The official dedication of the new Centennial Engineering Center was on Sunday, September 14, 2008. The four-story, 147,500 square foot building is the new home of the Civil Engineering Department, the Center for Biomedical Engineering, Engineering Student Services, the Dean’s Office, and an undergraduate lab for the Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Department.
More than 400 people attended the official dedication and ribbon-cutting of the new Centennial Engineering Center on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008. Visitors heard about the history of the new facility, highlights of the building, and how it was funded. They toured spacious new labs, viewed classrooms, and learned about the School's innovative research in biomedical engineering, water resources, sustainability, and transportation.
School of Engineering Dean Joseph L. Cecchi said, "The Centennial Engineering Center will enable us to serve students in engineering and computer science by giving them the hands-on experiences that are critical for the 21st century. It is designed to increase the School's capacity for innovation, multidisciplinary research, developing patents, creating new businesses, and economic growth."
Speakers included Gerald May, former UNM President; architect Van Gilbert; Reed Dasenbrock, NM Cabinet Secretary for Higher Education; David Harris, UNM EVP for Finance and UNM CFO; Ashley Fate, ASUNM President; New Mexico legislators Larry Larranaga and Diane Snyder; and UNM School of Engineering donor Brian Burnett.
The four-story, 147,500 square foot building is the new home of the Civil Engineering Department, the Center for Biomedical Engineering, Engineering Student Services, the Dean’s Office, and an undergraduate lab for the Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Department. In the Civil Engineering hydraulics lab, water rushes down a 40' flume that UNM civil engineers use to model the effectiveness of Albuquerque's flood control channels. In the environmental labs, state-of-the-art equipment helps UNM researchers work to make water safe for the environment and to drink. In the structures lab and New Mexico's first full-scale Structural Health Monitoring lab, demos show tests with new blast tolerant structural composites developed by UNM faculty using nanotechnology.
Visitors to the Center for Biomedical Engineering learn about innovative research collaborations, including smart materials to help repair the skin of burn victims, pioneering work in the root cause of Alzheimer's disease, and polymeric scaffolds to enable bone growth in a new, rapid and very controlled fashion.
The Chemical and Nuclear Engineering undergraduate lab is where students conduct practical experiments ranging from the fundamentals of mass, momentum and heat transport to thermodynamics and kinetics. In the new Engineering Student Services areas, visitors see various computer labs, student lounges and areas for study groups and student organization offices.
The Centennial Engineering Center was designed by Van H. Gilbert, Architect PC of Albuquerque in collaboration with Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson & Abbott of Boston. Sloped surfaces, prominent entries, deeply recessed windows, and an open air courtyard give the John Gaw Meem Spanish Pueblo Revival style a contemporary flair. Energy saving elements include high performance double glazed glass, day lighting in a majority of spaces, special controls increasing energy efficiency in lab areas with once-through air, steel and concrete structure incorporated with recycled materials, multi-level switching for lights, and exterior solar shading. Outside lighting complies with NM night sky provisions. The Center is a new stop on the university shuttle bus route and has special provisions for bicycles.