UT Unveils New School of Engineering Facility

October 2, 2017 by Kate Harrington

A new 430,000-square foot building at the University of Texas’s Cockrell School of Engineering on San Jacinto Boulevard just south of Dean Keeton Street opened its doors on Sept. 28.

The Engineering Education and Research Center (EERC) is the university’s new hub for engineering education, research and innovation and serves as a center for multidisciplinary collaboration within the Cockrell School of Engineering, the University said in a statement. The new building will also act as the new home for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the school’s largest academic department.

The $310 million facility has been more than a decade in the making. Ennead Architects and Jacobs Engineering did the design work, and Hensel Phelps Construction built the facility. The EERC includes two nine-story towers, a three-story atrium and an engineering conference center and auditorium.

“This is a historic day for our university and for the Cockrell School of Engineering,” said Gregory L. Fenves, president of UT Austin. “The EERC was designed to inspire innovation and foster hands-on, experiential learning opportunities for engineering students. This magnificent facility will enable the Cockrell School to continue strengthening its position as a global leader in engineering education and research for decades to come.”

The new building is part of a larger shift away from discipline-specific engineering facilities and toward more multidiscipline approach with cross-departmental collaboration. UT says the EERC, with its large open spaces, numerous meeting and project rooms and a makerspace dedicated to multidisciplinary student projects, is the first UT Austin engineering building designed for that kind of collaboration and community-building.

(photo via University of Texas)
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Written by Kate Harrington

Kate is a former reporter, most recently for the Austin Business Journal, where she covered real estate, economic development and transportation. Since 2010 she has been running Thumbtack Communications. Thumbtack provides writing, editing and marketing services. Before moving to Austin in 2002 Kate lived in her native New England, which she still visits often to escape the Texas heat.