UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering University of California San Diego
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UCSD Breaks Ground on Two Buildings for Technology Research and Education


Governor Davis greeted students prior to the ceremony. Nearly 100 students cheered the dignitaries on during the ceremonial dig.

UCSD BROKE GROUND MAY 31 FOR TWO BUILDINGS to headquarter the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology [Cal-(IT)²] and the Jacobs School Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). Both buildings are made possible through state funding totaling approximately $143 million. The new buildings, together with the Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall will add 462,000 square feet. This is almost as much as the total current 480,000 square feet of the Jacobs School. The construction will continue to pave the way for growth of the School. Since 1994, enrollment has increased roughly 50% to 4,500 today, and plans call for a total enrollment of 6,000 students by 2010. The Powell-Focht Hall is scheduled to open in Fall 2002, and the Cal-(IT)² and CSE buildings will be completed by Fall 2004. In thanking Governor Gray Davis, the State legislature and industry supporters, Dean Robert W. Conn said, “These buildings are truly enabling our future. Without these facilities, we would slow down sharply—an outcome no one wants. But with these buildings, we’ll continue on, uninterrupted, creating one of the great research enterprises in the world, and one of the Nation’s strongest engineering schools.”

Each building features state-of-the-art facilities for research, allowing both Cal-(IT)² and the CSE department to continue to concentrate efforts in focus areas that are major technological drivers for California and the nation, including information technology, mobile computing, bioinformatics, education and the arts, and sensor networks to monitor the environment, transportation infrastructure, and homeland security.

An audience of more than 400 came out for the dual groundbreaking ceremony, which took place beneath a large tent positioned on the construction site between Engineering Building 2 and the still-under-construction Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall. The keynote address at the ceremony was delivered by Governor Gray Davis, who was introduced by QUALCOMM founder and CEO Irwin Jacobs. Also on stage were UC President Richard Atkinson, UCSD Chancellor Robert Dynes, Jacobs School Dean Robert Conn, Cal-(IT)² Director Larry Smarr, CSE Chair Mohan Paturi, and Warren College provost David Jordan. CS major and student spokesman Ezekiel Bhasker led the podium party in the ceremonial dig to the cheers of nearly 100 students.

Cal-(IT)² Building

Addressing the crowd, Gov. Davis recalled the impetus for the creation of Cal-(IT)² and its sister institutes. “Our vision was not of one Silicon Valley, but many Silicon Valleys, each propelling the next generation of scientific breakthroughs, high-tech industries and cutting- edge jobs,” Davis said. “We want to create direct portals to the future. Here in San Diego, that future is now.”

Budgeted at $102.5 million for construction, equipment and services (of which $66.5 million is contributed by the State of California), Cal-(IT)²’s 215,000-square-foot building at UCSD is the first to break ground of all the buildings planned by the four California Institutes for Science and Innovation (Cal ISI). Designed by NBBJ (San Francisco), the building will feature an industrial-grade clean room and materials characterization lab; a six-walled, two-story virtual reality theater; a rooftop antenna garden; and offices and labs that can be reconfigured depending on the needs of each multi-disciplinary research team. Said Cal-(IT)² director Smarr: “Everything about this building is designed to encourage faculty, students, and industrial partners to work together in inter-disciplinary teams to make fundamental discoveries.”

Computer Science and Engineering Building

The $41 million, 148,000- square-foot building will consolidate operations and provide growth space for the CSE Department (while also housing the administrative offices of Earl Warren College). Designed by Bohlin, Cywinski & Jackson (San Diego) to foster a sense of community among faculty, staff, students and visitors, the buildingincorporates “interaction spaces” for students, researchers and faculty to share ideas and discuss classroom topics. The CSE building will also house sizable laboratories dedicated to undergraduate instruction, as well as research facilities.

“This building will accelerate our efforts to define the future of computing and to establish our leadership in emerging technologies such as ‘anywhere, anytime’ information access and intelligent embedded devices,” said CSE chair Paturi. “The building will provide a place where students, researchers and industrial partners collaborate, teach and learn.” “Each time we break ground on a new campus building, I believe we lay a foundation for new ideas and new generations of learners,” said Chancellor Dynes. “These buildings will be a place where we realize our two key missions: technological innovation, and scholarly innovation.” Dignitaries and other visitors attending the groundbreaking ceremony were ferried to Warren Mall from parking lots aboard two CyberShuttles. The commuter buses feature highspeed mobile Internet access, piggybacking on Qualcomm’s experimental third-generation wireless network.

Plans for Growth
The Jacobs School is in the midst of a transforming growth phase. To accommodate new faculty, students and research initiatives, significant construction is planned or underway that will bring the School’s steady-state space allocation to 1.1M square feet.