University of Washington Opens Engineering Building Funded by Boeing, Amazon, T-Mobile – GeekWire

UW President Ana Mari Cauce (third from right) joins UW engineering students and others to open the new UW Interdisciplinary Engineering Building. (Photo GeekWire/Charlotte Schubert)

The University of Washington on Thursday broke ground on its new 70,000 square foot interdisciplinary engineering building designed to support students in the College of Engineering’s ten departments.

“It’s a really big deal,” UW President Ana Mari Cauce said at a ceremony attended by state officials, donors, builders and students, as well as UW’s canine mascot, Dubs II. The building will help serve the growing number of graduate engineering students, which has doubled since 2009 to 1,300 undergraduate students each year.

The $102 million project is supported by $50 million from the state of Washington, a $10 million donation from Boeing, corporate donors Amazon and T-Mobile (who each donated $5 million), other donors and UW funds.

It will support a variety of student-focused functions, such as advising, tutoring, job fairs, and collaborative projects. It will also house the AI ​​Education Institute, which will help the college revamp its curriculum across disciplines to make AI and machine learning a fundamental part of the curriculum.

Rendering of the UW Interdisciplinary Engineering Building by KeiranTimberlake.

Speakers highlighted efforts to ensure all students feel like they belong in the new building, which was designed with student input through Karen Thomas-Brown, Associate Dean diversity, equity and inclusion. The design includes smaller spaces dedicated to affinity groups.

“We know from many studies that having students with diverse backgrounds, ideas and strategies makes for better engineers,” said Nancy Allbritton, dean of the College of Engineering. “The Interdisciplinary Engineering Building will truly foster this new level of access, inclusivity, collaboration, and hands-on learning for our students from all engineering and computer science backgrounds, as well as all disciplines.”

The UW College of Engineering is spread across 30 buildings. Some of the more recent notable additions include the Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science & Engineering, which opened in 2019 and had corporate support, and the Nanoengineering and Science Building which opened in 2017. .

Other speakers at Thursday’s event included engineering students Aisha Cora and Liban Hussein; Washington State Representatives David Frockt, Steve Tharinger and Vandana Slatter; Boeing Chief Engineer Greg Hyslop; and Alice Shobe, Global Director at Amazon.

“We know that Washington State lacks qualified engineers. We hear that from Boeing, we hear that from our partners across the tech industry,” said Frockt, who has championed the project since its inception. “We want these students to be our home here.”

The building is expected to be completed by mid-2024; the architect is Kieran Timberlake and the contractor is Hensel Phelps. It will be located in the center of campus directly east of the Husky Union Building.

“This center seeks to increase the number of culturally responsible engineers and intellectuals, a center to call our own,” Hussein said.

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