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Submitted by lisa.jeannet on Mon, 11/14/2016 - 2:39pm

As the University of Calgary celebrates 50 years of transformation, innovation and impact, the new Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex at the Schulich School of Engineering sets the stage for our next half-century of engineering excellence. Officially opened November 15, 2016, this $174 million facility is a testament to the power of what we can achieve when we all work together.

Check out recent videos about the project

From the Ground Up

Introducing the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex

Engineering is Evolving

It will help us educate the leaders of tomorrow and foster research programs that stimulate change within industry and society

Energizing Innovation

Eleven graduates from the chemical engineering class of 1980, reunited to give back to UCalgary

Engineering complex built block by block

Story by Lisha Hassanali

2016 marks 50 years of the University of Calgary being part of this vibrant, energetic city and we have a great deal to celebrate. Since our humblebeginnings we’ve experienced exponential growth over the past five decades, which have transformed our campus. The engineering complex was one of the first buildings on the main campus and was built in several phases. The complex continues to change as part of the Schulich School of Engineering Expansion and Renovation Project. Often referred to as one of the most complicated buildings on campus, the Engineering Complex is made up of a series of connected buildings called blocks. Famously, the complex had several hallways that lead to a dead end, bathrooms stalls scrawled with equations, and a mysterious door in the middle of a wall, three stories up, affectionately known as the “door to nowhere.”

Building Blocks A to F

In 1983, an aerial view of the University of Calgary campus featuring Engineering Blocks A to F. UARC98.127_200.02
Located on the northwest quadrant of campus, the original buildings were no higher than three storeys, faced on their long dimensions with a unique basket weave appearance of precast concrete panels. The complex was built in several phases starting with the E block opening in 1964, while A, B, C, and D block were finished in the next four years. The F block was the last addition in 1982.

The growth of the complex matched the explosive growth of the engineering school at the University of Calgary.

In 2014, the most recent expansion and renovation of the Schulich School of Engineering complex in progress. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
Complex adds Block G

Over the years, the complex underwent major renovations to upgrade spaces with a focus on improving the safety, quality and environment for students, faculty and staff. More recently, the series of interconnected buildings is seeing dramatic changes as part of the Schulich School of Engineering Expansion and Renovation Project, which includes approximately 18,300 square metres of new space and renovations to more than 11,000 square metres of existing space. The school welcomes the addition of Engineering Block G, building on its proud history.

 “We are excited to grow engineering education and research innovation on campus,” says Bill Rosehart, dean of the Schulich School of Engineering. “The expansion will mean more collaborative spaces, state-of-the-art labs and equipment while optimizing space in the entire complex.”

On Nov. 15, the Schulich School of Engineering will officially open the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex. Existing spaces within the engineering complex have been transformed with new, state-of-the-art spaces added for teaching, learning and research. The expansion will bring the University of Calgary closer to its Eyes High goal of becoming one of the top five research universities in Canada.

See more archival photos capturing the transformation on campus on the 50th Anniversary website. Poke around, you’ll also find videos, personal stories and fascinating facts about our university’s journey — contribute your own story there and remember to share it with your friends and family using the hashtag #ucalgary50.

New complex transforms engineering education and research

Story by Lisha Hassanali

The Schulich School of Engineering has a new home on campus, launching a new era in engineering education and research excellence. The Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex opened to students in the fall of 2016 and includes two new 240-seat theatres, additional classrooms, labs, workrooms and research space.

At a cost of $174 million, the expansion project adds approximately 18,300 square metres of new space and 11,100 square metres of renovations to the existing engineering complex.

“This expansion will make the Schulich School of Engineering a centre of excellence for collaborative teaching, learning and engineering research,” says Bill Rosehart, dean of the Schulich School of Engineering.

Investing in students

The complex has increased study space for engineering students with an expanded student lounge. In addition, new undergraduate design labs will foster practical skills to help students develop new inventions, conceive start up companies or create inspiring technologies.

Second-year mechanical engineering student Manpreet Deol sees the new building as a centre for encouraging collaboration and building community. She also values the Schulich School’s emphasis on individualized learning and teamwork over traditional lecturing.

“On my first day of school this year I entered the ENG 24 room for my statistics lecture and was immediately surprised by the setup,” shares Deol, a Schulich Leader scholarship recipient. “It was far from a conventional lecture hall and more of a group space with an array of tables and whiteboards. I was thrilled. “

The complex features a social staircase that will act as a central hub for the engineering school, to host community outreach and to provide additional student study space.

Connecting the complex

One of the key goals of the expansion and renovation project was to link together the complex allowing people to move through Blocks A to F and the new Block G more easily. There was a deliberate focus on introducing natural light and a feeling of openness throughout the building.

“We created views into labs and offices,” says Anne Underwood, architect, Campus Architecture. “Before, walking along the corridors, you had no idea what was going on in the rooms you passed and no idea where you were in relation to the rest of the complex. Now you can see into spaces where students and faculty are learning, studying and actively engaged in lab activities while also having great views out into the surrounding campus. It’s inspiring.”

This building also preserves aspects of the school’s 50-year history by incorporating features such as the original 1960s staircase and using some of the former exterior walls as interior walls in the complex.

Research Innovation

New research spaces will include two new floors of labs to support leading-edge research into areas such as clean energy technology and renewable energy resources.

“The addition of state-of-the-art research faculties will further support problem-based research relevant to Calgary, Alberta and beyond,” says Rosehart.

A new space, lab upgrades and high-end equipment will energize research possibilities for Jocelyn Grozic. The civil engineering professor and associate dean (research) for the Schulich School has been working in labs dispersed across the complex. The expansion allows for a highly functional dedicated space for her research bringing together labs, post-doc researchers and graduate students into one area.

“We are thriving by being one location,” says Grozic. “The new integrative environment enriches team dynamics, nurtures idea generation and supports all of us as we tackle research challenges in search of solutions.”

Stepping into the future

Renovations to the engineering complex continue into 2017 creating even more spaces for students. There will be new workshops where student teams and clubs can design and build solar cars, concrete toboggans, electric motorcycles and other projects to support participating in national and international competitions.

Also under construction, a new and expanded student services centre will include the Engineering Students Centre and the Engineering Career Centre – allowing students to have their academic and career questions answered in one location.

“We are focused on student success and on providing quality hands-on lab and design experiences,” says Rosehart. “This project gives us the space to offer an enriched learning environment inside and outside the classroom.”

Largest corporate donation in University of Calgary’s history

Story by Jacquie Moore

In the 21st-century economy, innovative thinking – that is, problem-solving rooted in creativity, collaboration and informed courage — rules the day. Given that we’ve just described the heart of engineering, it won’t come as a surprise that one of Canada’s leading petroleum companies has forged ahead to help build a hub designed to unleash and invigorate such thinking in the next generation of engineers.  

In 2013, Canadian Natural Resources Limited announced the single largest corporate donation in the University of Calgary’s history. On November 15, 2016, tangible, transformative proof of the significance of their contribution was revealed with the opening of the renovated, expanded and newly named Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex.

Steve Laut is president of Canadian Natural Resources Limited and a University of Calgary mechanical engineering alumnus BSc(Eng)’79. He’s watched with pride as construction has progressed on the expansion that adds more than 18,000 square metres of state-of-the art teaching and learning space to the Schulich School of Engineering, and that will add capacity for 400 more undergraduate and graduate students.

“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.”

From Canadian Natural’s perspective, philanthropic giving is more important now than ever to ensure the community stays strong and vibrant, says Laut.

 “The oil and gas sector may be facing economic challenges but we’ve faced them before and always come back more resilient – and if you have a highly educated work force, then you have a strong community,” he adds.

University of Calgary president and vice-chancellor Elizabeth Cannon echoes Canadian Natural Resource Limited’s philosophy, which aligns with priorities of Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High, to both unleash potential student experiences, and build and strengthen community connections.

“This significant gift from Canadian Natural Resources Limited represents an exciting new chapter in the Schulich School of Engineering’s evolution as a leader in learning, teaching and research,” says President Cannon. “Coupled with the community support we received from our many generous donors, their gift helps move the University of Calgary toward its Eyes High goals. I want to sincerely thank Canadian Natural Resources Limited and all of our generous donors.”

The Schulich School of Engineering Expansion and Renovation Project, for which the new Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex will serve as the hub for teaching and research into a variety of engineering disciplines, is also generously supported by funds from the provincial and federal governments, as well individual philanthropic gifts.

“We have world-class engineering researchers working to solve some of society’s greatest challenges, and academic leaders helping shape the next generation of engineers, who will all benefit from this new building. This project wouldn’t exist without the overwhelming community support we continue to receive,” said Schulich School of Engineering dean Bill Rosehart. “Our philanthropic community has rallied around us because of their vision and support for the future of engineering education and research.”

About Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High

Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High is the University of Calgary’s most ambitious fundraising campaign to date. Funds raised through the campaign will support student experiences, research outcomes and community connections. Together we are fueling transformational change for the University of Calgary, our city, and beyond—inspiring discovery, creativity and innovation for generations to come. Formally launched in April 2016, the campaign is more than halfway to its overall goal of $1.3 billion. 

ucalgary.ca/campaign

Chemical Engineering Class of 1980 friends help the next generation

Story by Jacquie Moore

Back when hair was large, jeans were acid-washed and Walkmans were gnarly, a group of newly minted engineers from the University of Calgary made a tacit pact to stick together. They were part of the 40-strong graduating class of 1980’s Chemical Engineering program and, 36 years later, their friendships are not only intact, but their collective drive and passion has made a meaningful difference to their alma mater and beyond.

This week, the Schulich School of Engineering will open its doors to a newly renovated and expanded hub for teaching, learning and research. The $174 million, state-of-the-art complex will enable experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, and encourage collaboration, mentorship and entrepreneurial thinking in a variety of student-oriented spaces, labs and an expanded Career Centre. Design and construction of the project was funded by government, corporate and individual donations, including a significant gift from the aforementioned group of devoted alumni.

Dave Foo, Rick Jensen, Kim Joslin, Bruce Standing, Don Woods, Donald Wong, Kenneth Hall, Wayne Sim, Kelly Edwards, James Beckie and Barbara McDonald met when they shared classes and study space in the late 1970s as they pursued degrees in chemical engineering. While they no doubt had moments of fun as classmates, Jensen says it was a mutual striving that drew them close and, nearly four decades later, continues to bind them.

“There was a shared desire to work hard and make a mark in the world, combined with a unique blending of personality types,” says Jensen. “There’s also always been a feeling that we’ve hung together and supported one another like family – that theme really permeated the classroom.” Jensen and various members of his cohort have since gathered a few times every year for lunches, supporting charity runs and other events.

When classmate Wayne Sim approached Jensen and the others asking about making a philanthropic gift to support the new complex, the idea quickly snowballed.

“A lot of us have sons and daughters who have attended the University of Calgary, some of us are thinking about our grandchildren’s futures, and we’ve all benefited from the university,” says Jensen. “It was a natural fit to make this kind of contribution.”

Jensen and his friends are well aware of how much more complicated the world of engineering has become in terms of technical challenges, regulations, awareness and observance of environmental compliance, etc., since they graduated. All of that means that, these days, the most successful engineers and engineering students are those who, he believes, have a broader perspective and are able to evolve their abilities in different ways rather than just sticking strictly to the discipline.

The Class of 1980’s contribution to the Schulich School’s transformative new complex is lasting, practical proof of the group’s belief that dynamic teaching, hands-on learning and creative collaboration are key to developing engineers capable of solving complex problems that will benefit Alberta and the world. It is proof, too, that an engineering classroom is a pretty good place to make life-long friends. 

About Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High

Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High is the University of Calgary’s most ambitious fundraising campaign to date. Funds raised through the campaign will support student experiences, research outcomes and community connections. Together we are fueling transformational change for the University of Calgary, our city, and beyond—inspiring discovery, creativity and innovation for generations to come. Formally launched in April 2016, the campaign is more than halfway to its overall goal of $1.3 billion. 

ucalgary.ca/campaign

Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex Facts

  • This project involves approximately 18,300 square metres of new space and 11,100 square metres of renovations to the existing engineering complex.
  • The new building opened to students in the fall of 2016 with expanded student study spaces.
  • The renovation and expansion cost $174 million.
  • The facility provides capacity for 400 additional engineering students.
  • The project features enhanced learning spaces including two new 240-seat theatres – one of which can be reconfigured to fit the learning needs of students.
  • New undergraduate design labs will foster practical skills to help students develop new inventions, conceive start-up companies or create inspiring technologies.
  • Two new floors of research labs will support leading-edge research into areas such as clean energy technology and renewable energy resources.
  • An expanded student lounge provides increased study space for engineering students.
  • A social staircase will act as a central hub for the engineering school, for community outreach and to provide additional study space.
  • Projected energy savings from the engineering complex are enough to power 100 Calgary homes for a year.
  • Recycled 4044.63 metric tonnes of waste from landfill, 89.92 per cent of all building materials.
  • This project provided 920,000 hours of employment for more than 400 individuals.
  • This building also preserves aspects of our 50-year history by incorporating features such as the 1960s staircase or using some former exterior walls as interior walls in the complex.

