CoE initiatives move forward in trustee action

Purdue's Board of Trustees on Friday (May 16) approved moving forward on several College of Engineering projects.

Among the actions were approval to plan, finance, construct and award construction contracts for three engineering research facilities.

The College of Engineering projects will invest up to $76.2 million in the college's strategic growth plan. Approved proposals call for construction of a flexible research lab facility, an addition to biomedical engineering's Martin Jischke Hall and construction of a new building to add additional research capacity to the Zucrow High Pressure Lab.

"These facilities will play a key role in helping us reach our strategic growth plan goals and realize the vision spelled out in Purdue Moves," said Leah Jamieson, the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering. "Key components of that vision are the hiring of more than 100 new faculty and expansion of our research opportunities. State-of-the-art research facilities are critical to reaching those goals."

Purdue Moves is a range of initiatives introduced by President Mitch Daniels to broaden Purdue's global impact and enhance educational opportunities for its students.

Trustees authorized the proposal to plan, finance, construct and award contracts for the completion of the $54 million flex lab, to be built south of the Birck Nanotechnology Center in Discovery Park.

The 75,000-square-foot lab will be a multidisciplinary research facility designed to bring together researchers from diverse backgrounds to enhance learning, collaboration and team-based research. Both wet and dry labs will be housed in the building, which is designed to address the needs of today's diverse research portfolio and to adapt to changing future needs. Infrastructure also will be in place to accommodate future facility expansion.

The lab will be financed with up to $38 million in proceeds from bonds, up to $13.5 million in gift funds and up to $2.5 million in university central reserve funds.

A three-story addition and basement, totaling 32,000 square feet, will be added to the existing Jischke Hall to enhance the university's biomedical engineering research capabilities. The $14 million addition, to be financed with gift funds, will house research labs; an expanded multidisciplinary student design lab; additional instructional spaces to support active-learning activities; and office and support spaces for instructional and research labs.


The $8.2 million Zucrow project will add 14,600 square feet through a new 9,600-square-foot building and the renovation and addition to the Zucrow Lab 3 building to add approximately 5,000 square feet. The new building will house test cells, a laser lab and associated research preparation space, while the renovated and expanded area will house a control center and research offices, along with a new parking area.

Funding for the project will come from $7.45 million in gifts, with the remainder coming from repair and rehabilitation funds.

In other CoE-related business, the trustees also approved naming a new library in the soon-to-be-built Active Learning Center the Thomas S. and Harvey D. Wilmeth Library of Engineering and Science in recognition of a $4 million gift from Thomas Wilmeth. The naming also honors his late brother, Harvey. Both are Purdue engineering graduates.