As construction of Engineering 7 continued right next door, cabinet minister Bardish Chagger announced $32.6 million in federal funding Thursday for the seven-storey building that will be the future home of both expanding student enrolment and ground-breaking research.
“As a result of this investment, Waterloo’s internationally renowned students, teachers and researchers will work in state-of-the-art facilities that support world-class research,” said Chagger, the Waterloo MP who serves as both Government House Leader and the Minister of Small Business and Tourism.
Scheduled to open in the spring of 2018, the $88-million, 240,000-square-foot building on the east campus will accommodate growing biomedical engineering and mechatronics engineering programs, with the total student body expected to increase from 9,400 to almost 11,000 students in the next four years.
“It will be the flagship of Waterloo Engineering and a state-of-the-art research and innovation hub,” Dean Pearl Sullivan told a few hundred people who gathered for the announcement in the Sedra Student Design Centre in Engineering 5.
In addition to more students, Engineering 7 will make room for novel hands-on learning spaces and 40 research labs for work on disruptive technologies including machine intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, additive manufacturing (3D printing) and wearable biomedical devices.
It will be one of the largest buildings on campus when complete, featuring a soaring atrium and enclosed pedestrian bridges linking it to Engineering 5.
Launched without a federal commitment in place - a decision described by President and Vice-Chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur as an example of the risk-taking that has characterized Waterloo's 60-year history – the project is also funded by $10 million from the University itself and $36.5million so far from private-sector donors.
That means the focus at Waterloo Engineering is now on raising the final $8 million in its Educating the Engineer of the Future campaign. For more details on Engineering 7 and the ongoing fundraising campaign, click here.