Three faculty members and two graduate students of the university recently received the 2009 XCaliber Award, recognizing their excellence working as a team on a large scale project. Among the team were Assistant Professor of Interior Design, Matthew Lutz, and Architecture Graduate Students Nathan King (also studying Industrial Design) and David Bradley Clark II. The team was recognized for innovation in teaching using technology on P.L.U.G. (Portable Laboratory on Uncommon Grounds), a prototype laboratory for use in isolated settings that they designed, developed, and deployed.
Currently the design is being used in the field by university researchers studying chimpanzees in remote areas of Tanzania.