University of Calgary officially opens upgraded engineering complex

Story by UToday

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.

Engineering complex built block by block

Story by Lisha Hassanali

2016 marks 50 years of the University of Calgary being part of this vibrant, energetic city and we have a great deal to celebrate. Since our humblebeginnings we’ve experienced exponential growth over the past five decades, which have transformed our campus. The engineering complex was one of the first buildings on the main campus and was built in several phases. The complex continues to change as part of the Schulich School of Engineering Expansion and Renovation Project. Often referred to as one of the most complicated buildings on campus, the Engineering Complex is made up of a series of connected buildings called blocks. Famously, the complex had several hallways that lead to a dead end, bathrooms stalls scrawled with equations, and a mysterious door in the middle of a wall, three stories up, affectionately known as the “door to nowhere.”

Building Blocks A to F

In 1983, an aerial view of the University of Calgary campus featuring Engineering Blocks A to F. UARC98.127_200.02
Located on the northwest quadrant of campus, the original buildings were no higher than three storeys, faced on their long dimensions with a unique basket weave appearance of precast concrete panels. The complex was built in several phases starting with the E block opening in 1964, while A, B, C, and D block were finished in the next four years. The F block was the last addition in 1982.

The growth of the complex matched the explosive growth of the engineering school at the University of Calgary.

In 2014, the most recent expansion and renovation of the Schulich School of Engineering complex in progress. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
Complex adds Block G

Over the years, the complex underwent major renovations to upgrade spaces with a focus on improving the safety, quality and environment for students, faculty and staff. More recently, the series of interconnected buildings is seeing dramatic changes as part of the Schulich School of Engineering Expansion and Renovation Project, which includes approximately 18,300 square metres of new space and renovations to more than 11,000 square metres of existing space. The school welcomes the addition of Engineering Block G, building on its proud history.

 “We are excited to grow engineering education and research innovation on campus,” says Bill Rosehart, dean of the Schulich School of Engineering. “The expansion will mean more collaborative spaces, state-of-the-art labs and equipment while optimizing space in the entire complex.”

On Nov. 15, the Schulich School of Engineering will officially open the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex. Existing spaces within the engineering complex have been transformed with new, state-of-the-art spaces added for teaching, learning and research. The expansion will bring the University of Calgary closer to its Eyes High goal of becoming one of the top five research universities in Canada.

See more archival photos capturing the transformation on campus on the 50th Anniversary website. Poke around, you’ll also find videos, personal stories and fascinating facts about our university’s journey — contribute your own story there and remember to share it with your friends and family using the hashtag #ucalgary50.

New complex transforms engineering education and research

Story by Lisha Hassanali

The Schulich School of Engineering has a new home on campus, launching a new era in engineering education and research excellence. The Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex opened to students in the fall of 2016 and includes two new 240-seat theatres, additional classrooms, labs, workrooms and research space.

At a cost of $174 million, the expansion project adds approximately 18,300 square metres of new space and 11,100 square metres of renovations to the existing engineering complex.

“This expansion will make the Schulich School of Engineering a centre of excellence for collaborative teaching, learning and engineering research,” says Bill Rosehart, dean of the Schulich School of Engineering.

Investing in students

The complex has increased study space for engineering students with an expanded student lounge. In addition, new undergraduate design labs will foster practical skills to help students develop new inventions, conceive start up companies or create inspiring technologies.

Second-year mechanical engineering student Manpreet Deol sees the new building as a centre for encouraging collaboration and building community. She also values the Schulich School’s emphasis on individualized learning and teamwork over traditional lecturing.

“On my first day of school this year I entered the ENG 24 room for my statistics lecture and was immediately surprised by the setup,” shares Deol, a Schulich Leader scholarship recipient. “It was far from a conventional lecture hall and more of a group space with an array of tables and whiteboards. I was thrilled. “

The complex features a social staircase that will act as a central hub for the engineering school, to host community outreach and to provide additional student study space.

Connecting the complex

One of the key goals of the expansion and renovation project was to link together the complex allowing people to move through Blocks A to F and the new Block G more easily. There was a deliberate focus on introducing natural light and a feeling of openness throughout the building.

