Sustainability at SIUE
Whether through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifiable construction projects in its buildings or the campus bike share and recycling programs initiated by the Sustainability Advisory Group, SIUE encourages environmental preservation and stewardship, while promoting scholarship.
With additional space, the SIUE School of Engineering will meet the future with limitless possibilities and potential. A $14.2 million expansion and renovation to the SIUE Engineering Building was completed in spring 2014. The project included a nearly 32,000-square-foot annex connected by an enclosed bridge to the existing award-winning Engineering Building. The annex provides additional classrooms and laboratories, as well as much-needed office space.
“The School has made tremendous strides in recent years and continues to attract outstanding students and faculty,” said Dr. Chris Gordon, associate dean of the SIUE School of Engineering. “The addition will enable the School to keep pace with our developments, while keeping our classroom and laboratory facilities at the leading edge. This is essential to propel the work of our many talented teacher-scholars and students.”
Computer, civil, electrical, industrial and manufacturing, mechanical engineering and construction management are areas within the School of Engineering that will benefit from the additional space and leading-edge resources for faculty, staff and students.
Every measurable indicator has shown the School of Engineering has been growing consistently in all ways since 2006. It has achieved record enrollment each year, increased its number of annual scholarly publications and the amount of externally funded research. Additionally, incoming freshman ACT scores continue to rise.
“Space is essential both for research and teaching,” said Dr. Ryan Fries, assistant professor of civil engineering. “We used to move our equipment around to available locations throughout the Engineering Building. The Engineering Building Addition alleviates these inconveniences.”
The current structure had reached its capacity, making the new four-story structure a necessity. The new facility includes open spaces to show duct work and other design elements of the building so that engineering students can see firsthand the inner workings. This is a bonus that will enhance the educational experience.
“Students typically request more hands-on experiences in the classroom,” said Dr. Anne Werner, assistant professor of construction. “The dedicated laboratory for construction management allows us to make that happen. When students participate in more activities it tends to create more meaningful experiences, improves their understanding and is ultimately more fun.”
The building addition provides students with room to imagine, design and share ideas, while encouraging the creative, entrepreneurial and team-based aspects of construction management.
From robot design to high-speed rail technology, the burgeoning number of mechanical research projects made it essential for the mechanical engineering department to grow. The addition allows the department to expand the scope of projects and involve more students.
“Getting students involved in research projects helps shape their understanding of classroom concepts on a visceral level,” said Dr. Ryan Krauss, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. “They are doing more than learning about how the models and simulations function. They are actually manipulating them.”
Krauss added that the additional space has not only paved the way for more dedicated hands-on learning opportunities, but has bolstered students’ motivation, helping them develop a clearer vision for their professional future.
“High-quality engineering education and research require top-notch lab space to conduct experiments,” said Dr. Albert Luo, professor of mechanical engineering. “Moving forward, the SIUE School of Engineering will no doubt be considered among the more established research-oriented schools.”