Work begins on new engineering
By Charlotte Crystal
of Engineering and Applied Science broke ground on Sept. 25
for Wilsdorf Hall, a building that will bring researchers in materials
science, chemical engineering and nanotechnology under one roof.
building a $38.9 million, 99,000 gross-square-foot, five-story
structure that will link the Universitys materials science
and chemical engineering buildings will contain research
laboratories, faculty offices, conference rooms, computational
facilities and work-study areas.
bringing together researchers from different disciplines, this
building should encourage interdisciplinary research, especially
in the field of nanotechnology, one of the thrust areas outlined
in the Universitys Virginia 2020 planning initiatives,
said Richard Miksad, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied
Science. We expect these state-of-the-art facilities to
encourage new research initiatives that have been limited in the
past by the unavailability of laboratory space.
building will be named in honor of the late Heinz Wilsdorf, first
chairman of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
and his wife, Doris Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf, University professor of
drive to build Wilsdorf Hall gained momentum with a lead gift
from alumnus Gregory H. Olsen, who received his doctorate in materials
science from U.Va. Olsen is president and chief executive officer
of Sensors Unlimited Inc., a manufacturer of remote-sensing equipment
based in Princeton, N.J.
$15 million gift is the largest ever received by U.Va.s
Gregs vision and generosity will allow U.Va. to move
forward in these exciting and path-breaking fields of research,
said William A. Jesser, professor of materials science.
was Jessers first Ph.D. candidate, and his 1970 dissertation
on thin films of iron still sits on a shelf in Jessers office.
Olsen worked with RCA in Princeton before founding his own companies,
Epitaxx in 1984 and Sensors Unlimited in 1991.
family of singer Dave Matthews has contributed funds in honor
of the late John Matthews, Dave Matthews father, who pursued
postdoctoral research here with Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf.
funding was provided by the state bond issue, the Engineering
School and the University. A National Science Foundation grant
provided support for the Center for Nanoscopic Materials Design
to be housed in the building.
new building will be located directly to the west of the Universitys
materials science and chemical engineering buildings on McCormick
workers are currently moving underground utilities lines and plan
to begin building in February 2004. Construction is expected to
be finished in late fall 2005, with occupancy beginning in 2006.