San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 16th, 2013
Lab mishap temporarily shuts down STAR tech park


Firefighters quickly shut down a malfunctioning vacuum pump that tripped fire alarms at STAR Park, a Texas State University technology research facility on Hunter Road in south San Marcos.

The incident happened at about noon today in the wet lab area of STAR One, the 20,000-square-foot hub of the 38-acre property. A pump overheated and started smoking while workers were conducting research on combustible metals, said James Fry, the university’s fire safety specialist. There was no property damage and the situation was quickly contained, he said.

Firefighters from South Hays and San Marcos responded to the scene along with Texas State University police, who cordoned off entrances to the park. Hays County Assistant Fire Marshal Clint Browning said his office would look into the cause of the mishap.

Promoted as an engine for the Central Texas high-tech sector, STAR One is nearing capacity little more than year after its opening. The university has ongoing collaborations with the likes of MicroPower Global, a semiconductor chip innovator; System & Materials Research Corp., a government contractor designing nanomaterials that increase the combustibility of diesel fuel; and Quantum Materials Corp., which wants to manufacture quantum dots, sub-microscopic particles used in the medical diagnostic equipment, electronics and lighting.

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