Million Dollar Gift Will Help Construct New UB Engineering Building

By Cynthia Machamer

Release Date: January 18, 2008

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A $1 million gift to the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences from a global industry leader with a strong interest in Western New York will be used for costs associated with the construction of a new, high-tech engineering building on UB's North (Amherst) Campus.

The corporation, a generous and longstanding partner of UB, chooses to be anonymous, but stated that it felt obligated to support the school and its mission for growth because of the impact the school has had on it by continuously supplying a competent and ambitious technical workforce that has greatly aided in its growth.

The corporation also noted that the planned growth of the university and its engineering school will have a positive impact on the local economy by filling the growing need for a technical workforce in a knowledge-based economy and that corporations that benefit from a strong engineering school like UB's should believe in and support this mission.

New York State has embraced the engineering school's vision as well by providing $49.6 million toward the $73 million needed to build the structure. UB Engineering is engaged in a fundraising effort to generate the remaining $23 million in private funds.

"We are grateful to our corporate partner for its generous gift, for its commitment to UB Engineering and for helping us to achieve our ambitious goals," said Harvey G. Stenger Jr., dean of the school. "Our futures are interconnected and our ongoing collaborations will produce new research, technology and a highly skilled workforce for this company and the region."

The new building will modernize programs and facilities for the departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering. The planned 130,000-square-foot structure will boast a "clean room" for intricate work with nanodevices; a "cybortorium" with sophisticated communications devices and smart technology; and flexible research labs, classrooms and meeting areas for interdisciplinary work.

The facility will allow UB Engineering to use its current buildings to expand existing programs, and grow into new high-demand fields like biomedical engineering. UB Engineering plans a 30 percent growth in both enrollment and faculty over the next 10 years and is in critical need of additional research and teaching space. These goals are aligned with the UB 2020 strategic plan, which aims to grow UB by 40 percent between now and the year 2020 and to invest in areas of strategic strengths such as information and computing technology and integrated nanostructured systems in which UB Engineering will play a lead role.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.