News Release

UC San Diego to celebrate Franklin Antonio Hall Groundbreaking

San Diego, Calif., Nov. 15, 2019 -- The University of California San Diego celebrated the groundbreaking of its newest engineering building, Franklin Antonio Hall, on November 15, 2019. The building is designed for collaborative research, active learning and transfer of innovation to society.

Thirteen large research facilities called “collaboratories” make up the heart of Franklin Antonio Hall. Each collaboratory will house a collection of professor-led research groups from different but related disciplines. Together, these complementary research teams will pursue grand-challenge research in areas like renewable energy technologies, smart cities and smart transportation, wearable and robotics innovations, real-time data analysis and decision making, digital privacy and security, nanotechnology, and precision medicine.

“At the Jacobs School of Engineering, we develop bold engineering solutions for the public good,” said Albert P. Pisano, dean of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. “Many of the teams going into Franklin Antonio Hall are already working together virtually, and this building will provide exciting opportunities for cross-discipline teams to share the same physical spaces. Co-location can be a game changer, especially when exploring uncharted territory to develop solutions to advance human health and happiness.” 

Franklin Antonio Hall is named after UC San Diego alumnus Franklin Antonio in recognition of his incredible $30 million gift to the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. The approximately 186,000 square foot university building is projected to be completed in early 2022.

Fundamental and Applied Research

The building is designed to maximize the circulation and collaboration of UC San Diego faculty, students, professional research staff, and industry partners. In this sense, Franklin Antonio Hall is an expression of both the Jacobs School of Engineering and the San Diego region in general.

Goto Flickr
Franklin Antonio Hall at UC San Diego (Conceptual rendering)

Over the last five years, the Jacobs School has launched 13 agile research centers and institutes, each of which brings researchers from different disciplines together to collaborate with one another, and with industry partners. These agile research centers and institutes focus on tough technology challenges that no lab, discipline or industry can solve alone. This model encourages strategic investments and partnerships with industry, which are critical for making sure research innovations make the jump from the lab to the real world.

Research groups from at least half of these agile centers and institutes will move into research collaboratories in Franklin Antonio Hall where they’ll be able to share the same physical work spaces.

Undergraduate and Graduate Education
Franklin Antonio Hall will also serve as an important new facility for undergraduate and graduate-student learning, both inside and outside the classroom. The building will provide critical workspace for Jacobs School undergraduate student organizations that are participating in national design competitions. Teams of students will design, build and test their projects in this new collaborative environment. Teams will cycle through the space annually to best serve the growing number of nationally ranked student teams.

A 250-seat auditorium, two 100-seat classrooms designed for active learning, and collaborative study space for students are also components of Franklin Antonio Hall.

Bringing Innovation to Society
Franklin Antonio Hall will become the new home of the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur, which leads many of the Jacobs School of Engineering’s efforts to empower faculty, students and research staff to bring their innovations to market. The Institute, a partnership with the Rady School of Management, provides a wide range of mentorship, education, seed funding, leadership training, and work spaces to UC San Diego-affiliated innovators and inventors working to transfer their advances to the marketplace. The Gordon Center for Engineering Leadership, which empowers engineers to develop into engineering leaders, will also move into the new building.

Strategic Growth and Rankings at the Jacobs School of Engineering

Franklin Antonio Hall is a key component of the strategic growth of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

Over the last six years, the Jacobs School has hired more than 106 faculty into its six academic departments. The school expects to hire another 15 to 20 professors in 2020. 

Research expenditures at the Jacobs School are also on the rise. In 2017-2018, the Jacobs School recorded $188M in research expenditures, which is up from $151M in research expenditures in 2013-2014.

At the same time, graduate enrollment is up. In Fall 2019, the Jacobs School’s graduate enrollment was more than 3,180 students, which is up from 1,698 six years ago.

The Jacobs School’s rankings have also jumped. The Jacobs School moved up to #11 in the nation in the latest US News and World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings. This ranking is up from #12 last year, #13 two years ago, and #17 three years ago. (March 2019)

The community rallies around the Jacobs School of Engineering

Friends and industry partners of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering are stepping up to support the programmatic growth of the Jacobs School. Their generosity is being recognized with naming opportunities in Franklin Antonio Hall. UC San Diego alumnus Franklin Antonio, Irwin and Joan Jacobs, Sanjay and Fiona Jha, Toby Wolf, Cubic Corporation, Qualcomm, and Teradata are some of the donors who will be recognized within Franklin Antonio Hall.  

Media Contacts

Daniel Kane
Jacobs School of Engineering