On Friday, April 14, Purdue University’s Polytechnic Institute, College of Engineering and hundreds of guests celebrated the dedication of Dudley and Lambertus Halls. Speakers included Daniel Castro, dean of Purdue Polytechnic, Arvind Raman, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, Purdue President Mung Chiang, and President Emeritus Mitch Daniels.
These two halls — together making up the $140 million, 255,000 square-foot Engineering & Polytechnic Gateway Complex — are shared by Purdue Polytechnic and the College of Engineering. The complex was designed to have a mix of both Polytechnic and Engineering labs throughout the building’s six floors, with the intention of fostering an atmosphere of collaboration.
“I know our Polytechnic faculty, staff and students are proud to work and learn here,” said Castro. “I also believe this facility marks a major inflection point, [and I am] thrilled about partnering with and sharing this facility with the College of Engineering. There will be [opportunities] for collaboration among faculty and students that I wish existed when I was an engineering student here 20 years ago.”
“What comes of bringing two disciplines together in a common physical space clearly shows that we’re much greater than the sum of our parts,” said Raman. “[In] Dudley and Lambertus Halls, we will see students of both disciplines who are working on projects together. They’re going to bump into each other. They’re going to partner with each other, and they’ll start companies together. All of that innovation that comes from bringing both schools together in one physical space [will] happen here.”
Castro emphasized the complex’s unique teaching tools — such as state-of-the-art computer labs, a full-scale production line for commercial goods and more — and how rare it was to get all of these tools in a single facility.
“[The donors have ensured] that our students and faculty have inspiring resources to help them become successful,” Castro said. “Purdue cannot deliver world-class instruction in world-class facilities like this at such affordable prices without such generosity.”
Those leading donors are Bill Dudley (BS construction engineering ’74, HDR ’15), Marty Dudley (IUPUI AAS Architectural Drafting ’79, Purdue Northwest-Hammond BS Building Construction Tech ’81) and Peter (BS electrical engineering ’67) and Ann Lambertus. Lilly Endowment, which contributed $40 million to the facility, and several other named donors also showcase the support that relevant industries have for Purdue Polytechnic. For instance, Caterpillar Inc. returned as a Polytechnic sponsor in Dudley Hall’s Smart Learning Factory.
Caterpillar will help run the Smart Foundry — a “micro-manufacturing facility for metal-casting and small-batch component-making” — a development which comes shortly after the opening of their first on-campus office space in Discovery Park’s Convergence Center.
Additional gifts allowed for new technologies within the Smart Learning Factory. Alongside other tech companies such as Microsoft and Accenture, the cybersecurity company Fortinet has specifically sponsored the Factory’s new Industrial Internet-of-Things Laboratory. This section of the Smart Learning Factory will allow Purdue Polytechnic students to develop novel applications for artificial intelligence.
New laboratories for Purdue Polytechnic’s School of Construction Management Technology, School of Engineering Technology, Department of Computer and Information Technology and Department of Computer Graphics Technology, plus faculty offices, are located in the complex.
The Gateway Complex began construction in early 2020 and was conceived to take the place of the facilities that had previously occupied the space it now stands on, Michael Golden Labs (MGL) and the Nuclear Engineering Building. After MGL’s construction alongside Michael Golden Hall in 1910, the buildings housed an academic department called Practical Mechanics in addition to laboratories.
The eastern section of the old building, Michael Golden Hall, was removed in 1982 and replaced with the Maurice G. Knoy Hall of Technology. In 2020, demolition of MGL and the Nuclear Engineering Building began in earnest to make way for the Gateway Complex.
Dudley and Lambertus Halls now have some of the features that existed in MGL, modernized with new equipment and technology, including to-scale manufacturing laboratories. In both the old and new facilities, such structures allow engineers to see a product created from scratch, from the blueprinting phase all the way to the completed product.
As modern manufacturing techniques have changed and the blueprint process has largely been digitized, the new complex will preserve such features from MGL while updating them to the standards of Industry 4.0 for new generations of students.
- Video: The Dedication of Dudley & Lambertus Halls (Gateway Complex) (YouTube)
- Purdue Polytechnic’s Smart Learning Factory
- Caterpillar reaffirms $1 million gift to Polytechnic with Convergence Center office (Purdue News)
- Purdue IE says farewell to Michael Golden Labs (School of Industrial Engineering)
- Fostering Cyber Skills through the Fortinet Training Institute (Fortinet)
- First Gateway Complex building named for Bill and Marty Dudley (College of Engineering)
- Purdue Trustees approve Gateway II facility name (College of Engineering)
- Michael Golden Engineering Laboratories and Shops (MGL) (Purdue Libraries / Archives and Special Collections)