By Bill Kisliuk

UCLA leaders and prominent alumni gathered on Thursday to celebrate the new jewel of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, Engineering VI. The state-of-the-art center for engineering research and education is located in the heart of campus, immediately south of Ackerman Union.

Ribbon-cutting-350pxVijay K. Dhir, dean of the school, led a group of supporters who cut the ribbon for the first phase of the building, its north wing, and dug shovels into the nearby dirt to launch construction of the second and final phase. The 60,000-square-foot north wing is expected to be occupied in May, after being outfitted with research equipment and furniture. The 90,000-square-foot second phase is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2017.

Dhir said Engineering VI is “a building that the entire UCLA community can take great pride in, and it will be an anchor for innovation for decades to come.”

e6-350px-brennerThe building will house labs for research into renewable energy sources, next-generation semiconductors, nanotechnology, and new materials for healthcare and other applications, as well as the B. John Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences, and a technology-enabled 250-seat learning center. It will be home to the UCLA computer science department and the engineering school’s start-up incubator, the Institute for Technology Advancement.

Engineering VI was designed with advanced water- and energy-efficiency systems, and the school is seeking LEED Gold or LEED Platinum certification.

The $130 million building is being funded by donors, the engineering school and the UCLA campus. Donors have pledged or given $45 million for the building so far, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology made a $6 million grant.

e-Vi rendering-600pxUCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott L. Waugh said, “With this remarkable, new, thoroughly modern structure in place and with Phase II under way, the epicenter of barrier-breaking innovation will continue to be right here at UCLA Engineering.”

Richard Cavanagh, director of the special programs office for NIST, emphasized the importance of far-reaching research into renewable forms of energy and methods of reducing energy consumption. He said the Western Institute of Nanotechnology on Green Engineering and Metrology, a research center that will be housed in Engineering VI, is “a near and dear partner to what we want to see happen in this country.”

Participants in the ribbon cutting included Dean Dhir; UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor Waugh; NIST representative Cavanagh; UCLA Engineering Associate Dean Jane P. Chang; Henry Samueli ’75, MS ’76, PhD ’80; Sam Iacobellis MS ’63, representing Rockwell Collins; Jim Easton ’59 and Phyllis Easton; John Garrick MS ’62, PhD ’68 and Amelia Garrick; Lawrence E. Tannas Jr. ’59, MS ’61, and Carol Tannas, Parents ’85, MS ’88.