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A college transformed


A decade ago, the UW launched the  “Be Boundless — For Washington, For the World” campaign with the idea that what you care about can change the world. During this time, 15,878 individuals and organizations gave $496,458,333 in support of the College of Engineering, helping to propel us to the top tier of engineering schools. And the Washington State Legislature invested in enrollment expansion in engineering and computer science, plus capital projects to support the student growth.

Last June, the UW closed the books on the campaign — the most ambitious in the UW’s history. While this milestone doesn’t mean that our work is done, it provides a moment to celebrate what’s been achieved so far and recognize the impact we’re making together.

Here we highlight some of the transformational investments made in the College — from research initiatives, to professorships and fellowships supporting the development of innovative technologies, to scholarships, program support and capital funding to improve the student experience. 



June 2010
778 bachelor’s degrees and
390 master’s degrees awarded
$113M total College research expenditures 
226 faculty members
5.9% of undergraduates are underrepresented minority students
20.8% of undergraduates are women


June 2019
1,352 bachelor’s degrees and
724 master’s degrees awarded
$173M total College research expenditures 
275 faculty members
8.4% of undergraduates are underrepresented minority students
30% of undergraduates are women


May 2012: The Legislature appropriates $3.8M for 2013 to expand engineering and computer science enrollments. 

June 2012: A $2M gift from Amazon to establish two Amazon Professorships in Machine Learning enables a cluster hire of high-profile faculty.

December 2012: Geda and Phil Condit endow a fellowship in the William E. Boeing Department of  Aeronautics & Astronautics.


June 2013: The Legislature provides $4.4M annually to expand computer science and engineering enrollment in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. It allocates $3M a year for the Clean Energy Institute and $3M for the Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation.

December 2013: Jeet and Jan Bindra, UW Engineering’s campaign co-chairs, fund the renovation of a Chemical Engineering lab, the first of several significant campaign gifts.

Research impact

ME grad student Elizabeth Rasmussen is developing a clean, scalable approach to synthesizing advanced materials.


July 2014: Washington Research Foundation makes significant investments to advance innovation in clean energy, protein design, data science and neuroengineering.

The Washington Nanofabrication Facility (WNF) supports fabrication efforts for micro and nanotechnology research and prototype production.
The Washington Nanofabrication Facility (WNF) supports fabrication
efforts for micro and nanotechnology research and prototype production.

Translating Innovation: The UW/WRF Partnership

How do brilliant research ideas become innovations that change lives? Washington Research Foundation (WRF) answers this question by facilitating technology transfer from academia to industry.

A long-term UW partner, WRF (and its venture fund, WRF Capital) played a transformational role throughout the “Be Boundless” campaign via commercialization gap funding and support programs, research grants, professorships and gifts of critical instrumentation. Over the past decade, the College has benefitted from WRF investments totaling more than $20M.

A key way WRF advances innovation at the UW is creating endowed professorships and chairs that provide flexible funds, enabling faculty to pursue research that may not be eligible for federal funding. Instrumental in launching many UW spin-offs, WRF also guides faculty through the commercialization process. Recognizing that start-ups need access to equipment to bridge the commercialization gap, WRF supported the purchase of equipment and facility updates needed to launch the Washington Nanofabrication Facility in Fluke Hall in 2014.


January 2015: An agreement with Boeing launches the Boeing Advanced Research Center (BARC) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, bringing Boeing engineers to campus.  

June 2015: The Legislature provides $32.5M for the Gates Center building in the biennial capital budget. Also directs $2M of the Education Legacy Trust Account for 2015-16 and $4M per year thereafter to expand enrollments in computer science and engineering.

November 2015: Cherng Jia (“C.J.”) and Elizabeth Hwang establish a professorship in Electrical & Computer Engineering to support research to treat spinal cord injuries.

Boeing-employed affiliate instructors work in the lab side by side with faculty and students on joint research projects in the manufacturing and assembly of aircraft and spacecraft structures.


March 2016: Scott and Catherine Roberts make a gift to fund a distinguished endowed fellowship in the Department of Chemical Engineering. 

June 2016: The Hopper-Dean Foundation supports a diversity partnership between the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and STARS, a program supporting engineering students from underserved Washington state high schools. 

August 2016: STARS receives a three-year, $2.2M grant for growth from the state’s Opportunity Expansion Fund, supported by funding from Microsoft.

November 2016: Milton and Delia Zeutschel establish a professorship and student capstone program to support entrepreneurship and industry partnerships in Electrical & Computer Engineering.

Engineering STARS

Three STARS graduates fill us in on what they’ve been up to since receiving their engineering degrees.


March 2017: A $50M endowment from Paul Allen and Microsoft establishes the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.

June 2017: The Legislature provides $1M annually for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to expand undergraduate enrollments in science, technology, engineering and math. 

September 2017: A surprise $5.2M bequest from the estate of Olga McEwing represents the lead gift for the College’s Campaign for Students scholarship drive.

December 2017: Rao and Usha Varanasi make a significant planned gift to enhance their existing endowed fellowships in Aeronautics & Astronautics and other areas.


March 2018: The Legislature provides an additional $3M per year to expand enrollments in computer science and also funds pre-design of the Interdisciplinary Engineering Building.

June 2018: Tom and Marilyn Draeger and the Beavers Charitable Trust establish a term faculty fellowship in Civil & Environmental Engineering, complementing an existing professorship and scholarship.


February 2019: The Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science & Engineering is dedicated. 

April 2019: Backed by industry support, the Legislature provides funding for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 to increase undergraduate engineering degree production, fund the STARS program, and design the new Interdisciplinary Engineering Building

May 2019: Fundraising for the Interdisciplinary Engineering Building begins. 

August 2019: A pledge by Steven and Connie Rogel establishes an endowed professorship for cardiovascular innovation in the Department of Bioengineering.

Explore More
Interdisciplinary Engineering Building

Building for the future of engineering.


May 2020: Microsoft’s $2.5M investment launches UW’s Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences (CREATE) to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. 

Building for the future of engineering

Our goal is to grow not only in terms of numbers, but to become more inclusive, collaborative, innovative and adaptable, with programs supported by facilities rivaling or exceeding those of our peer institutions. Learn more about our plans and how you can help transform engineering education. 

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