A&E, Featured, Science & Technology

E6 Grand Opening

Note: This article is hosted here for archival purposes only. It does not necessarily represent the values of the Iron Warrior or Waterloo Engineering Society in the present day.

It was one year ago that Engineering 5 was officially opened, and once again crowds were drawn to hear speeches from those involved. It was standing room only as hundreds packed the “Woodbridge Group” atrium inside Engineering 6 for the building’s grand opening. Rows and rows of chairs were set up for attendees, but after filling up quickly, people spread out around the back, the side, and even the 2nd floor of the atrium. An edible periodic table of elements made of cookies was set up to celebrate the occasion, with each element being represented by its atomic symbol hand-iced onto each cookie.
Dean Sedra kicked off the opening by talking about the how the building was a product of a space study in 2006 as part of the Vision 2010 campaign. The Faculty identified the space they required and put forth plans for the buildings well in advance of any possible funding they would need to actually construct the buildings. This planning paid off after the Federal Government implemented their Knowledge Infrastructure Plan (KIP) as part of their economic stimulus plan. Receiving funding from KIP required projects to be “Shovel Ready” – that is, fully planned and ready to break ground immediately. The Faculty was so ready to implement this project that Dean Sedra even joked, “David Johnston, the President at the time, and myself as Dean, we had shovels ready in the trunk of our cars.”
The Department of Chemical Engineering will fully occupy Engineering 6 bringing much needed office space as well as state-of-the-art research lab space for the Department to accelerate their innovation. Tom Duever, Chair of Chemical Engineering, explained, “The building will allow us expand our research programs, carry on cutting edge chemical engineering research, but most importantly, train the next generation of chemical engineers that are so vital to our economy.” Duever also itemized a expansive list of research currently taking place within the department, including developing technology to recycle scrap tires to make new rubber products, incorporate wood and agricultural fibers into polymer byproducts to develop light-weight materials for automotive manufacturing, and new sensor development to monitor drinking water. Duever continued by stating the facility will allow the department to attract the very best faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students from not only just Canada, but from around the world.
After all the speeches concluded, the ribbon cutting took place just outside the main east entrance of the building. The ribbon was cut by Drew Higgins, a Chemical Engineering Graduate student, John Milloy, MPP for Kitchener, Thomas Duever, Chair of the Chemical Engineering department, Adel Sedra, Dean of Engineering, Feridun Hamdullahpur, President of the University of Waterloo, Peter Braid, MP of Kitchener/Waterloo, and Donald Schmitt from Diamond+Scmitt Architects.
Ground broke for Engineering 6 in September 2009, and construction got under way soon after around November of that year. The building was designed by Diamond+Schmitt Architects in Toronto and construction management was carried out by Aecon’s building group. The building hit substantial completion over the past Spring term and move-in took place soon after.  The $42 million funding for the building came from three main sources – The University of Waterloo, the Government of Ontario, and  the Government Canada.

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