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Building for the future

Learn about our plans for a new Interdisciplinary Engineering Building.

Engineers are key to developing solutions to society’s challenges. With a strategic vision to deliver inclusive engineering excellence for the public good, the College of Engineering – which has nearly doubled degree output over the past decade – is preparing our students for the engineering careers of the future.

However, despite creatively leveraging existing space across campus, our student-focused facilities footprint has not grown comparably, leading to a space shortage, and the College continues to turn away large numbers of qualified students because we simply don’t have the space to accommodate them. And not only are we lacking enough space, but we lack the right kinds of space for today’s interdisciplinary, collaborative engineering education.

As the ways we teach and conduct research evolve in response to changing industry needs, our spaces must also evolve and expand. With your help, we can provide the learning and research facilities that best support future engineers.

To support this vision, the College is constructing a new, Interdisciplinary Engineering Building (IEB) to provide an academic home for all undergraduate engineering students. The state has approved design and construction funding of $50 million; now, we seek to match these funds with private philanthropic investments to meet the estimated project cost of $90 million.


Renderings of the IEB's exterior and interior spaces courtesy of KieranTimberlake.

Space limitations and the need for growth

Looking ahead, demand from both industry and prospective students for engineering programming and degrees will continue to outpace capacity, despite state-funded College growth.

Lack of engineering degree capacity denies our state’s students access to high-impact career opportunities. At the same time, a shortage of available local talent hinders local companies and public works, negatively affecting regional prosperity. Insufficient engineering talent is the number one challenge for innovation-based companies in our state, which threatens our long-term success and global competitiveness.

To meet our students' needs, and to fuel the state’s economy, the UW must educate more engineering students, and more space is needed for us to do so — specifically, space that enables collaborative, project-based learning.

The IEB will advance engineering education by

  • enabling us to grant more engineering degrees
  • providing a home for cross-disciplinary courses
  • encouraging interactions that spark new ideas
  • developing students’ talents in premier learning spaces
  • introducing students to a range of engineering pathways
  • facilitating discovery in state-of-the-art labs and office space

The IEB will add more space for students

  • flexible classrooms
  • curriculum lab space
  • open project space for hands-on learning
  • gathering spaces for students to study and collaborate
  • research lab space for faculty and student teams
  • offices for student support staff

Help us build the IEB

Your gift supports new construction of the IEB and the renovation and modification of existing engineering facilities. With your help, we can provide Washington’s leading engineering education and develop outstanding engineers and ideas that change the world.

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A home for engineers of the future

By providing the learning environment and program space that students need to prepare for their careers, the IEB will relieve pressure on departmental facilities across the College. Dedicated space for industry-sponsored capstone projects will strengthen connections between the UW and industry and open doors for career opportunities for graduating students. The new building will also house programming for diversity, equity and inclusion.

In addition, the College’s new AI Education Institute will be headquartered in the IEB. The institute will transform
research and education in fundamental artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), enabling the College to provide a first-class engineering education while advancing cutting-edge research.

Our goal is not only to expand, but to become more inclusive, collaborative, innovative and adaptable, with programs supported by facilities rivaling or exceeding those of our peer institutions.

Case statement

Three students working together in a lab

Building a solution

Thanks to the following partners and colleagues:

Contractor: Hensel Phelps

Architect: KieranTimberlake

IEB Planning Committee:

  • Alberto Aliseda, ME
  • Pedro Arduino, CoE/CEE (Chair)
  • Soraya Bailey, BioE
  • Paul Beame, CSE
  • Jeff Berman, CEE
  • Archis Ghate, ISE
  • Michael Glidden, CoE
  • Grace Kariuki, ECE
  • Fumio Ohuchi, MSE
  • Kojay Pan, CoE (ex-officio)
  • Nadya Peek, HCDE
  • Brian Polagye, ME
  • Lilo Pozzo, ChemE/MSE
  • Dan Ratner, CoE/BioE (ex-officio)
  • Marco Salviato, AA
  • Uri Shumlak, AA
  • Lynne Spencer, CoE
  • Deirdre Sumida, CoE

IEB update

Design for the new Interdisciplinary Engineering Building — which will promote a new level of collaboration and hands-on learning — has included an unprecedented number of student voices to focus on access and inclusivity.

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