Expanding into new space for the ECE Department

Expanding into new space for the ECE Department

Calendar Icon Apr 07, 2016      Person Bust Icon By Dr. Jerry L. Hudgins     RSS Feed RSS

To All,
I wanted to provide an update on the plans to expand into new space for the ECE Department. Decisions on specific relocations, agreement on renovations required, and alignment of funding for new equipment just occurred a few weeks ago. At this point, things seem firm enough that I can pass along reliable information to you. The ECE Department office, faculty offices, freshman labs, and some other ECE undergraduate and research labs will remain in PKI. Lecture classes will primarily, but not solely, be in PKI.

We are moving two major ECE research labs from PKI into STC, along with a few undergraduate laboratories. Electronic building and door security systems are being implemented. This means that ECE students having labs or classes in the Scott Technology Center (STC) will have 24/7 access using their student IDs. The university shuttle will make stops at STC, in addition to stops at PKI. There are student gathering and study spaces being provided within specific lab areas, as well as more public meeting areas around the building. There are also several conference rooms that can be scheduled for group meetings. A new 80 seat (estimate of capacity) classroom is being created at STC. This size classroom is becoming more of a necessity and is not currently available in PKI. The Durham School and Civil Engineering Department are also placing student offices, labs, and classes in STC. Therefore engineering will have a large, multidisciplinary presence in STC. Engineering Student Services (ESS) is going to place some of the support staff in STC so that students can meet with ESS in either building. ESS already has plans for 2016-17 events in STC and has included STC as part of co-located activities formerly available only at PKI. The ECE Department office and faculty offices will remain in PKI.

Specific to ECE, I want to confirm to you that we are not modifying the program requirements for any of the three degrees, so you can expect to have the same laboratory requirements as have existed for the past few years. We are, however, creating a new lab area that has a layout very different than you are accustomed to experiencing in PKI. As part of this innovative lab space, new video equipment will be used along with a new robotic system for experimentation (being delivered for installation soon). Drs. Nguyen and Sharif are leading the design activity for this new space. It should be quite an addition to our existing lab offerings and provide new opportunities for creative experimentation. The senior design lab will move to STC into a larger space that includes an area for group meetings and study and work space. There is also a separate area for new storage lockers (a few steps away from the meeting space) and a separate kitchen space that will have a refrigerator, microwave, etc., for the senior students’ use. Also, the seniors will have a lab space of their own, with a bench holding new equipment available for each design team. Specialty equipment (e.g., high-frequency analyzers, etc.) for senior design will also be housed in the new lab room.

As new developments or milestones are reached I will update you on the progress. Please check the department webpage for updates and news. If you have other questions or concerns, let me know. I may be reached easily by e-mail at jhudgins2@unl.edu, or by telephone at 402-554-2288.

Dr. Jerry L. Hudgins,
Professor and Chair