Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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AEM spotlight:

Major construction complete in Akerman Hall

After just over two months of demolition, drilling and a fair amount of dust, major construction has been completed in all three remodels taking place in Akerman Hall - the main office, the graduate student lounge and the undergraduate student lounge.

Undergraduate lounge

Akerman 107

The undergraduate lounge remodel will offer a new, aesthetically-appealing space for undergraduates to meet, study and relax.

To create the undergraduate student lounge, the wall dividing Akerman 305 and 305A was removed, opening a great deal of space for undergraduates. The rooms formerly served as headquarters to the AIAA student group and a computer lab, respectively. The new lounge will feature a place for students to meet, relax, and use computer facilities – either through a workstation or an available wireless connection.

Tom Shield, AEM professor and director of undergraduate studies, said the lounge will offer new functionality to undergraduates.

“The new AEM undergraduate lounge will provide students with a place to study, either alone or in groups, and there will be several computer workstations connected to the IT labs computer system, as well as wireless access so students can use their laptops,” he said. “Additionally, our AIAA student chapter will have space to support their activities.”

The lounge is expected to be furnished within a month, and will be available for use in the fall.

Click here to view a slideshow (broadband recommended) of the undergraduate lounge construction, or click here to view all photos from the undergraduate lounge construction (broadband recommended).

Graduate lounge

Akerman 107

The remodeling of the AEM graduate lounge offers graduate students a place to network, meet and otherwise relax.

Shuffling of a few faculty offices, as well as a reduction in the size of the department head's office, has allowed for the creation of the graduate student lounge in Akerman 120. It will feature two areas where graduate students may meet in groups, network with their peers or members of academia and industry, or just kick back and eat some lunch. In addition to several workstations and printers, the lounge will offer students an added technological benefit – an industry-standard scanner. This allows for the quick scanning and digitizing of documents (preprints, working drafts, et al.) to PDF or images to JPGs. The lounge will also offer a kitchenette area for students.

Department Head Gary Balas described the lounges as a space for students to interact, meet, relax, study and connect to the internet.

“This is a long-overdue investment in our students,” he said. “We ask a great deal of our students and therefore need to provide facilities to help them succeed; the undergraduate and graduate lounges are just one step in that direction.”

The lounges will be furnished and available to students shortly.

Click here to view a slideshow (broadband recommended) of the graduate lounge construction, or click here to view all photos taken during the creation of the graduate lounge (broadband recommended).

Main Office remodel

Akerman 107

The remodeling of the AEM main office is complete, and will offer improved aesthetics, work flow and funcitonality to students, staff, visitors and alumni.

The remodel of the main office at 107 Akerman Hall focused on improving aesthetics and space utilization, including moving the associate department head’s office into the main office so that AEM staff might more efficiently serve students. Renovation of the main office makes better use of space, improves work flow, and provides a long-needed facelift and provides the staff with an improved work environment, according to Professor Balas. The new design, he said, is more open, quieter and user-friendly for students, staff, faculty, alumni and visitors.

“The architectural, curved panels hanging from the ceiling remind me of airfoils and bird wings, providing a connection between the office and the department's mission,” he said. “I'm excited about our space renovation as it style and mission typifies one of the department's own objectives: building on the past to make a better future.”

Click here to view a slideshow (broadband recommended) of the main office remodel, or click here to view all photos from the construction (broadband recommended).

Last Modified: Wednesday, 22-Aug-2012 11:29:30 CDT -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation