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University of Calgary officially opens upgraded engineering complex

Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex unveiled to the public

From left: Bill Peterson, senior vice-president, Development Operations from Canadian Natural Resources Limited; Marlin Schmidt, minister of Advanced Education; Bill Rosehart, dean of the Schulich School of Engineering; Elizabeth Cannon, president of the University of Calgary; Reg Crowshoe, Piikani Blackfoot Elder and University of Calgary senator; and Manpreet Deol, second-year engineering student, prepare to cut the ribbon to officially open the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex on Nov. 15, 2016. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

The expansion phase of the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary is now complete with the $174 million Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex officially opened on Tuesday, November 15.

The Government of Alberta and Government of Canada came together with Canadian Natural Resources Limited and community partners to create valuable new space for teaching, learning and research. This renovation and expansion project is seen as a significant advancement for the future of this province and this country.

 “I wish to thank our provincial and federal governments whose support for this project represents a direct investment in our students, our university and our city,” says Elizabeth Cannon, president of the University of Calgary. “Thanks to their vision and that of our donors - including Canadian Natural Resources Limited and Seymour Schulich - we can continue to develop engineers whose innovative, solutions-based thinking is vital to developing our economy and society.”

Highlights of the expansion

This expansion and renovation project adds 18,300 square metres to the engineering complex and renovations to an additional 11,000 square metres of existing space within the Schulich School of Engineering. It provides capacity for up to 400 additional engineering students. The building opened to students in September 2016 featuring new study spaces, two floors of research labs and an expanded student lounge. The engineering expansion also includes interactive design labs to foster hands-on learning and practical skills to help students develop new inventions, conceive start-up companies or create inspiring technologies.

Strong support from the Government of Alberta, the Government of Canada and the philanthropic community, including a notable gift from Canadian Natural Resources Limited, made this project possible.

 “Education is the cornerstone of a healthy economy, which is why our government is proud to support post-secondary institutions as they prepare Albertans for success. The expansion of this facility will provide the best opportunities for Alberta’s students to prosper in a changing economy because good jobs begin with a good education,” said Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education.

Strengthening Canada as a global centre for innovation

“The Government of Canada is pleased to be able to contribute to the expansion and renovation of the engineering complex at the University of Calgary. These infrastructure investments will create good, well-paying jobs that can help the middle class grow and prosper today, while also delivering sustained economic growth for years to come. Through the Strategic Investment Fund, we are strengthening the foundation for building Canada into a global centre for innovation,” said Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.

In keeping with the university’s commitment to sustainability, a top priority for the project was to strive for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by using the latest energy saving technologies. This building also preserves aspects of the university’s 50-year history by incorporating features such as the original 1960s staircase and using some former exterior walls as interior walls within the complex.

Steve Laut, president of Canadian Natural Resources Limited said contributing to the engineering complex was an important way to help to ensure the Calgary community stays vibrant, regardless of the economic climate.

“The new complex makes a great engineering school that much better,” says Laut. “It enhances the learning environment for world-class researchers and for the students to find practical and creative solutions to complex problems. These are solutions that will not only benefit industries like oil and natural gas, but are solutions that can be shared with sectors across Canada and around the world.”

Benefits extend beyond oil and natural gas sectors

The expanded engineering complex was designed to help meet Alberta’s long term need for engineers in the coming decades including emerging fields such as clean energy technology.

“This renovation and expansion allows us to transform engineering education and research at the University of Calgary,” said Bill Rosehart, dean of the Schulich School of Engineering. “We can improve the quality of education our students receive with more hands-on learning spaces. And we can build on our strengths as leading researchers with some of the most collaborative research labs in the country. This expansion is going to make everyone at the Schulich School of Engineering better able to reach their full potential.”

While the new building opened in the fall of 2016, engineering complex renovations will continue into 2017, creating even more innovative spaces for engineering students and researchers.

