for VLEST and the founding of VIPER over 11 years ago. VIPER students had the opportunity to meet Dr. Vagelos in person and expressed their heartfelt gratitude for the opportunities afforded to them through the program. The unwavering support and commitment to sustainable energy research from the Vagelos family have allowed these students to shape their futures and contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable world.


Photography by Lisa Godfrey

As the construction nears completion, students eagerly anticipate the day when they can step into their new home. The topping off ceremony was a poignant reminder of our collective dedication and relentless pursuit towards a sustainable future. With this new state-of-the-art research facility, our researchers' passion for sustainable and renewable energy will be amplified, propelling them to new heights and empowering them to make a lasting impact on the world. This is the perfect place to shape the next generation of energy leaders.


To learn more about VLEST, click here and watch the video below: