WSU christens new Noorda Engineering, Applied Science & Technology Building
OGDEN — A sea of purple flooded Weber State University’s new Noorda Engineering, Applied Science & Technology Building Friday afternoon for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour. While students have been learning in their new engineering environment since the beginning of the semester, the space was not quite ready to share with the public.
The state-of-the-art building, totalling over 130,000 square feet, features exposed architecture, open spaces, labs and classrooms with glass walls providing tons of natural light.
Weber State electrical engineering student David Rackham said the new building is a huge step up from what it used to be with far more resources for students as well as the ability to observe what is going on in different classrooms.
For Andrew Ormond, a mechanical engineering student, it’s not just the happenings going on in other classrooms that fascinate him, it is the methodical design of the server room.
The server room, used to store, power and operate computer servers, is not housed in a windowless room in an obscured location, but rather in a long, narrow room with glass walls adjoining two classrooms.
The view of the servers in action offers up a colorful, mesmerizing view, Rackham said. “It’s pretty cool.”
An interactive sculpture hanging from a floating frame above the centralized community foyer is comprised of 119 moving origami elements representing the invisible forces of nature.
As the “Between the Currents” sculpture moved intermittently during the ceremony, the focus of attendees was drawn to the ceiling, including WSU President Brad Mortensen during his speech.
Mortensen said the learning and innovation spaces built into the Noorda building that provide students, faculty and staff the ability to unleash their creative potential are game-changers for WSU programs and the industries they serve.
Capstone projects of all different types filled the senior project room on Friday where WSU faculty advisor Dan Magda stood ready to explain the details of each one.
Among the Capstone projects being featured was one titled “Going the Distance Tricycle” in which a three-wheeled device was custom designed to aid a young boy with cerebral palsy in getting around on his own.
Also getting around on its own is Ryan Reidhead’s autonomous recreation vehicle, which makes decisions and follows courses entirely on its own.
The only control Reidhead has over his small, motorized vehicle is to make it start or stop; everything else is determined by the $6,000 vehicle, which operates by signal.
“It’s quite expensive, which is why I’m sitting next to it,” he said.
According to Reidhead, he paid for it all out of pocket while attending a robotics class taught by Jonathan West.
Admiring vehicles at the same table was spectator Bob Harris, who said he thought the project was a “marvel of engineering.”
Students making use of their new facility have the Utah Legislature to thank as well as the Ray & Tye Noorda Foundation for making the building possible.
Dave Ferro, dean of the College of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology, said he thinks citizens of Utah will be getting a great return on their investment with the state’s promising youth and economy.