“We created views into labs and offices,” says Anne Underwood, architect, Campus Architecture. “Before, walking along the corridors, you had no idea what was going on in the rooms you passed and no idea where you were in relation to the rest of the complex. Now you can see into spaces where students and faculty are learning, studying and actively engaged in lab activities while also having great views out into the surrounding campus. It’s inspiring.”

This building also preserves aspects of the school’s 50-year history by incorporating features such as the original 1960s staircase and using some of the former exterior walls as interior walls in the complex.

Research Innovation

New research spaces will include two new floors of labs to support leading-edge research into areas such as clean energy technology and renewable energy resources.

“The addition of state-of-the-art research faculties will further support problem-based research relevant to Calgary, Alberta and beyond,” says Rosehart.

A new space, lab upgrades and high-end equipment will energize research possibilities for Jocelyn Grozic. The civil engineering professor and associate dean (research) for the Schulich School has been working in labs dispersed across the complex. The expansion allows for a highly functional dedicated space for her research bringing together labs, post-doc researchers and graduate students into one area.

“We are thriving by being one location,” says Grozic. “The new integrative environment enriches team dynamics, nurtures idea generation and supports all of us as we tackle research challenges in search of solutions.”

Stepping into the future

Renovations to the engineering complex continue into 2017 creating even more spaces for students. There will be new workshops where student teams and clubs can design and build solar cars, concrete toboggans, electric motorcycles and other projects to support participating in national and international competitions.

Also under construction, a new and expanded student services centre will include the Engineering Students Centre and the Engineering Career Centre – allowing students to have their academic and career questions answered in one location.

“We are focused on student success and on providing quality hands-on lab and design experiences,” says Rosehart. “This project gives us the space to offer an enriched learning environment inside and outside the classroom.”

Largest corporate donation in University of Calgary’s history

Story by Jacquie Moore

In the 21st-century economy, innovative thinking – that is, problem-solving rooted in creativity, collaboration and informed courage — rules the day. Given that we’ve just described the heart of engineering, it won’t come as a surprise that one of Canada’s leading petroleum companies has forged ahead to help build a hub designed to unleash and invigorate such thinking in the next generation of engineers.  

In 2013, Canadian Natural Resources Limited announced the single largest corporate donation in the University of Calgary’s history. On November 15, 2016, tangible, transformative proof of the significance of their contribution was revealed with the opening of the renovated, expanded and newly named Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex.

Steve Laut is president of Canadian Natural Resources Limited and a University of Calgary mechanical engineering alumnus BSc(Eng)’79. He’s watched with pride as construction has progressed on the expansion that adds more than 18,000 square metres of state-of-the art teaching and learning space to the Schulich School of Engineering, and that will add capacity for 400 more undergraduate and graduate students.

“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.”

From Canadian Natural’s perspective, philanthropic giving is more important now than ever to ensure the community stays strong and vibrant, says Laut.

 “The oil and gas sector may be facing economic challenges but we’ve faced them before and always come back more resilient – and if you have a highly educated work force, then you have a strong community,” he adds.

University of Calgary president and vice-chancellor Elizabeth Cannon echoes Canadian Natural Resource Limited’s philosophy, which aligns with priorities of Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High, to both unleash potential student experiences, and build and strengthen community connections.

“This significant gift from Canadian Natural Resources Limited represents an exciting new chapter in the Schulich School of Engineering’s evolution as a leader in learning, teaching and research,” says President Cannon. “Coupled with the community support we received from our many generous donors, their gift helps move the University of Calgary toward its Eyes High goals. I want to sincerely thank Canadian Natural Resources Limited and all of our generous donors.”

The Schulich School of Engineering Expansion and Renovation Project, for which the new Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex will serve as the hub for teaching and research into a variety of engineering disciplines, is also generously supported by funds from the provincial and federal governments, as well individual philanthropic gifts.

“We have world-class engineering researchers working to solve some of society’s greatest challenges, and academic leaders helping shape the next generation of engineers, who will all benefit from this new building. This project wouldn’t exist without the overwhelming community support we continue to receive,” said Schulich School of Engineering dean Bill Rosehart. “Our philanthropic community has rallied around us because of their vision and support for the future of engineering education and research.”

About Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High

Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High is the University of Calgary’s most ambitious fundraising campaign to date. Funds raised through the campaign will support student experiences, research outcomes and community connections. Together we are fueling transformational change for the University of Calgary, our city, and beyond—inspiring discovery, creativity and innovation for generations to come. Formally launched in April 2016, the campaign is more than halfway to its overall goal of $1.3 billion. 

ucalgary.ca/campaign

Chemical Engineering Class of 1980 friends help the next generation

Story by Jacquie Moore

Back when hair was large, jeans were acid-washed and Walkmans were gnarly, a group of newly minted engineers from the University of Calgary made a tacit pact to stick together. They were part of the 40-strong graduating class of 1980’s Chemical Engineering program and, 36 years later, their friendships are not only intact, but their collective drive and passion has made a meaningful difference to their alma mater and beyond.

This week, the Schulich School of Engineering will open its doors to a newly renovated and expanded hub for teaching, learning and research. The $174 million, state-of-the-art complex will enable experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, and encourage collaboration, mentorship and entrepreneurial thinking in a variety of student-oriented spaces, labs and an expanded Career Centre. Design and construction of the project was funded by government, corporate and individual donations, including a significant gift from the aforementioned group of devoted alumni.

Dave Foo, Rick Jensen, Kim Joslin, Bruce Standing, Don Woods, Donald Wong, Kenneth Hall, Wayne Sim, Kelly Edwards, James Beckie and Barbara McDonald met when they shared classes and study space in the late 1970s as they pursued degrees in chemical engineering. While they no doubt had moments of fun as classmates, Jensen says it was a mutual striving that drew them close and, nearly four decades later, continues to bind them.

“There was a shared desire to work hard and make a mark in the world, combined with a unique blending of personality types,” says Jensen. “There’s also always been a feeling that we’ve hung together and supported one another like family – that theme really permeated the classroom.” Jensen and various members of his cohort have since gathered a few times every year for lunches, supporting charity runs and other events.

When classmate Wayne Sim approached Jensen and the others asking about making a philanthropic gift to support the new complex, the idea quickly snowballed.

“A lot of us have sons and daughters who have attended the University of Calgary, some of us are thinking about our grandchildren’s futures, and we’ve all benefited from the university,” says Jensen. “It was a natural fit to make this kind of contribution.”

Jensen and his friends are well aware of how much more complicated the world of engineering has become in terms of technical challenges, regulations, awareness and observance of environmental compliance, etc., since they graduated. All of that means that, these days, the most successful engineers and engineering students are those who, he believes, have a broader perspective and are able to evolve their abilities in different ways rather than just sticking strictly to the discipline.

The Class of 1980’s contribution to the Schulich School’s transformative new complex is lasting, practical proof of the group’s belief that dynamic teaching, hands-on learning and creative collaboration are key to developing engineers capable of solving complex problems that will benefit Alberta and the world. It is proof, too, that an engineering classroom is a pretty good place to make life-long friends. 

About Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High

Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High is the University of Calgary’s most ambitious fundraising campaign to date. Funds raised through the campaign will support student experiences, research outcomes and community connections. Together we are fueling transformational change for the University of Calgary, our city, and beyond—inspiring discovery, creativity and innovation for generations to come. Formally launched in April 2016, the campaign is more than halfway to its overall goal of $1.3 billion. 

ucalgary.ca/campaign

Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex Facts
  • This project involves approximately 18,300 square metres of new space and 11,100 square metres of renovations to the existing engineering complex.
  • The new building opened to students in the fall of 2016 with expanded student study spaces.
  • The renovation and expansion cost $174 million.
  • The facility provides capacity for 400 additional engineering students.
  • The project features enhanced learning spaces including two new 240-seat theatres – one of which can be reconfigured to fit the learning needs of students.
  • New undergraduate design labs will foster practical skills to help students develop new inventions, conceive start-up companies or create inspiring technologies.
  • Two new floors of research labs will support leading-edge research into areas such as clean energy technology and renewable energy resources.
  • An expanded student lounge provides increased study space for engineering students.
  • A social staircase will act as a central hub for the engineering school, for community outreach and to provide additional study space.
  • Projected energy savings from the engineering complex are enough to power 100 Calgary homes for a year.
  • Recycled 4044.63 metric tonnes of waste from landfill, 89.92 per cent of all building materials.
  • This project provided 920,000 hours of employment for more than 400 individuals.
  • This building also preserves aspects of our 50-year history by incorporating features such as the 1960s staircase or using some former exterior walls as interior walls in the complex.
University of Calgary officially opens upgraded engineering complex

Story by UToday

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.