Public Relations

Daily Pioneer News

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

UWP opens new engineering building

Edward Busby, former dean of the UWP College of Engineering, left, and Gov. Jim Doyle cut the ribbon to open the new engineering building. Others, from left to right are: state Rep. Phil Garthwaite; Dale Dixon Jr. and Bill Dixon, sons of the late Dale Dixon, a longtime UWP engineering professor; state Sen. Dale Schultz; and Carol Sue Butts, UWP provost and vice chancellor.

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville opened its new engineering building on Saturday, Dec. 13, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that recalled the program's rich history and looked toward the future.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle attended the ceremony and spoke along with Chancellor David Markee and Richard Shultz, dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science.

Standing in the lobby of the 108,500-square-foot building, the governor said it is hard to imagine this state without all of the engineers educated over the decades at UW-Platteville.

"This state needs highly educated people and we need good engineers," Doyle said. "We need to double and triple the number of engineers we are educating. Obviously, this facility is a big part of that."

Doyle said that the nation's current fiscal woes were brought about in part because much of the economy wasn't based on things with real value.

"It is so important that we get back to basics and get focused on an economy that is based on people producing goods and services of real value."

Shultz said that the $25.6 million building grew from a dream and a need to continue expanding and modernizing a program that has outgrown its current home in Ottensman Hall, which was built in the 1960s.

He said the new building will allow professors to teach in new ways. For instance, he said new labs in the building permit the lines between lectures and labs to be blurred.

"This is not just additional space, but better space," he said.

Richard Shultz, dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science, speaks during the ceremony.

As Shultz concluded his remarks, he noted that many of the hundred or so people who attended the building dedication were standing on the seal of the old Wisconsin Mining School, which was reproduced in the floor of the building's lobby.

"It reminds us that everything that we are doing now is built on the shoulders of those who came before us," he said.

Markee said the building is a significant advancement for the campus and noted that 25 percent of the funding was raised in the private sector through gifts.

The chancellor added that the opening of the new building is a wonderful way to cap off a celebration of a century of engineering programs in Platteville.

The two wings of the building are named for two leaders in the department, Dale Dixon and Edward Busby.

Dixon was on the engineering faculty for 42 years before retiring in 1980. Dixon, who was on the faculty during the transition from the Wisconsin Mining School, died in 1999 at age 83. His sons, Dale Jr. and Bill, traveled from Arizona to attend the ceremony.

Busby, who now lives in Madison with his wife, Lois, was dean of the College of Engineering from 1966 until his retirement in 1988. The Busbys also attended.

The new engineering building will be home to electrical engineering, engineering physics, physics and the general engineering labs as well as the Nanotechnology Center for Collaborative Research and Development. Student organizations also have workspace in the building. Classes will start in the new building in January as the second semester begins.

For more information on the new engineering building, contact Lisa Riedle, associate dean, College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science at (608) 342-1686 or

Contact: Lisa Riedle, associate dean, College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science, (608) 342-1686, Written by: Gary Achterberg, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

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