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The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

In the Loop

Classy digs

UTSA took another step on the road to national research university status in March when it dedicated its state-of-the-art Applied Engineering and Technology Building, designed to support world-class research and teaching in science and engineering.

ribbon-cutting ceremony

State Sen. Jeff Wentworth (from left), state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, UTSA President Ricardo Romo, state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, Bartell Zachry and UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa join in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The $82.5 million, 147,127-square-foot facility includes 87 faculty offices, 36 laboratories, five classrooms and several collaborative study niches. The ground floor includes classroom and laboratory space. Faculty from the College of Engineering’s departments of biomedical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering occupy laboratory and office space on the first and second floors. The College of Sciences’ Department of Physics and Astronomy occupies the building’s third floor.

Modern features characterize the four-story research building. In student study areas, whiteboards on wheels serve as privacy screens while enabling group discussions. Department meeting spaces are equipped with Internet-ready smart boards that can be hooked up to laptops and used to record and recall discussion notes. Classrooms feature glass fronts, contemporary furniture and state-of-the-art digital equipment. Even the building’s laboratory stools have been chosen because they provide the least amount of physical strain to researchers, who often work at laboratory benches for hours on end.

“The Applied Engineering and Technology Building is a dream come true for UTSA and our students,” said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. “As UTSA continues to evolve into a Tier One research university, technologically advanced facilities like the AET Building are crucial in supporting collaboration between students and faculty in both the laboratory and the classroom.”

The AET Building was designed by San Antonio architectural firm Garza-Bomberger, engineered by Austin-based HMG & Associates and constructed by general contractor Walbridge/Bartlett Cocke. UTSA alumni in engineering and architecture worked on the project, which was funded by Permanent University Funds and Tuition Revenue Bonds. In June, it was recognized by the San Antonio Business Journal for its interior design in the magazine’s annual Best in Commercial Real Estate Awards.

—Christi Fish

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