Mechanical engineering dedicates new facilities

Nearly 700 people turned out April 25 for the grand opening and

dedication of the University's new mechanical engineering facilities.

The daylong festivities—which included a robot show, reception,

and ribbon-cutting ceremony—concluded with a banquet at the

McNamara Alumni Center.

"The new ME building was the first one on this campus with the

year '2000' on its cornerstone, and I believe this symbolizes

the exciting frontiers being explored in our research laboratories,"

department head Peter McMurry told the crowd at the ribbon-cutting

ceremony. "The energy and creativity that made us a leading

department continues full force."

University president Mark Yudof, IT dean H. Ted Davis, and former

Minnesota governor Arne Carlson were also on hand for the ceremony.

Renovation of the old building and new construction have yielded

a facility with 42,000 additional square feet of space, an increase

of 50 percent. The building features updated laboratories, designated

space where students can study, work, and interact, and a layout

that encourages collaboration among faculty with related research

interests.

Total cost of the project was $22.5 million, of which $9.5 million

came from private donors.