Weather Balloon Launch Highlights Grand Opening of SIUE Engineering Building Addition

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville hosted a grand opening Tuesday, Feb. 18 for its new Engineering Building Annex. The new structure is part of a $14.2 million expansion and renovation for the School of Engineering.

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SIUE School of Engineering Annex interior.

This state-of-the-art addition will allow us to continue to educate our engineering students at the highest level, while enhancing the globalization of our campus by continuing to attract students from all over the world.

Edwardsville, Ill. (PRWEB) February 19, 2014

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville hosted a grand opening this afternoon for its new Engineering Building Annex. The new structure is part of a $14.2 million expansion and renovation for the School of Engineering.

SIU President Glenn Poshard joined SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe and School of Engineering Dean Hasan Sevim to cut the ribbon.

“This state-of-the-art addition will allow us to continue to educate our engineering students at the highest level, while enhancing the globalization of our campus by continuing to attract students from all over the world,” Poshard said. “Along with all of our new projects on campus, the engineering addition is part of our commitment to sustainability. This addition was designed to meet Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.”

Freshman engineering students launched a weather balloon to highlight the festivities. The student team designed and assembled the balloon’s payload-to-gather position, video and camera data. The mission is to send the balloon roughly 100,000 feet into the air with two cameras attached to film Earth from a different perspective. They will collect roughly four hours of video and 45,000 pictures.

Freshman mechanical engineering student Alex Anderson provided his thoughts on the addition. “What this building means to us is that we are attending a school that is as dynamic as we are,” said Anderson, who was part of the balloon launch team. “As we expand and grow into the innovators of tomorrow, we are not constrained by the resources of our campus. The School of Engineering not only gives us new space to grow in the future, but also the opportunities of today.”

“As we continue to offer our engineering students the best possible education, this event marks yet another meaningful step forward for the School of Engineering and for SIUE,” Furst-Bowe said. “This building allows our students much-needed space, up-to-date technology and a state-of-the-art learning environment. To the rest of our community, this addition adds another treasure to our already breathtaking campus.”

The ribbon cutting signified the completion of the expansion phase of the project. It includes a nearly 32,000-square-foot annex that is connected to the existing award-winning Engineering Building through an enclosed bridge. The annex provides additional classrooms and computer laboratories, as well as necessary office space.

The Engineering Building, which was built in 2000, had reached its capacity, necessitating the new four-story, leading-edge addition. The new structure includes open spaces to show ductwork and other engineering-related design elements of the building to students who are studying those same elements. This will further enhance their educational experience.

During his presentation, Sevim described the four-year process to bring the addition to reality to the ever-growing School of Engineering. “Our School’s reputation has spread so fast that we experienced a total growth of 40 percent from 2008 to 2013,” he said. “When the project began, I was advised to not ask for more space for another 10 years, but it may be time to talk about our big plans for the next 25 years!”

The SIUE School of Engineering offers one of the most comprehensive and affordable engineering programs in the St. Louis region with eight undergraduate degrees, five master’s degrees and a cooperative doctoral program, all housed in a state-of-the-art facility. Students learn from expert faculty, perform cutting-edge research, and participate in intercollegiate design competitions. Companies in the metropolitan St. Louis area provide students challenging internships and co-op opportunities, which often turn into permanent employment. All undergraduate programs are accredited by their respective accreditation agencies.


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