University of Calgary officially opens upgraded engineering complex

  • President Cannon and Dean Bill Rosehart pose with engineering students while celebrating the official opening of the new Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex.
     President Cannon and Dean Bill Rosehart pose with engineering students while celebrating the official opening of the new Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex.
  • Guests gather in the great hall for the official opening of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex on November 15.
     Guests gather in the great hall for the official opening of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex on November 15.
  • Schulich faculty members Associate Professor Milana Trifkovic (left) and Associate Dean (Research) Jocelyn Grozic take part in celebrations of the official opening of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex.
     Schulich faculty members Associate Professor Milana Trifkovic (left) and Associate Dean (Research) Jocelyn Grozic take part in celebrations of the official opening of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex.
  • Schulich Soundstage musicians perform as guests enter for the official opening of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex.
     Schulich Soundstage musicians perform as guests enter for the official opening of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex.
  • Students gather to celebrate the official opening of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex on November 15.
     Students gather to celebrate the official opening of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex on November 15.
  • Artist Mandy Stobo, whose father was a graduate of the University of Calgary's engineering program, creates a painting showcasing the importance of the new Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex to the City of Calgary during the official opening ceremonies.
     Artist Mandy Stobo, whose father was a graduate of the University of Calgary's engineering program, creates a painting showcasing the importance of the new Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex to the City of Calgary during the official opening ceremonies.
  • Guest are arriving for the official opening of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex on November 15.
     Guest are arriving for the official opening of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex on November 15.
  • Dancers from Platinum Performing Arts entertain as guests arrive.
     Dancers from Platinum Performing Arts entertain as guests arrive.
  • Manpreet Deol, second-year mechanical engineering student and Schulich Leader scholarship winner, shared how the newly opened engineering renovation and expansion is already helping her learn more effectively and that it makes her want to come to class everyday.
     Manpreet Deol, second-year mechanical engineering student and Schulich Leader scholarship winner, shared how the newly opened engineering renovation and expansion is already helping her learn more effectively and that it makes her want to come to class everyday.
  • Reg Crowshoe, Piikani Blackfoot Elder and University of Calgary Senator, offered a blessing for the new building from Treaty 7 First Nation.
     Reg Crowshoe, Piikani Blackfoot Elder and University of Calgary Senator, offered a blessing for the new building from Treaty 7 First Nation.
  • More than 250 people, including engineering students, faculty, staff and honoured guests, gathered to celebrate the official opening of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex.
     More than 250 people, including engineering students, faculty, staff and honoured guests, gathered to celebrate the official opening of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex.
  • President Elizabeth Cannon shares how this building has been a "labour of love" for many who have spent years to help the project become a reality.
     President Elizabeth Cannon shares how this building has been a "labour of love" for many who have spent years to help the project become a reality.
  • Dean Bill Rosehart explains how the engineering renovation and expansion project will help students, faculty and staff within the Schulich School of Engineering better reach their full potential.
     Dean Bill Rosehart explains how the engineering renovation and expansion project will help students, faculty and staff within the Schulich School of Engineering better reach their full potential.
  • Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt offers remarks on behalf of the Government of Alberta around their support for this innovative new teaching and research space.
     Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt offers remarks on behalf of the Government of Alberta around their support for this innovative new teaching and research space.
  • Bill Peterson, Senior Vice President, Development Operations from Canadian Natural Resources Limited speaks about the historic gift to the University of Calgary to support the future of engineering in Canada.
     Bill Peterson, Senior Vice President, Development Operations from Canadian Natural Resources Limited speaks about the historic gift to the University of Calgary to support the future of engineering in Canada.
  • (Left to right) Bill Peterson, Senior Vice President, Development Operations from Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education, Bill Rosehart, Dean of the Schulich School of Engineering, Elizabeth Cannon, President of the University of Calgary, Reg Crowshoe Piikani Blackfoot Elder and University of Calgary Senator, and Manpreet Deol, second-year engineering student, prepare to cut the ribbon to officially open the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex.
     (Left to right) Bill Peterson, Senior Vice President, Development Operations from Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education, Bill Rosehart, Dean of the Schulich School of Engineering, Elizabeth Cannon, President of the University of Calgary, Reg Crowshoe Piikani Blackfoot Elder and University of Calgary Senator, and Manpreet Deol, second-year engineering student, prepare to cut the ribbon to officially open the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex.
  • Engineering students hold up remnants of a giant ribbon after the official opening of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex opening celebration.
     Engineering students hold up remnants of a giant ribbon after the official opening of the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex opening celebration.
  • Team Zeus answers questions about their electronic bike as part of a student showcase.
     Team Zeus answers questions about their electronic bike as part of a student showcase.
  • Schulich Racing team members show off their vehicle for guests as part of a student showcase.
     Schulich Racing team members show off their vehicle for guests as part of a student showcase.
  • Schulich School of Engineering students, faculty and staff created sculptures from non-perishable food items as part of the official opening ceremonies. The food will be donated to the Students' Union Food Bank and the Veterans Food Bank.
     Schulich School of Engineering students, faculty and staff created sculptures from non-perishable food items as part of the official opening ceremonies. The food will be donated to the Students' Union Food Bank and the Veterans Food Bank.
  • Schulich School of Engineering students, faculty and staff created sculptures from non-perishable food items as part of the official opening ceremonies. The food will be donated to the Students' Union Food Bank and the Veterans Food Bank.
     Schulich School of Engineering students, faculty and staff created sculptures from non-perishable food items as part of the official opening ceremonies. The food will be donated to the Students' Union Food Bank and the Veterans Food Bank.