May 31, 2013 by STAFF REPORT
The largest investment in the University of Windsor’s history, the $112-million Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation (CEI), was unveiled to the public on Friday at the official grand opening ceremony.
Open to students since September 2012, the 300,000 sq. ft. building houses leading-edge research, innovative projects and many of the top engineering minds in Canada.
The building features the iDesign studio and iFactory reconfigurable manufacturing lab, the BMO Collaborative Learning Forum, a 350-seat auditorium and an industrial courtyard for joint industry-university research projects.
There is also more than 80 teaching and research laboratories, eight classrooms, a dozen student-meeting rooms and 300 computer workstations.
The CEI is a major step for the university and the Windsor-Essex region, said Alan Wildeman, president of the University of Windsor.
“The Centre for Engineering Innovation provides our students with an extraordinary facility within which to learn and to see engineering in action,” said Wildeman. “It provides laboratories and research facilities where emerging priorities such as environmental sustainability, alternative energy, nanostructure, lighter materials and more efficient manufacturing systems can be addressed.”
Funding for construction of the building came from a number of sources including $40 million from the government of Ontario, with matching funds from the federal government, $5.3 million was raised at a roast to pay tribute to Ed Lumley the school’s chancellor, and a $2.5 million gift from the BMO Financial Group to fund the BMO Collaborative Learning Forum.
Lumley said the building is designed to promote creativity, collaboration, practical know-how, and it ensures engineering students and graduates are equipped with the tools they need to compete in the global market.
“Innovation is a priority ingredient in productivity, and productivity is the key to our economic prosperity. This facility provides an outstanding foundation for faculty researchers and industry alike,” said Lumley. “The industrial courtyard is key to these collaborative opportunities and gives industry a unique opportunity to work directly with the grassroots ideas and innovative thinking emerging researchers and students have to offer.”