September 30, 2011
Marquette University to celebrate opening of new engineering facility
$50 million building is first of two-phase project
The Marquette University College of Engineering will celebrate the opening of its new $50 million facility, Engineering Hall, Friday, Oct. 7, at 3 p.m. More than 700 individuals are expected to be present to tour the building and hear speakers, including Marquette University President Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., and Opus Dean of Engineering Robert Bishop. The ceremony will take place in a tent south of Engineering Hall, 1637 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Engineering Hall was planned to illustrate engineering principles, according to Bishop. “This building is a form of art, combining function with aesthetics,” he said. “The details of the 115,000-square-foot building – from the exterior design and front canopy to the stained and polished concrete floors, from the LED lighting to the experimental green roof – are designed to display engineering.” Bishop said students will see various types of bracing and fire protection, realize the impact of solar panels and water retention storage, and be able to access a wide variety of tools and equipment.
But Bishop emphasized that Engineering Hall is not just a building: he called it a “platform for the transformation taking place inside.” He said, “Today’s engineers must be problem solvers, creative thinkers, innovators. They need to understand business and be able to communicate. We’re changing the way we educate engineers and the new building reflects those changes. It’s organized not by departments but by the key engineering challenges we face as a global society—clean water, safe roads, efficient energy and healthy families.”
Media must arrive for the opening celebration no later than 2:30 p.m. to set up on the media riser. Please contact Mary Pat Pfeil at email@example.com or (414) 288-4719 to confirm attendance.
More about Engineering Hall
With a primarily glass exterior and the extensive use of glass for interior walls, laboratories, shops and classrooms are readily visible to students and visitors. Exposed finishes and mechanicals help students understand basic construction and building management principles and options. A total of 130 sensors throughout the building will display temperature, wind shift, water collection and usage, humidity and other factors of the building. Data from the sensors will be easily available on monitors throughout the building, including a large screen adjacent to the first-floor elevators.
University Architect Tom Ganey noted that throughout the design process the dean and faculty emphasized the need for collaborative work space. “Faculty told us about the need for the different engineering disciplines to work together. We created common areas throughout the building to allow teams to gather and for intellectual collisions that lead to new ideas and problem solving to occur.” The Grochowski Family Student Commons on the lower level and the John and Kate Wakerly Student Commons on the first floor surround the central staircase, with open areas encouraging student and faculty interaction.
The high bay Engineering Materials and Structural Testing Laboratory features a three-foot thick floor, a strong wall and a 10-ton rolling overhead crane. Other lower-level laboratories focus on thermal fluids, thermodynamics, shock physics, smart power systems, engines and power electronics/electric drives. On the building’s first floor, in addition to a multipurpose lab for freshman design classes and the college’s extensive K-12 engineering academies and teacher workshops, the Jaskolski Discovery Learning Laboratory offers cutting-edge technology, a large projects lab and a machine shop where students can take an idea from concept to working prototype. Dean Emeritus Stanley Jaskolski launched the campaign for the new facility more than six years ago.
Built during a severe economic downturn on a cash-available basis, the five-story building also includes laboratories focused on engineering research and teaching in the fields of sensors, ergonomics, biomechanics, nano devices, water quality, and electrical and mechanical systems and will be completed during the 2011-12 academic year.
The phase one construction project, which broke ground in March 2010, was made possible by 10 gifts of $1 million or more, including a $25 million pledge from an anonymous donor and three other anonymous gifts. In addition to the Wakerlys and Grochowskis, other major donors included the Wisconsin Energy Foundation, Robert and Patricia Kern, Clayton and Beverly Lafferty and the William and Geraldine Fotsch Family, for whom the Machine Design Laboratory is named. Bishop said the college received contributions from more than 3,200 donors. The new building is the first of a two-part initiative, with a 135,000-square-foot, $50 million second phase addition already designed and fundraising underway.
The design builder for Marquette University’s Engineering Hall was Opus Development Corporation. The design architect was Opus AE Group, Inc., with Hammel Green & Abrahamson, Inc. collaborating on the conceptual design.
About the College of Engineering
The Marquette University College of Engineering combines the fundamentals of engineering theory, application and practice with a strong liberal arts foundation that emphasizes ethics, communication, problem solving and creativity. Faculty-driven research in the departments of Biomedical Engineering, Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computing Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering focuses on addressing global and regional challenges through advances in health care, human performance, modeling and simulation, sensors, sustainable energy, transportation, and water quality.
With more than 1,100 undergraduates and more than 200 graduate students, the college is building a workforce of professional engineers for the 21st century—men and women who will provide leadership in a new era of engineering. Students get real-world experience through the college’s nearly century-old co-op program, a variety of student organizations and competitions and classes, from freshman year through senior design, that emphasize hands-on problem solving.