The University of Texas System Board of Regents has officially added the Cockrell School of Engineering’s new Energy Engineering Building (EEB) to the Capital Improvement Program, a milestone that signals formal approval to proceed to the final design and planning stage in preparation for the facility’s construction in 2019.

This marks the second of three total Board of Regents’ approvals needed to begin construction. In November 2016, the Regents committed $100 million in Permanent University Fund bond proceeds for the initial funding of the project.

The EEB is a 183,000-square-foot facility and the next building in the Cockrell School’s facilities master plan, and it will foster multidisciplinary collaboration and further establish the school as a world leader in energy education and research. Like the recently opened Engineering Education and Research Center (EERC), the EEB will be designed not for individual academic departments but for students, faculty and researchers working and studying in multiple disciplines, bringing the Texas Engineering community together to share ideas and solve the most complex problems facing energy today. The building will feature flexible teaching labs, multipurpose classrooms and cutting-edge research labs with the goal of combining research and teaching to create a new type of experiential education for students pursuing careers in energy.

“One of the grand challenges facing our world is the growing demand for energy, and engineers will play a critical role in delivering the solutions of the future,” said Sharon L. Wood, dean of the Cockrell School. “Located in the nation’s premier energy state, UT is well positioned to be a global leader in this pursuit. The EEB gives us a world-class engineering facility that will serve as a hub for energy innovation for decades to come.”

The EEB will be located on the UT Austin campus at the corner of Speedway and 24th Street, the current site of the Cockrell School’s W.R. Woolrich Laboratories building, which is slated for demolition in early 2019. The new facility will sit just south of the EERC and will anchor the south end of the Texas Engineering corridor.

“As a research enterprise, we want to build a culture of collaboration across all the centers, departments and labs in the school, and we need to equip our people with tools and resources that effectively bring different areas of expertise together,” said John G. Ekerdt, associate dean for research in the Cockrell School. “Adding a new, modern facility to our campus is essential to accomplishing our goals as a preeminent research university.”

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cover of Texas Engineering magazine with group of students
cover of Texas Engineering magazine with group of students