The College of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) at University of Colorado Colorado Springs enrolls more than 1,700 students and offers 23 engineering and computer science degrees, ranging from bachelor to doctoral. The college is a Department of Homeland Security / National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense and works closely with the National Cybersecurity Center and with more than 250 aerospace and defense, information technology, cybersecurity and engineering organizations in the Pikes Peak region. Enrollment for EAS has more than doubled since 2008 and this growth is likely to continue. In response to this expansive growth, the College of Engineering and Applied Science broke ground on the new Anschutz Engineering Center on Aug. 26 this year. Completion and occupancy of the building is slated for Jan. 2024.
The 24,000 square foot center will help accommodate growing numbers in the EAS college, demand for EAS graduates and the local business community’s desire for UCCS launching a new focus on Aerospace Engineering degrees, along with the increasing need for research and laboratory space. The building will also be a high-performance, energy-efficient facility designed to significantly reduce operating costs over its lifetime. It will also help serve the Colorado Springs community as the demand for engineers and computer scientists in the region’s workforce increases, with approximately 200 companies in the region alone seeking EAS graduates. “We’re creating extraordinary opportunities for students, and adding to the local workforce,” said Don Rabern, Dean of Engineering.
Several components are planned for the new space, with focus on laboratories, classrooms, conference spaces, offices, student support centers, and research spaces. The building is projected to be three stories and adjacent to the current engineering hall, along with providing access back and forth. The first floor will hold classrooms, a traditional computer lab, a Computer Pods Lab that better allows for working in teams and an impressive Space Systems Lab that passers-by will be able to view from large front windows. The second floor will focus on Aerospace engineering and research, and the third floor will concentrate on expanding capacity in Electrical and Computer engineering.
Funding for the project comes from The Anschutz Foundation, the CU Foundation and the CU President’s Fund, along with donated technology and sponsorship for the building’s rooms. “This wouldn’t be happening without The Anschutz Foundation, the President’s Office and engineering and cyber industry partners. The belief they have demonstrated in our ability to prepare tomorrow’s engineering leaders is humbling,” Rabern said. The center will allow students in EAS to gain hands-on experience with the same technology and machines the regional industry partners use in their buildings and processes, giving future graduates valuable training in the machinery and mechanics they will likely go on to use in their careers day-to-day.
The upcoming Anschutz Engineering Center is an investment not only into UCCS but also its students, faculty, industry partners and the future of Colorado.