PHONE: (313) 593-5518
DATE: Oct. 17, 2003
U-M Regents approve expansion of engineering facilities at the University of Michigan-Dearborn
DEARBORN---The College of
Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan-Dearborn
will build an addition with a total of 46,000 gross square feet to house
the campus's Institute
for Advanced Vehicle Systems, dedicated laboratories and engineering
Cost on the project is $12.6 million, with 75 percent of the funding
coming from the state of Michigan. The campus will fund the remaining
25 percent. Construction is expected to begin next summer and be completed
"This project reflects the need among our students and external
stakeholders for facilities that will allow them to tackle the current
and future challenges facing the auto industry," according to Subrata
M. Sengupta, dean of the UM-Dearborn College of Engineering and Computer
Science. "It also reflects the significant growth in our enrollment
in the last few years, and the research activity of our faculty has expanded
considerably as well."
Enrollment in the UM-Dearborn College of Engineering and Computer Science
has nearly doubled since 1990. At the graduate level, the number of students
has grown from approximately 250 to nearly 1,000 over that period, reflecting
the higher technology content of today's automotive products.
Among other facilities, the addition will include dedicated laboratories
for vehicle electronics, auto safety, ergonomics and powertrains. It will
include a flexible open bay area to accommodate equipment used for teaching
and research on manufacturing issues, spaces that will allow undergraduate
students to design and assemble projects for national competitions and
classrooms that will provide electronically mediated instruction.
The campus's Institute for Advanced Vehicle Systems was created to accelerate
applied research in the areas of product development and manufacturing.
The Institute focuses on systems engineering related to the design, development
and manufacturing of complex vehicles, and its faculty associates conduct
research related to body and chassis systems, manufacturing processes,
and integration with powertrain systems.
The building was designed by Terry Sargent of the firm Lord, Aeck and
Sargent Architecture, and features windows, bricks and cast concrete elements
that harmonize with the existing architecture on the Dearborn campus.
The 30-foot-high bay space for the Institute for Advanced Vehicle Systems
has a circular form to accommodate an efficient rotating overhead crane.
"Adjacent to the high bay are specialized laboratory spaces, separated from the high bay space by glazed walls to share light and showcase the activities within," according to Sargent. "An atrium bisects the building, creating links to exterior and interior campus pedestrian paths, while highlighting the manufacturing, research and public functions. The exposed structure of the high bay and atrium spaces further demonstrates the engineering aspects of the building."
NOTE TO MEDIA: Please click on photos to access high-resolution images.
Renderings supplied by U-M Plant Extension office and Lord, Aeck and Sargent