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Friday, September 22, 2023


New engineering building set for 2016

What was once a blueprint can now be seen taking shape in the center of campus.

Last October, the Cullen College of Engineering met its fundraising goal of $10 million and began constructing the new Multidisciplinary Research and Engineering Building.

Students and faculty both agree that renovation for the engineering building is long overdue.

“Some buildings are 30 to 50 years old,” said  electrical engineering associate professor Wei-Chuan Shih. “Many students have their classes scattered, due to limited space, so we’re all looking forward to a new building specially dedicated to research.”

The four-story, 120,000-square feet MREB will house labs and facilities that are expected to increase faculty, student enrollment and research funding.

The building costs $51 million, but each year, it will generate about $36 million in research funding. It will also stimulate roughly $612 million in the city’s annual economic activity, according to a UH news release.

“The building will contain, what we call, a high performance computational center (HPC),” said Chief Advancement Officer of Cullen College of Engineering Russell Dunlavy. “It is a computer center that allows researchers to store very large data points as well as access to high-performance computational for analytics and mathematics.”

Scheduled for occupancy by Fall 2016, the MREB will have the capacity to allow 250 more graduate students to apply to the college.

“I am an international student pursuing my master’s degree in electrical engineering,” graduate student Deepak Patle said. “I’m looking forward to completing my studies in the MREB because the space we are in now is limited.”

Graduate students who work closely with professors will have a centralized area in the MREB where they can collaborate their research.

Dunlavy said he hopes the MREB takes the College of Engineering, currently ranking No. 76 nationwide, to a top 50 graduate engineering school.

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