Building an Engineering Complex for the future

In order to provide a first-class education with facilities that prepare students for the economic diversification happening in Nevada and the world, new space is critically needed.

Rendering of the new building

Artist rendering of the new building, facing West. Design courtesy of H+K Architects.

When the College of Engineering developed its strategic plan in 2011, it set ambitious goals for growth. Recognizing the role the College could play in economic diversification for a state that was still deeply mired in the recession's aftermath, the College set out to position itself as a leading college for the growth and development of the University through high-impact education, research and outreach programs that would catalyze economic development.

Nearly five years later, the College has easily surpassed some of its original goals. Enrollment has soared in the past five years, easily passing the goal of 20 percent. The goal of increasing tenure-track faculty to 70 was met this year, and the College now projects to add 40 additional faculty in the next five years.

This growth has put the physical space of the College over capacity, and continued growth and success crucially depends on building new space that is capable of meeting the instructional needs of a growing student body and supporting the high-tech infrastructure needed to conduct cutting-edge research.

A new engineering complex can reshape the future of the College

The College of Engineering is taking steps to create an Engineering Complex on the southeast portion of campus. Anchored by an 87,000-square-foot building to be built along Evans Avenue, the complex will also include renovations to Scrugham Engineering and Mines and Palmer Engineering.

With its location along Evans Avenue, the Complex has been designed to provide an entrypoint to the University's Campus from the southeast, allowing the College of Engineering to serve as a key face of the University to the community.

The University has already committed $12 million to fund renovations to Palmer and Scrugham, out of a total of $80 million that is anticipated to be needed to fund the creation of the complex. Detail design has already begun for renovations in Palmer Engineering that are expected to be completed over the 2016-2017 academic year.

Additionally, preliminary designs for a new engineering building have been completed. The new building will include approximately 50 new offices as well as 40 research labs, including a Class 100 cleanroom that will enable the College to recruit top-caliber faculty in fields such as chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, and mechanical engineering.

Building now paves way for future innovation

The College of Engineering is building research strengths in emerging areas that unlock incredible possibilities for innovation and commercialization, such as unmanned autonomous systems and big data. Competitive research programs in these areas require modern research infrastructure not easily possible in aging buildings. A new engineering building provides both additional space critically need by the College and the modern facilities capable of supporting high-tech research and laboratory space.

A state-of-the-art engineering complex will allow the College to continue to grow in line with its strategic vision, serving Nevada and educating future generations of engineering professionals.