New chemical building is in bloom

Callie Burgan, Opinions Editor

The new Chemical Engineering addition to the John P. Murtha Engineering and Science Building is bustling with students and off to a fast-paced start, according to Engineering and Computer Science Division Chairman Jerry Samples.

“The lab facilities in the Chemical Engineering Building are coming right along,” Samples said.

“We have sophomores who are practicing thermodynamics, as well as upperclassmen making use of the simulation lab.” 

The two-floor, 7,000 square-foot space opened March 21.

 The addition includes professor and club offices.

Chemical engineering professor Brian Moyer said that, although he has taught in only one of the classrooms, he was impressed with the provided technology.

“The room that I have used is a tech classroom with two overhead projectors—one for each side of the room—which provides great sightlines for all students and allows me some flexibility,” Moyer said.

“The room seems brighter and less cramped than some of the older tech classrooms on campus which makes it easier to interact with students.

“I think the students appreciate having class closer to their departmental home base in Engineering, especially when the weather is not great. All-in-all, so far so good,” Moyer said.

Chemical engineering professor Ramesh Singh said that he is excited to access the building’s amenities after the long construction period.

“The students are now able to conduct the experiments right in our new lab instead of traveling to Pitt-Oakland, which is helpful,” Singh said.

“The chemical engineering courses that require software and programming will also be able to be taught in our own Simtronics computer lab,” Singh said.

Electrical and computer engineering professor Maddumage Karunaratne said that he has been making use of the building despite not teaching.

“I’m a fan of the new additional computer lab to have classes in,” Karunaratne said.

“The layout of the building also offers two easy entrances to the rest of the Engineering and Science building. 

“This helps me get around in an efficient manner,” Karunaratne said.