Skip to content

New ME Research Complex Gains Ground


An architectural rendering of the new ME research complex

An architectural rendering of the new ME research complex. Photo: Perkins + Will and Integrated Design Solutions, LLC

Construction on the new mechanical engineering research complex, a 62,880-square-foot addition to the existing G.G. Brown Memorial Laboratories building, is well underway and proceeding on schedule. The $46 million project is partially supported by $9.5 million from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The U-M ME department continues to actively define and shape the future of mechanical engineering; this new facility supports those efforts by enabling transformative research activities that will integrate core mechanical engineering with emerging new areas, such as micro-, nano- and biosystems, and result in landmark outcomes. When it is complete, this world-class research complex will stand three stories and contain lab modules and office space for professors, research staff and students.

The facility will be equipped with stringent temperature and humidity control and air filtration and will be dedicated to research in imaging and optics; biosystems; nanoengineering; micro-bioengineering; materials, mechanics and mechanical testing; microdynamics and nanostructures. Eight special ultra-low vibration chambers designed to meet NIST vibration specifications will be housed in a below-grade level of the building. With access to state-of-theart laboratories, investigators will be better able to conduct research at unprecedented levels of precision and accuracy and make significant advances in various fields, such as energy, manufacturing, health care and biotechnology. Collaborative workspaces and shared equipment will encourage continued multidisciplinary partnerships on existing and new projects.

Enthusiasm for the research complex across the University runs high. The new building is expected to be completed in 2014.

Construction updates, architectural renderings and a webcam with a real-time view of the project are available at

Story tags