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This building has muscle

By Joni Moths Mueller

Engineering Hall is a garden of delights for any engineer or engineering student worth his or her weight in baling wire. The 115,000-square-foot building was designed not only for teaching but also to put the art of engineering for strength, durability, sustainability and innovation on full display.

Each floor supports education in a Marquette engineering specialization: first floor, teaching and learning; second floor, sensor technology; third floor, human performance and biomedical; fourth floor, water engineering and water quality. The fall issue of Marquette Magazine teased readers with a single exterior image. This issue provides the maximum payload.

Engineering students need only look around to see the internal workings and construction of Engineering Hall. Walls paneled with reclaimed wood and structural steel supports are in full view. Pressure sensors embedded in the footings and walls measure the weight and strains of the building. All of the data, including energy usage, is fed into a continuous graphical display to show students engineering in action. Looking south, students see the grass footprint where Marquette intends to extend Engineering Hall in Phase II.

Jaskolski Discovery Learning Lab

Otherwise known as the Innovation Lab, this may be the busiest square footage in the building. Look inside almost any time of day to see up to 36 students and five or six teaching assistants working collaboratively on design projects. Students plug in laptops at individual workstations, and the cameras positioned around the room televise students’ progress on real engineering projects in real-time.

Green Roof  

Think of it as using storm water in a responsible way. Rainwater funnels into a 10,000-gallon holding tank where it is held until it can be used. The rooftop garden keeps the building cool during the summer. Strategically positioned solar panels power the building’s lights and equipment.

Structural Mechanics Lab

We chose this one because it’s big  bigger than big  and some of the most ambitious engineering research projects in the state come here to be studied. It features both a strong floor and a strong wall, a universal test machine capable of applying 110,000 pounds of force in tension or compression and a hydraulic system that can apply hundreds of thousands of pounds of force depending on the configuration. Where steel beams join to brace the ceiling, students see examples of an X brace, W brace and bolted gusset connection.

Tool Crib

The cabinetry and storage were created expressly for Engineering Hall by Mike Greenheck, Eng ’09, and his company, C-TECH. Students have access to thousands of tools ranging from hammers to plasma torches, and advice from machinists with 70 years of combined experience in the business.

Up next: Phase II

The parcel of land directly south of Engineering Hall is reserved for construction of more exciting labs, classrooms and faculty offices. The university is now raising funds for the second phase.  


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