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Project Profile: Engineering Education and Research Building

A new engineering research facility for the University of Wyoming

by Mindy Peep
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Location: Laramie, Wyoming
Size: about 110,000 sq. ft.
Cost: $105 million
Project team: ZGF Architects (lead design firm), Malone Belton Abel (MBA) (design partners), GSG Architecture (design partners), GE Johnson (construction manager at risk/general contractor)
Completion date: February 2019

Engineering Education and Research Building, University of WyomingThe 110,000 square foot Engineering Education and Research Building is the University of Wyoming’s newest venue and will foster engineering innovation and collaboration among students and faculty.CREDIT: GE JOHNSON

The Engineering Education and Research Building (EERB) at University of Wyoming (UW) is one of the most advanced and collaborative engineering learning facilities in the nation. The building, a key part of the Tier-1 Engineering Initiative, was made possible by generous private donations and a significant investment by the Wyoming Legislature. The initiative is designed to promote engineering education, workforce training, and research relevant to the economic interest of Wyoming.

Another key accomplishment of the EERB is helping fulfill UW’s mission of providing accessible and affordable higher education. In 2018, the CEAS programs celebrated an average 88 percent job placement rate, a dramatic increase from 49 percent just five years before the Engineering Initiative.

Drilling and Completions Simulator, University of WyomingThe Drilling and Completions Simulator was upgraded and now houses comprehensive simulation equipment for both land and offshore drilling, thanks to a generous donation from Drilling Systems.CREDIT: GE JOHNSON

The four-story EERB features an expanded Student Innovation Center (makerspace) that will facilitate faculty research and student education, and also provide the public opportunities for tours and hands-on learning experiences. The new building will focus on interdisciplinary interactions with other colleges, including collaboration with the UW’s College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Visual and Literary Arts in the two-story Center for Design Thinking active-learning lab.

Additionally, the facility houses several reconfigurable research laboratories, including the upgraded Drilling and Completions Simulator made possible, in part, by a gift of equipment from Drilling Systems Inc., where students can simulate actual land and offshore oil and gas exploration.

Main atrium, University of Wyoming engineering buildingThe expansive main atrium extends throughout all four floors in the new Engineering Education and Research Building. The open-concept aesthetics were specifically designed throughout laboratories and classrooms to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration.CREDIT: GE JOHNSON

The EERB took over two years to construct and is one of the most ambitious construction projects in the university’s history. The project was completed on schedule and within original budget parameters. ZGF associate partner and lead designer/project manager Corinne Kerr is a UW architectural engineering graduate.

Mindy Peep is a Marketing Communications Specialist with the University of Wyoming College of Engineering and Applied Science.