Self-Guided Engineering Tour
This tour takes around 25 minutes. It starts and ends at Engineering Hall, located at 1308 West Green Street in Urbana.
Engineering Hall houses the administrative offices for The Grainger College of Engineering and other helpful student resources. Completed way back in 1894, it's one of the oldest buildings on campus.
Just next door, to the west of Engineering Hall, is Everitt Lab. You'll see Everitt Lab to your left as you head north down the west edge of the Bardeen Quad.
Everitt Lab is home to our Bioengineering Department. It provides Bioengineering faculty and students with some of the best research and instructional facilities in the country. This includes our Jump Simulation Center, which the Carle Illinois College of Medicine uses to train physician innovators uniquely equipped to transform health care.
Everitt Lab is named for William L. Everitt, former dean of Grainger Engineering, who helped transform the college into a research and education powerhouse after World War II.
Keep heading north along the west edge of the Bardeen Quad. The building just to the north of Everitt is Talbot Lab.
Housed in Talbot Lab are the departments of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (second floor) and Aerospace Engineering (third floor). This building was built around the tension and compression testing machine located in the basement.
The basement's testing facility can apply three million pounds of force of either tension or compression. The load frame is 50 feet high and weighs 200,000 pounds.
Directly north of Talbot Lab is the new Campus Instructional Facility.
Every undergraduate college and over 30 different departments have classes in the Campus Instructional Facility, which opened its doors in 2021. Designed with students in mind, CIF's instructional learning spaces are made to engage active learning. With open floor plans, moveable seating, and plenty of whiteboard space, each unique classroom fosters collaboration between students and professors. Collaboration hubs on each floor also encourage informal gathering.
Geothermal technology helps CIF use less energy to heat and cool the building, reducing its carbon footprint. In fact, the facility is on track to achieve net-zero operational carbon in its first year! CIF also boasts smart glass windows to control incoming light.
Cross Springfield Avenue and continue north past Kenney Gym. The next building off to the west will be the Micro and Nanotechnology Building.
One of the nation's largest and most sophisticated university-based facilities for semiconductor, nanotechnology, and biotechnology research, this building contains over 8,000 square feet for clean room laboratories and state-of-the-art, ultra-high-speed optical and electrical device and circuit measurements.
Just north of the Micro and Nanotechnology Lab is the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building. Head there next.
This state-of-the-art building was created with the goal of net-zero energy use, meaning that it supplies all of its own energy. It provides the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with approximately 230,000 square feet of labs, classrooms, and facilities and focuses on student learning spaces.
Adjacent and to the north of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building is Beckman Institute, the next stop on your tour.
Beckman Institute was made possible by a generous gift from UIUC alumnus Arnold O. Beckman and his wife, Mabel. Since 1989, Beckman has been one of the top interdisciplinary research facilities in the world devoted to leading-edge research in the physical sciences, computation, engineering, biology, behavior, cognition, and neuroscience. The institute is named after Arnold Beckman, who founded Beckman Instruments and invented the first pH meter.
In addition, Beckman has two exhibits on the main floor that showcase the history and conception of the facility. The first exhibit, located in the rotunda, highlights the life of Beckman. He received a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering in 1922 and a master's degree in Physical Chemistry in 1923. The second exhibit, located in the atrium, displays various instruments designed by Beckman to further advance the fields of science and technology.
Now it's time to head back south. The building just southeast of Beckman is the Computer Systems and Research Lab.
This building houses the Coordinate Science Laboratory, where research topics include advanced circuit design, supercomputing, communications, and robotics. In addition, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the Center for Supercomputing Research and Development are both housed here.
Head south to the building next door to the Computer Systems and Research Lab. This is Newmark Lab.
Named after Nathan Newmark, who pioneered earthquake resistant buildings here on campus, this building houses the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Yeh Student Center, donated by M.T. Geoffrey Yeh. Yeh graduated in 1953 and continued his success as chairman of a large construction and holding company in Shanghai. The Yeh Student Center includes classrooms, conference rooms, and student study space.
Newmark houses Crane Bay, the largest lab on campus. It includes 40-ton and 20-ton cranes, as well as an earthquake tester. The concrete canoes mounted on the wall inside of Crane Bay are part of an annual student design project. Students from any discipline help to design, build, and race the canoes at a regional competition.
Keep heading south. The next building is the Digital Computer Lab.
This lab was completed in 1989 and constructed around an existing building whose outer walls are visible from inside. The original building held ILLIAC I, one of the world's first supercomputers. The Digital Computer Lab currently houses offices for the Engineering Career Services Center, the Department of Bioengineering, and Technology Services.
Just south of the Digital Computer Lab, across Springfield Avenue, is Grainger Engineering Library. Head there next.
This is the largest and most technologically advanced engineering library in the U.S., and it attracts award-winning faculty from around the world. It has an engineering workstation lab in the basement, reference and resource desks on the main floor, study areas on the second and third floors, and conference and study rooms on the fourth floor.
Located in the basement of Grainger is an engineering workstation lab available for use by Grainger Engineering students. This lab is just one of eight workstation labs on the Engineering Campus open to students. They have the most up-to-date design software you'll need for your design classes.
Just outside to the South is the Bardeen Quad. Take some time out to enjoy the view!
Otherwise known as the Engineering Quad, the Bardeen Quad is named after John Bardeen, who was a professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering at the university. Bardeen is the only person to have won the Nobel Prize twice in the same field (Physics). He won the prize in 1956 for the invention of the transistor and the second time in 1972 for the theory of superconductivity.
Boneyard Creek, running alongside Bardeen Quad, serves as a research lab of sorts. All of the storm water in the university area drains into Boneyard, and data is collected from the drainage system and studied by a group in Environmental Engineering. One professor actually teaches a class once each semester while standing in Boneyard Creek!
Head toward the building directly east of the Bardeen Quad. This is the Sidney Lu Mechanical Engineering Building.
Since 1950, the Mechanical Engineering Building has been the foundation and headquarters for one of the nation's top engineering departments. Now, with an incredibly generous gift from alumnus Sidney Lu, it's being transformed into the Sidney Lu Mechanical Engineering Building—an incredible, 21st-century facility that will inspire and empower current and future generations of students to be the best in the world.
Proceed to the building south of the Sidney Lu Mechanical Engineering Building. This is the Material Science and Engineering Building.
This building houses the Material Science and Engineering Department. It's one of the largest departments of its kind in the nation and nationally ranked for its undergraduate studies. Material Science and Engineering was created from Metallurgy and Ceramics Engineering.
This was your very last stop. You're one building to the east of Engineering Hall, where you started. We hope you enjoyed the tour!