New Home for UT Engineering

Monday, March 24, 2014

Construction began in Fall 2013 on the new Engineering Education and Research Center (EERC) scheduled for completion by the start of the Fall 2017 semester.

At 430,000 square feet, the new building will house interdisciplinary research labs, teaching labs and offices, Student Affairs, the Richard W. McKinney Engineering Library and the Cockrell School’s largest department, Electrical and Computer Engineering. 

Through a competitive process, students and faculty will gain access to the EERC’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research. Housed in the north tower, the Center for Interdisciplinary Research will add 50,000 square feet of research and teaching labs. 

Student services, UTeach Engineering, the STEM program and over 7,800 students will also find new homes at the EERC. The EERC’s Center for Innovation will represent the school’s first dedicated space for entrepreneurship and commercialization programming. 

The south tower of the EERC will replace the current home of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department, which was built when vacuum tubes represented the latest technological breakthrough. The new home of the ECE will add 100,000 square feet of teaching, lab and office spaces separated into seven different research neighborhoods. 

The Microelectronics and Nanotechnology neighborhood will house the top six faculty from the Microelectronic Research Center and their graduate students. Breakthroughs in their studies can affect chip design and manufacturing, electronic devices, cancer and disease treatments and defense operations.

Solid State and Plasma Electronics will comprise another research neighborhood with their work in solar cell and biotechnology, laser advancement and more. The fourth floor will be occupied by the Circuit and Chip Design neighborhood, which is one of the most active circuit design groups in the country. 

The Computer Architecture and Microprocessors neighborhood will continue work that provides tools for modern scientists, while the Electromagnetics, Antennas and Acoustics neighborhood will continue studies of wave propagation on the fifth floor.

The Wireless Networking and Communications Group (WNCG) will occupy the sixth and part of the seventh floors, where faculty will continue to make breakthroughs in mobile technology, 5G cell networks, systems and security, transportation technology and numerous other fields of faculty research. 

Power and Energy comprises the final research neighborhood in the south tower of the EERC and remains focused on supplying an increasing demand for reliable energy. 

WNCG Industrial Affiliate Qualcomm donated $3 million to the new space and numerous other alumni and corporate sponsors have pledged donations to the project as well. Funding is still needed to complete the EERC and naming opportunities exist, but once completed, the new center will bring the University of Texas on par with facilities offered at other top engineering schools across the country.

“Go all over the world and there are Cockrell School Engineers doing what we say they’ll do – they’re changing the world,” University President William Powers, Jr., states. “The EERC is the ‘what starts here’ part. The research and teaching that will take place in the EERC will create the engineers and innovators of the future.”

 

For more information on the new EERC, or for naming opportunities, contact John Halton by phone at 512-471-2120 or via email at halton@mail.utexas.edu.