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On March 6, 2024, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers gave final approval to fund a new College of Engineering building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“The approval of a new building for UW-Madison’s College of Engineering is a tremendous step forward for our campus, allowing us to educate about 1,000 additional undergraduates in engineering at a time when Wisconsin employers urgently need more engineers, and expanding our engineering faculty’s ability to do innovative, life-changing research,” says UW-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin.

In recognition of the college’s critical importance on campus, its research impact, and its contributions to the overall health and growth of Wisconsin’s economy, the building had been UW-Madison’s top priority, as well as that of the Universities of Wisconsin (formerly UW System).

Now it will add the safe, modern and flexible space the College of Engineering urgently needs to expand. It will be a catalyst for attracting additional top engineering faculty. It will expand hands-on learning environments for students. It will allow the college to aggressively pursue emerging research opportunities, coalesce around common challenges and goals, collaborate with industry partners, and create innovations that drive economic growth in our state and beyond.

Importantly, it will enable the college to accept, educate and graduate many more exceptional students as it strives to meet the burgeoning need for talented, creative engineers. Graduates of the state’s flagship engineering program are prepared not only to excel as members of the workforce, but also to be engineering leaders in companies, academia and government organizations worldwide.

Thanks to the Wisconsin legislature’s Assembly Bill 775, which designated $1 million for planning and design, concepts for the building are well underway. The architecturally striking facility will enhance the college’s visual prominence within the UW-Madison landscape and create a new, welcoming gateway to the engineering campus.

In seven stories above ground and one below, the new building will provide 395,000 gross square feet (approximately 211,000 assignable square feet) of adaptable space, with equal amounts dedicated to research and to active and engaged learning. It will span parts of the existing Engineering Mall and the space currently occupied by 1410 Engineering Drive (which will be demolished), and feature refreshed green space and indoor and outdoor gathering spaces.

Throughout the planning process, the building’s architecture and engineering firms—SmithGroup, Continuum Architects and Planners, and Ring & DuChateau—have focused on sustainability, incorporating aspects like energy-harvesting rooftop photovoltaics and a design that maximizes natural lighting. The building’s learning wing will feature mass timber construction and a green roof to manage stormwater and mitigate the urban heat island effect.

The $347 million facility will be funded through $150 million in private giving and $197 million from the state of Wisconsin.

Grainger Dean of the College of Engineering Ian Robertson says the building’s approval is an essential next step in the future of a college rooted in the Wisconsin Idea. “The College of Engineering has a long tradition of profound impact on generations of engineering students and on citizens in Wisconsin and around the globe,” says Robertson. “Through pioneering research and scores of additional graduates to meet a critical engineering workforce need, our new building will position the college to magnify this impact.”

Explore more, follow along with the building’s progress, and support the project at

Read Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin’s statement and the UW-Madison news story.

Featured image caption: Artist’s concept of the new building. Credit: Continuum SmithGroup.