“Elevating UAH to reach its highest potential is a top priority of the University of Alabama System and the Board of Trustees,” said UA System Chancellor Finis St. John. “UAH’s transformation is well underway, thanks to the vision of the Board, the leadership of UAH interim president Dr. Chuck Karr and the resounding support from the Huntsville community and local leaders. We are especially grateful to the Alabama State Legislature for supporting this transformative project and passing one of the most significant appropriations in UAH’s history.”
On the heels of the Alabama State Legislature passing one of the most significant appropriations in UAH’s history, the university is poised to fulfill Huntsville’s STEM workforce needs.
The first phase of a new engineering building project at UAH has received conceptual approval from the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees. This initial approval authorizes UAH to formally proceed with planning the construction of an 80,000-square-foot, multistory academic and research facility that will accommodate the College of Engineering’s growth and greatly enhance the advanced research and development capabilities of UAH’s faculty, staff and students.
The College of Engineering plays a pivotal role in driving economic development and supporting high-tech industry, space and defense needs. With a rapidly expanding technological industry, Huntsville has one of the most technical workforces in the U.S. and one of the highest numbers of engineers per capita. UAH supplies a highly educated workforce to the State of Alabama, with 72% of its alumni residing in-state.
The Phase I preliminary project budget of $59.3 million would be funded by a variety of sources, including state appropriated funds, gifts and reserve funds. The Alabama State Legislature voted to appropriate $18 million of state supplemental funds towards UAH’s engineering building project.
“As the preferred site for the U.S. Space Command and the home to Redstone Arsenal and Cummings Research Park, Huntsville is a STEM powerhouse with a critical need for talented professionals in the science, cyber and engineering fields,” said Sen. Tom Butler. “The continued growth of this knowledge-based economy requires a significant increase in STEM graduates. With the vast majority of UAH graduates staying in our state, expanding and enhancing the university’s engineering facility will directly fill our community’s workforce pipeline.”
Research at UAH is a vibrant and expanding function and demonstrates the university’s valuable position in Alabama as a leading engineering and science research institution. UAH recently achieved the rank of “R1 – Very high research activity” status among doctoral-granting universities in the current update of the Carnegie Classification of Institutes of Higher Education.