MSE Plans to Upgrade Undergraduate Labs

The department will raise $200,000 in private giving to upgrade the 20-year-old undergraduate learning labs in Roberts Hall. To date, we’ve raised $104,000 so we are more than half way there! Once the goal is met, these funds will be matched with $50,000 from the UW’s College of Engineering to leverage everyone’s donations by 25 percent.


Nik Hrabe instructs undergraduatesRoberts Hall was last renovated twenty years ago in 1989. The undergraduate labs are currently inadequate for the kind of learning our students must experience today to prepare them for their future careers in industry and academia.


Our undergraduates learn in a highly personal and experience-driven environment, characterized by small class sizes, hands-on, team-based learning, research projects, and a combined BS/MS program for well-qualified undergraduate students.


Our department recently ranked 20th in a national survey, competing closely with public universities such as Penn State, UC Berkeley, Ohio State and UCLA. Preparing our students for a competitive job market is MSE’s top priority. Award-winning faculty will teach and mentor more than 90 undergraduates this year, working side-by-side with students on exciting research that will take materials to the next level. The department has expertise in a variety of fields, including solar cells for renewable energy, composites for next-generation airplanes and biological applications of nanomaterials for early-stage cancer detection.


The task of upgrading and replacing equipment is an ongoing challenge due to limited state funding and the rapid growth in analytical capabilities and materials research— growth that has outpaced our aging labs. It is estimated that more than $75,000 annually will be required over the next decade to ensure that MSE has competent facilities for undergraduate instruction.


The ability to teach undergraduates in state-of-the-art labs will help position the department to recruit, retain and compete for the most outstanding students. Improved labs also will prepare students for jobs by exposing them to the latest technology.


Now, more than ever, our students must be prepared for the 21st-century global technological environment. Your gift will help us provide an even more outstanding education.


Contact Us

Multiple-year pledges are encouraged. Gifts may be made using check, credit card, stock transfer or other ways. Please contact

Materials Science & Engineering
College of Engineering

Halbe Dougherty-Wood
Associate Director, MSE Giving
(206) 685-9816
FAX: (206) 685-0666