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University of Waterloo approves $88-million engineering 7 building


The University of Waterloo’s Board of Governors approved the construction of the $88-million Engineering 7 (E7) building. The University’s Building and Properties Committee made the proposal for the 230,000-square-foot, seven-storey building to house Waterloo Engineering’s ongoing transformation of how it delivers education to students.

“As the University of Waterloo continues to emerge as one of the world’s top innovation universities, the construction of E7 will enable us to attract even more of the best and brightest students and faculty who will undertake their studies and research here,” says Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. “Nearly 8,500 undergraduate engineering students will engage in experiential education opportunities in E7, which will also provide space for faculty and graduate students to engage in a research portfolio of disruptive technologies.”

E7 will accommodate growth from the recently launched biomedical engineering program and the expansion of the Faculty of Engineering’s highly popular mechatronics engineering program. It will also house the Faculty’s new teaching innovation, the multidisciplinary Engineering Ideas Clinic, where undergraduate students starting from first year integrate classroom theory with hands-on learning as they design, build, test and refine ideas. The Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre will relocate to E7, where faculty and mentors will offer a new entrepreneurship option. The building will have dedicated study and social spaces for students, lecture halls and entrepreneurial support areas, along with areas for student teams to prototype their Capstone Design projects.

“With the construction of E7, Waterloo Engineering will graduate even more highly sought-after engineers while catalyzing more innovations, inspiring more entrepreneurs and supporting the next wave of high-impact research,” says Pearl Sullivan, dean of the Faculty of Engineering. “E7 is not just a building, the entire design will enable engineering to take our unique educational experience to the next level and realize our vision for educating the engineer of the future.”

E7 will have some of the best research facilities in the world, including an additive manufacturing—or 3D printing—laboratory, and an indoor flight arena for testing autonomous and robotic vehicles. Many graduate students will likely work to advance technologies including the rapidly progressing Internet of Things, infrastructure and develop wearable biomedical devices to monitor human health.

An atrium and elevated pedestrian bridges will link E7 to Engineering 5 and 6. The target start date for construction is next fall.