interior artistic sketch of new building.

In the News

$10 Million Gift to Accelerate STEM Education and Build the Workforce of Tomorrow

Driving the Future

Autonomous vehicles. Cyber security. Machine learning. Mobile apps. Smart grids. Smart buildings. Energy systems. These are the technologies that are driving the future. Western’s new Advanced Technology Engineering and Computer Science facility will be home to specialized programs that teach the skills to tackle some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

Preparing More Problem-Solvers

We are committed to providing more graduates in high demand fields. Our focus on small classes, interdisciplinary approaches, hands-on learning, and student participation in faculty-led research is a strategic advantage when it comes to preparing the next generation of innovators and problem-solvers. 

We are also committed to inclusive success. We understand that more people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experience need to come together to solve problems. Diversity of perspective is key to shaping a sustainable future.  

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ENERGY

INCREASED CAPACITY to meet emerging needs in the energy industry through academic programs in business, economics, policy, and energy technology, science, and engineering

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TECHNOLOGY

INCREASED CAPACITY to meet needs in the IT sector through academic programs in computer engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science

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AEROSPACE

INCREASED CAPACITY to meet emerging needs in the aerospace industry through academic programs in engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain management

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TRANSPORATION

INCREASED CAPACITY to meet emerging needs in the transportation sector through academic programs in computer engineering, electrical engineering, and systems engineering

Connecting Industry to Education

Western’s new Advanced Technology Engineering and Computer Science building is a direct response to the needs of Washington state industries and employers. The new facility will be a place for collaboration and connection with spaces that foster innovation, investigation, and inspiration.  Physically and culturally accessible, it will be a hub where industry experts, faculty, and students come together to co-create the technology and engineering solutions for today and tomorrow.

Funding the New Facility

Western has already received $2 million for pre-design and partial design from the Washington State legislature. The State intends provide $46 million for design and construction in the next budget cycle if Western can provide a portion of the construction cost through private support.  

The Western Washington University Foundation has launched a $20 million capital campaign to help fund construction. Pledges of financial support must be confirmed by September 2020 however they do not need to be paid in full until March of 2023.

Students and teachers in a modern computer lab

Multiple Naming Opportunities

Examples include:

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Student-Centered Study and Work Commons

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R&D/Interdisciplinary Collaborative Spaces and Class Rooms

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Career Connections Center, Event Spaces, & Lecture Halls

Frequently Asked Questions

The Advanced Technology Engineering and Computer Science building will support enhanced programs in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Energy Science and Technology. These programs respond to the needs of advanced technology industries in our region and fill a special niche in the continuum of STEM education infrastructure in our state.

Western received a $60 million dollar capital allocation in the 2019 – 2021 budget for the construction of a general science building to alleviate existing space shortages for general science instruction. This new Integrated Science building is essential to maintain current graduation rates and to support general increases in STEM-related degrees. However, the Integrated Science building will not provide the space required to expand advanced technology-related programs.

The Washington state legislature has committed $2 million for the design phase and indicated its intent to allocate $46 million for design/construction in the 2021-2023 budget provided the Western Washington University Foundation secures a portion of the construction costs through private support.

The Western Washington University Foundation has launched a $20 million campaign to support construction of the new building. Pledges of private support must to be confirmed by September 2020 however pledges do not need to be paid in full until March 31, 2023. Major gifts to the campaign will be permanently recognized and may include the option to name a space within the building.

The Advanced Technology Engineering and Computer Science facility will be in a highly visible location on Western’s main campus in Bellingham.

Strengthening the continuum of STEM-related degree programs in our region is critical. Western’s project to increase the number of electrical engineers, computer engineers, and computer scientists compliments other projects in the region. For example, the UW’s new building at its Tacoma campus will focus on mechanical and civil engineering.

Manca Valum

Manca Valum, ​Senior Director of Advancement for Strategic Initiatives

Manca is here to answer questions about how you can support Western Washington University at 360.650.6542 or Manca.Valum@wwu.edu.