Free time suggestions
If you have free time on Friday, we invite you to explore campus!
Anderson Student Innovation Labs (largest lab located in Mechanical Engineering 2-134):
In fall 2016, the College of Science and Engineering opened three new Anderson Student Innovation Labs that help students turn their ideas into reality. The labs are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for student group projects, design and capstone course projects, and student entrepreneurs. The three new spaces add more than 10,000 square feet of hands-on learning space for students. The largest of the new innovation labs is in the Mechanical Engineering Building and was designed primarily for prototyping. This space includes four laser cutters and 20 3D printers, making it the largest 3D printing facility on campus. The space also includes 12 large work benches, computer lab space, a tool lending library, and large assembly areas for mechanical and electrical projects. The other labs include a full complement of metal working tools, two computer-controlled milling machines, a computer-controlled lathe, and a waterjet cutter, as well as welding and woodworking tools.
A marriage between the old and the new, the high-tech and the high-style, Coffman Memorial Union reopened in 2003 after more than three years and $71 million in renovations. The rebuilt union is designed to satisfy the needs of students, with up-to-date services, as well as the desires of traditionalists, with a return to the building’s art deco origins.
Stop by the Information Desk and ask for a tour or take a break and enjoy a beverage on the 4th floor Campus Club Terrace. For more information, visit the Student Unions and Activities website.
Gemini-Huntley Robotics Research Laboratory (first two floors of Shepherd Laboratories):
The Gemini-Huntley Robotics Research Laboratory opened in the fall of 2018. It is the result of a complete renovation of 20,000 square feet on the first two floors of the Shepherd Laboratories building, which is nestled in the heart of the East Bank Campus and connected to many of CSE’s engineering buildings. Funded primarily by generous private support, this renovation includes state-of-the-art robotics research labs, teaching spaces, faculty and graduate student offices, and public spaces for collaboration—creating a vibrant and flexible space that will bolster the University’s robotics teaching and research programs. It also provides for the first permanent home for the CSE award-winning Solar Vehicle Project.
In fall 2017, the University of Minnesota completed major construction on a $92.5 million renovation of historic Tate Hall that includes state-of-the-art research labs, classrooms, offices, and public space for stargazing with a rooftop space open to classes and the public during astronomy outreach nights. The building is home to the School of Earth Sciences and the School of Physics and Astronomy. About 5,000 students take classes in the building each semester. The building includes about 30 research labs, 20 teaching labs, and 10 general purpose classrooms. Other highlights include a new large auditorium that serves as a main location for classes and public events. A four-story atrium with skylight in the center of the building was added, and the historic rooftop observatory was restored and improved. One unique feature of the building is a public art installation by artist Catherine Widgery that doubles as a puzzle representing the academic disciplines housed in the building. The rock garden also includes the 2.7-billion-year-old Ely Greenstone mined in northern Minnesota.
Known for many years as the Main Engineering Building, Lind Hall opened in September 1912. It marked an important era of growth in the college. The building was renamed in 1975 after Samuel Colville Lind, who served as the first dean of the College of Science and Engineering (formerly known as the Institute of Technology) from 1935-1947. Today, 100 years later, Lind Hall is located on one of the most heavily traveled academic walkways in the state. Every CSE student visits the building multiple times each year. The 2012 renovation of the first floor of Lind Hall provides a dynamic home base for College of Science and Engineering undergraduate students. It creates a convenient “one-stop shop” for College of Science and Engineering Student Services. The space also provides study and meeting space, conference rooms, student group offices, a CSE Computer Lab, and even a Starbucks! Its renovation and rebirth once again marks an important era of growth in the college.
