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Building Impact

ONU launches the "Campaign for Engineering: Building Impact at ONU" to build a new home on campus.

Ohio Northern University formally announced the public phase of the “Campaign for Engineering: Building Impact at ONU” on Oct. 14 in the McIntosh Center ballroom during a recent joint session of the Board of Trustees and college advisory boards. A total of $11.8 million was committed during the quiet phase of the campaign against a total fundraising goal of $15 million.

The new building will keep pace with the engineering field and provide ONU students the space and facilities they need to thrive and continue to assume leadership roles in their profession.

Without question, the most important capital project – not only for the College of Engineering but also for the entire University – is a new home for the College of Engineering,” said Daniel A. DiBiasio, ONU president. “This building will take ONU engineering to a new level. We already are a well-established program, and a well-regarded one. A new engineering building will position ONU to meet the educational expectations of 21st-century engineering.

The proposed 105,000-square-foot facility will be nearly twice the size of the current 55,000-square-foot Biggs Engineering Building and will feature space for collaboration, class projects and community-building, helping ONU remain on the cutting edge of educating engineers who make a difference.


In many ways, the building’s resources will reflect the ONU engineering educational experience by providing students with opportunities for high-impact learning opportunities.

The new building will provide a welcoming and collaborative learning environment for the college’s engineering and computer science students,” said Eric Baumgartner, former dean of the T.J. Smull College of Engineering. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to engage with our students in this new facility by giving them the tools they need to succeed through small classes, practical experiences and supportive faculty interactions.

The new facility will be able to accommodate 600 students and will include more than 10,000 square feet of large-scale project and design space for capstone projects, competitive design projects and other direct industry engagement.

Further, it will provide flexible space that can be adjusted to various projects and will feature more than 2,000 square feet for research labs that can exist on their own or can be combined into larger spaces for bigger projects. Faculty offices will be grouped together and positioned adjacent to classrooms so that professors remain accessible to students.

With more than 6,000 square feet of formal and informal collaboration spaces for homework, group projects or just hanging out, students can meet in or out of class, building the teamwork skills that employers value.

These flexible spaces facilitate the ability to adapt and evolve to meet future, unanticipated educational needs.

“In keeping with the mission of the ONU College of Engineering, this new facility will provide the resources to keep Ohio Northern on the forefront of engineering education and to keep evolving. ONU engineering graduates have long been trailblazers who impact their profession and their communities, and this helps to ensure that legacy continues,” said Dr. Bruce Burton, honorary campaign chair.

ONU’s T.J. Smull College of Engineering continues to distinguish itself as one of the finest engineering programs in the nation. In its 2017 Best Colleges rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranks the College of Engineering 31st nationally among programs that offer the bachelor’s or master’s as the highest degree. ONU’s ranking is especially notable, as the college continues to advance after being ranked 39th nationally among similar programs the year before. This is the ninth time in the last 10 years that ONU’s College of Engineering has been ranked as a top-50 program.

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