Story by Paige Effinger, Contributing writer
The new Engineering and Physics Building opened just in time for classes to start this fall and will provide new opportunities for engineering, chemistry, and biology students.
Stephen Cobb, dean of the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology, said it is important for engineering students to work together collaboratively on projects, and this new building will provide the space and the technology to do so.
Before the completion of this building, engineering students occupied Blackburn Science Building. Cobb said Blackburn is almost 75 years old, and does not accommodate well to the needs of modern science teaching. Students previously used one laboratory for different types of sciences and moved equipment, but now each discipline has its own laboratory.
“It is not good enough anymore to just sit in your seat in the classroom, and listen to a lecture from a faculty member,” Cobb said. “You need to get up, and put that engineering theory into practice.”
At the end of installation, there will be around $5 million worth of equipment in the building. Some of the new equipment includes multiple computer labs, computer support for all of our instruments, new teaching technology, 3D printers, wind tunnels and water tunnels.
Cobb said the construction of the new building will give students a competitive advantage and help showcase their abilities more effectively.
“Our program has grown remarkably in the last two years,” Cobb said. “It is exciting for students to know they will study in the state of the art kinds of facilities.”
The original plan for the science complex started almost a decade ago, and with the completion of the Engineering and Physics Building, the original vision is complete. The vision included the engineering, chemistry, and biology buildings all located on the west side of campus.
In the years to come, STEM will produce more avenues for students and he said he predicts it will keep growing.
“That was the vision: to be able to expand our programs, to offer more and higher quality experiences to our students and to do it in an environment that’s really comfortable for our students,” he said.
Alex Gullixson, senior engineering major from Murray, said he has already seen new doors being opened for students like himself with the addition of a new Aerospace Engineering track.“This is an amazing opportunity for Murray State students because the aerospace industry is growing very rapidly, and always looking for young talented students to fill positions,” Gullixson said.
The engineering program has already grown in numbers because of the construction of the new building and the technology provided with it. Gullixson said the new technology will be an incredible enhancement to classes.
“While courses have always been great, I think every single class taught in the new building will be that much more effective and enlightening because of the university’s investment in new equipment,” Gullixson said.
During his final year, Gullixson said he is excited to take advantage of all the new opportunities provided to him.
“I see many more amazing opportunities in store and I look forward to spending my last year of undergraduate school capitalizing on as many of those opportunities as I can,” he said.