SoE Alumnus Funds Matching Gift Challenge
In a year that’s been anything but typical in the business of educating engineering students, the School of Engineering had many bright spots to see it through. Academics continued apace with great flexibility and technologic creativity; research programs—stalled for a brief time—saw real results; deans, advisors, and staff worked to keep all the balls in the air; and progress continued on vitally important building projects.
The school is able to report that the Rutgers Board of Governors has approved the construction of the Bruce and Phyllis Nicholas Student Projects Studio. This dedicated space will provide students the opportunity to conceptualize and build scale-sized projects for the purpose of inter-collegiate competition, as well as engage young engineers in hands-on learning and cross-disciplinary collaborations. Made possible thanks to a naming gift from for Bruce Nicholas ENG’49 and his wife, the space will include workspace bays and conference rooms for meetings. Located near the Engineering campus with easy proximity to residence halls and bus stops, the project is expected to be completed in May 2022.
Additionally, the school’s long-term effort to reshape the engineering campus quadrangle continues to move forward with an initial focus on the creation of a new home for the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering (CBE). An anonymous alumnus donor has recently committed up to $375,000 in a matching dollar-for-dollar gift towards this effort.
This exciting new project will set in motion replacing the aging Busch campus Engineering Building with a cutting-edge facility where faculty and students will be able to meet the academic and research needs of a 21st-century engineering school–and the challenges of a rapidly changing world.
Decanting the C-wing of the original Engineering Building is the first step of a transformative project that will provide much needed space for both CBE and other School of Engineering faculty. The 73,000-square-foot expansion will feature ample interdisciplinary research space able to accommodate evolving research collaborations. Open, shared facilities are designed to foster interactive collaboration among students, faculty, and research staff, while expansive teaching labs will support hands-on learning. The facility will also house faculty and their research groups with offices, wet and dry research labs and support spaces, and more.
CBE chair and professor Helen Buettner is looking forward to the day when the department will move into the new facility. “This incredibly generous contribution puts us on the path to a new home for CBE that will expand cutting-edge learning experiences for our students and enable us to continue groundbreaking research advances in pharmaceutical and life sciences engineering, energy and sustainability.”
School of Engineering dean Tom Farris agrees. “This matching donation and support from one of our graduates is a significant stake in the ground for our school’s continued achievement. Recognizing the connecting between our school’s physical needs with its plans for strategic growth shapes the important, innovative work that will define and advance our future as one of the nation’s leading undergraduate and graduate engineering schools.”