McNamara Alumni Center, Heritage Gallery:
For 40 years, University of Minnesota alumni longed for a building to call their own, one that would serve as a virtual “front door” for University visitors. In 1996, a volunteer committee of University staff and others selected internationally-renowned architect Antoine Predock of Albuquerque, New Mexico, to design the alumni center. Teamed with Minneapolis-based KKE Architects to facilitate the building’s design, Predock set out to reflect Minnesota’s natural assets — its 10,000 lakes, the North Shore, the Iron Range, the Northern Lights and more — in the forms, materials and design elements of the McNamara Alumni Center. Striking features include a pink granite-covered geode exterior with star-shaped glass fissures; an 85-foot tall Memorial Hall complete with six miles of wood lining its walls and a water stream and pool; and 75,000 square feet of copper cover exterior and interior walls. Construction began in March 1998 and in February 2000, the 231,000 square foot McNamara Alumni Center opened as a University office building and events center serving the University community, alumni, and the general public.
Enter through the reconstructed Memorial Stadium archway to see the wall of books written by University alumni, faculty, staff, and students; and kiosks profiling famous people from the U’s past. For more information, visit the McNamara Alumni Center website.
Northrop is an epicenter of discovery and transformation that connects the University of Minnesota and communities beyond by celebrating innovation in the arts, performance, and academics. After a three year renovation project, the revitalized Northrop reopened on April 4, 2014. Take a self-guided tour of the iconic building and see the results of the $88.2 million transformation. For more information, visit the Northrop website.
The University launched a new era of excellence with the grand opening of this building in 2014. The facility hosts experimental physicists in about 40 new research laboratories. More than 5,000 square feet of new clean room space opened in the nanotechnology portion of the building, plus new labs for biological and nanomaterials research not found in any of the University's existing common-use nanotech labs. The Physics and Nanotechnology building allowed for the expansion of interdisciplinary research, as the University simply didn't have that space available in the past.
Bruininks Hall was unveiled on the banks of the Mississippi River at the University of Minnesota in 2010. Bruininks Hall is the home to new technology-rich science classrooms, lecture halls and One Stop student services. From career services and veteran services to Active Learning Classrooms and state-of-the-art sustainability features—Bruininks Hall is a welcome addition to the University of Minnesota campus.
The Scholars Walk, a wide pathway featuring 40 bur oak trees and lighted monuments, celebrates the research and accomplishments of the U’s award-winning alumni, faculty and students, and for the first time provides a prominent, permanent memorial to those honored. For more information, visit the Scholars Walk website.
Walter Library was built in 1922/23 and first opened to the public as the University of Minnesota's main library in 1924. Designed by architect Clarence Johnston and built at a cost of $1.4 million, the library was a very ornate and classical building with its stone and brick exterior, ornamental plaster ceilings, intricate woodwork, and state-of-the-art steel book stacks. Like its neighbors on Northrop Mall, it was built in the Roman Renaissance style of red brick and Bedford limestone trim, with a colonnaded portico. The renovation of Walter Library, designed by Minneapolis architectural firm Stageberg Beyer Sachs, began in December 1999 and was completed in December 2002 at a cost of $63.4 million. The building now houses the Science & Engineering Library, Digital Technology Center, Learning Resources Center, Digital Media Center, CSE Dean’s office, and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute. Note the lobby ceiling and visit the second floor Great Hall to see some of the 225 owls in the building’s design. For more information, visit the Walter Library webpage.
Washington Avenue Light Rail:
See how Washington Avenue has changed with the addition of a light rail line connecting downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis. The Green Line, which began taking riders in June 2014, carries an average of 45,000 riders per weekday.
Housed in a striking stainless steel and brick building designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Weisman Art Museum offers an educational and friendly museum experience. The museum’s collection features early twentieth-century American artists, such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Marsden Hartley, as well as a diverse selection of ceramics and contemporary art. A teaching museum for the University of Minnesota and the community, the Weisman provides a fresh, engaging arts experience through an array of programs and a changing schedule of exhibitions. For more information, visit the Weisman Art Museum website.
For more things to see in do at University of Minnesota and in the Twin Cities, check out this online Visitors Guide.