skip to main content
Department of Computer Science University of Colorado Boulder
cu: home | engineering | mycuinfo | about | cu a-z | search cu | contact cu cs: about | calendar | directory | catalog | schedules | mobile | contact cs
home · the department · news · 

BP Donates $10.6 Million for Immersive Visualization Center


October 2000

DENVER (Oct. 18) -- BP announced today that it is making a donation valued at $10.6 million to the University of Colorado to create the BP Center for Visualization, which will be located within the Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science Departments at the College of Engineering and Applied Science on CU's Boulder campus. The Center will feature BP's state-of-the-art immersive visualization technology which is revolutionizing oil and gas exploration and production and could ultimately be applied to other industries and disciplines, including agriculture and forestry, the health sciences, military strategies, atmospheric and environmental science, and even Mars exploration.

Colorado Technology Secretary Marc Holtzman, who participated in the announcement, said, "Colorado citizens can be proud of CU and excited about this partnership, which joins education, commerce and technology. The BP Center will be nationally recognized for research and application of exciting new technologies, and will make Colorado one of the most dynamic places for innovation in the electronic economy."

According to Kenny Lang, BP vice president of Technology, the BP Center for Visualization will feature a "virtual reality" workroom that resembles a mini-theatre. The workroom is comprised of projection screens that form the walls of the room, stretching nearly from the floor to the ceiling, and a floor projection surface. While in the workroom, participants will wear special battery-operated eyeglasses that enable them to study and manipulate visual data in a three-dimensional interactive setting.

"Participants who are 'immersed' in a project can make faster, smarter decisions, by seeing and understanding challenges and testing options to solve problems," said Lang. "The use of immersive visualization technology is helping our engineers and geologists make better decisions and significantly reduce the time required to plan new oil and gas well locations. The environment allows us to bring all of the relevant knowledge together and interact with the information in a dynamic real-time way.

"Creating the BP Center for Visualization at a nationally recognized University will accelerate development of the technology, diversify its applications, and help BP supply energy the world needs to power the new economy," continued Lang. "Immersive visualization allows us to provide energy faster and at less cost, with minimal impact on the environment and the areas where we operate."

"The possibilities are endless," said University of Colorado President Elizabeth Hoffman. "This Center will reflect CU's commitment to excellence and practical application of research, and allows the University to contribute to the explosive growth of a new economy based on technology and the human imagination. We will begin pushing the boundaries of visualization technology to provide an important advantage to companies and agencies that participate in the Center. We will work with the Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, and similar programs at universities throughout the country to explore the universe of immersive visualization."

In addition to BP's $10.6 million donation, Halliburton's Landmark Graphics business unit, a leading supplier of integrated exploration and production technical and economic software, is providing a $1 million grant in support of the Center. "Landmark's contribution confirms the importance and potential of the Center," Hoffman said. "We are humbled and gratified by their investment."

John Gibson, president and CEO of Landmark Graphics, said, "This is the latest in a series of awards by Landmark to universities and institutions around the world. It is part of our continuous program to ensure that students and research professionals have ready access to industry-leading technology. The hands-on experience students obtain while using Landmark's leading-edge technology contributes to their educational development and better prepares them for careers in the petroleum industry and, through the BP Center for Visualization, careers in numerous other industries."

The 7,800 square-foot BP Center for Visualization will be housed in a refurbished physics laboratory on CU-Boulder's East Campus. Construction will begin in November 2000 and is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2001. The BP gift will also contribute to the success of CU's Center for Human Simulation at the CU-Health Sciences Center, located at the Fitzsimons campus in Aurora, Colorado.

About BP

BP is an international energy company involved in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas; refining, marketing, supply and transportation of hydrocarbons; manufacturing and marketing of petrochemicals; solar power systems; and gas-fired power generation. Visit BP's web site at

About The University of Colorado System

The University of Colorado four-campus system is a leader in world-class research, innovative education, state-of-the-art technology and exemplary community service one of the nation's premier institutions of higher learning. Visit CU on the web at

About Landmark Graphics Corp.

Landmark is the leading supplier of integrated E&P technical and economic software and services to support decision making about finding, drilling and producing oil and gas. Knowledge-based E&P companies now are turning to Landmark for technical-to-business (T2B) process integration for improving returns on their investments. Visit the Landmark Web site at

For further information contact:

     Paula Barnett - BP
713-248-6120 (cellular)

     Michele McKinney - CU
     Jack Rigg Jr. - BP
303-877-1092 (cellular)

     Jim Bryant - BP Center for Visualization (CU)
720-480-7061 (cellular)
     Eric Johnson
Landmark Graphics
     Larry Holdren - Charney/GBSM Public Relations
303-478-6313 (cellular)

See also:
Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
Send email to

Engineering Center Office Tower
ECOT 717
FAX +1-303-492-2844
XHTML 1.0/CSS2 ©2012 Regents of the University of Colorado
Privacy · Legal · Trademarks
May 5, 2012 (13:46)