On Friday, members of the UB community gathered with elected officials to thank Governor Kathy Hochul for her support of a new building that will house the continued growth of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
The governor, who was unable to attend the event, announced earlier this year that the state would commit $68 million for the planned $102 million facility. UB will raise the remaining $34 million.
Over the past 10 years, undergraduate enrollment in engineering school has increased by 60% and graduate enrollment has increased by 110%. Last fall, the school enrolled a record 7,401 students.
To meet this growing demand – and to further cement UB’s place among the nation’s leading public research universities – UB plans to construct a five-story building in the Furnas parking lot adjacent to Lee Loop.
“A new engineering building has long been one of my top priorities because it will have a transformative impact not only on our academic community, but also on the many communities we serve,” said President Satish K. Tripathi. .
“By virtue of the technologies developed there – which will create growth and vitality in business and industry – and the students trained there – who will contribute their expertise to the highly skilled workforce – the economic benefits will extend to the region, the state and far beyond. continued Tripathi. “We are extremely grateful to Governor Hochul and our Western New York delegation for their unwavering commitment to UB’s mission of excellence.”
State Senator Tim Kennedy commended Hochul’s commitment to UB, including his designation of UB and Stony Brook University as flagships of the SUNY system.
“This state commitment is a reflection of the confidence we have in the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the unparalleled education it provides to students seeking careers. opportunities in STEM industries,” Kennedy said. “With this funding, we’re not just investing in Buffalo’s student experience, but in our larger workforce and in sustainable, innovative, and research-driven careers.”
UB and Kennedy leaders recognized Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, who was unable to attend, and other lawmakers in attendance, including State Senator Edward Rath III and Assemblywoman Karen McMahon, in whose districts UB resides, as well as Assemblywoman Monica Wallace.
The building will help UB increase and diversify the state’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workforce and drive innovation and economic development in artificial intelligence, quantum science, advanced materials and other fields.
The building will feature an “engineering community” that will include collaborative spaces for student clubs, as well as a creative space, student support services, and programs that support the creation of startups and other entrepreneurial activities.
“Everything in the new building will be designed to enhance the student experience,” said Dean of Engineering Kemper Lewis. “It will be a central gathering point where all students will be welcomed and supported in a space that will encourage them to pursue their intellectual curiosity and tackle the great challenges we face as a society.”
The $68 million state funding is part of a broader investment by Hochul and state lawmakers in the SUNY system, which includes a $255 million increase in operating assistance and more. $660 million in additional capital for SUNY.
At UB, such investments will help the university achieve its ambition of being among the top 25 public research universities in the country.
Imani Muhammad-Graham, who earned her BS in computer science at UB last month and is enrolled in the master’s program in electrical engineering, also spoke at the event.
Of the new building, he said, “Different people, from different backgrounds, with different expertise, will be encouraged to collaborate, fostering a community focused on making a positive difference, a difference that embraces diversity and collaboration as a means to innovate and transform.”