With a $30 million grant from an anonymous alumnus, UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering has raised more than $74 million in donations to transform the Engineering Student Center into a vibrant hub of learning and discovery, interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship.
“The renovation and expansion of our engineering student center reflects a transformation of the engineering culture to make it more welcoming and inclusive,” said Tsu-Jae King Liu, Dean of Engineering. “Berkeley engineering students will continue to design and build the future; we want the place where they learn, collaborate and innovate together to support and inspire them to make our world more equitable, healthy and sustainable for all. “
In recent surveys of Berkeley’s engineering community, the existing Bechtel Engineering Center was identified as the “heart” of the Berkeley Campus Engineering District due to its central location and the programs it offers. shelters. Since the center was built four decades ago, the number of students enrolled at Berkeley Engineering has increased by more than 80%. The expanded complex will not only accommodate the college’s burgeoning student population, but will also foster collaboration with classmates pursuing other fields of study.
Enveloping the existing Bechtel Engineering Center and featuring sweeping views of the Campanile and Memorial Glade, the new complex will house engineering student services, which include academic advising, tutoring, counseling and other student-facing programs. . It will also serve as the future home of the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, which supports developing entrepreneurs and innovators with over 30 courses open to all university students.
To ensure that all engineering students feel a sense of belonging and can thrive at Berkeley, the new complex will also include welcoming spaces for activities that support diversity and promote inclusion, in addition to outreach programs from kindergarten to 12th grade.
“The new building directly supports the campus-wide Light the Way campaign with a focus on student opportunities and experience,” said Charles Giancarlo (MS’80 EECS), CEO and President of Pure Storage. , Co-Chair of the Light the Way Campaign and Engineering Advisory Board. member. “Berkeley is the best public university in the world, and this project will prepare our students to lead by integrating resources for student success, community, engagement and collaboration.”
This major capital project will add 35,500 square feet on two new floors. The centerpiece will be the Forum, a large, bright three-story space that can flexibly accommodate conferences, poster sessions, industry events and more. New outdoor spaces include a shaded terrace with spectacular views of campus and the San Francisco Bay, providing more opportunities for formal and informal gatherings.
“I am excited to see how the space will become a hub of creativity and innovation for engineers at Berkeley,” said Allison Nguyen, chapter president of the Society of Women Engineers. “I really believe this will improve accessibility, diversify functionality and build community.”
As sustainability is a key value of the campus community, the new building will be designed for energy-efficient operations, including sunlight protection, stormwater management, water conservation, and materials of construction extracted according to the principles of “embodied carbon” of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Groundbreaking is expected to begin in 2023, with the new center scheduled to open in early 2025. More than three-quarters of the necessary funds have been raised to date. An anonymous donor has agreed to match up to five donations of $1 million each to support this project, doubling the impact of these donations through July 31, 2022.
“As an engineering student at Berkeley, I always wanted a building on campus that I could call my home away from home,” said Ben Heronimus, president of the Engineering Student Council. “The new engineering student center is that building, and I can’t wait to see the new light it brings to the engineering community.”
This press release was produced by UC Berkeley News. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.