MRO Magazine

New Centre for Engineering Innovation opens doors at University of Windsor


March 4, 2013
By PEM Magazine

A building that houses students who may one day go out and design their own building elements—that is the heart of University of Windsor’s newest addition, the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation.

The Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation (CEI) finished construction in September 2012 and has welcomed over 1,400 Engineering students to the facility this past semester.

“The building is really a marvel of engineering and education,” said Mehrdad Saif, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. “The building was designed to feature a wide variety of different structures and systems that demonstrate construction and engineering ideas for students to see firsthand. In the classroom they are learning the engineering and construction theory and just a quick walk through of the building itself puts those theories into real life examples that they can experience and put in to context.”

Among the many design features, the 300,000-sq.-ft. building has a 20,000-sq.-ft. living green roof with measurement devices that allow students to compare the green roof’s data to that from the control sample on the regular roof. With engineering education in mind, the entire building was made with different concrete and steel building materials. Also of note is the atrium which Fernando Cruz, project manager at Halsall Associates explains, contains four bridges built over the atrium that students and researchers can use to test material strain and deformation.


The entire building is monitored by an automation system that displays all of the information on a touch screen in the atrium that researchers can access to collect data on how the facility is running.

“It was important that we looked at this building not only as a place to house the students, faculty and staff, but how we could best utilize it as a teaching tool as well,” said Saif. “This is the first time that we are able to get the entire Faculty of Engineering under one roof and we’re excited that we were able to design and construct such an outstanding structure for them.”

CEI contains more than 80 teaching and/or research laboratories, some with features never before seen in North America—allowing the University of Windsor to explore new areas of research and involve more students than ever before.

The new building also allows for more collaboration between industry and university projects with the Industrial Courtyard creating a direct connection between education, research, and industrial innovation.

“This is a major step for the University of Windsor and for the Windsor-Essex region,” said University of Windsor president Alan Wildeman. “The Centre for Engineering Innovation will provide our students with an extraordinary facility within which to learn and to see engineering in action. It will provide laboratories and research facilities where emerging priorities such as environmental sustainability, alternative energy, nanostructure, lighter materials, and more efficient manufacturing systems can be addressed.”