The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, April 06, 2021 1:00 am

Trine engineering tips hat to SDI

Company foundation pledges $1.5 million toward expansion

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

The Steel Dynamics Foundation Inc. has pledged $1.5 million toward Trine University's engineering facility expansion.

Trine said in a Monday news release that the new 40,000-square-foot expansion – a $12.5 million project – will be named the Steel Dynamics Inc. Center for Engineering and Computing, in honor of the financial support.

“The continual growth of our business requires a ready supply of well-trained engineers, and many who have contributed to the success of Steel Dynamics have come from Trine University,” said Mark Millett, president and CEO of Fort Wayne-based Steel Dynamics Inc.

“We are pleased to support this expansion in Trine's facilities and programs, and look forward to the benefit this will provide, not only to SDI, but to industry throughout the region,” Millett said in a statement.

Construction is expected to begin by early June with completion expected in 12 months, Trine spokesman James Tew said in an email.

The project is fully funded, with 70% of the money from donations, he said.

Earl D. Brooks II, Trine's president, said the university is grateful for the foundation's history of support and is “eager to see the dividends this new investment” will have in the Fort Wayne area and beyond.

“The partnership of SDI and many other generous supporters is vital as we continue to provide a quality higher education during these challenging times,” Brooks said.

A longtime supporter of Trine University, the Steel Dynamics Foundation Inc. has provided major gifts toward the Steel Dynamics Inc./Keith E. Busse Athletic and Recreation Center and the Thunder Ice Arena. The foundation also has funded a Trine scholarship program and supports the annual Scholarship Gala.

In addition, Steel Dynamics Inc. provides internships, co-op and employment opportunities to Trine students.

Enrollment in the Allen School of Engineering and Computing has increased 72% over the past decade to nearly 1,000 students, with engineering students accounting for more than 40% of Trine's main campus student population, the news release said.

The new expansion to Trine's facilities will help prepare skilled professionals in critical high-tech areas such as hardware and software development, computer networking, cybersecurity and health informatics, the news release said.

Designs for the Center for Engineering and Computing feature state-of-the-art technology, flexible labs and classrooms, an active learning lab with a maker space to foster creativity, and bright, open spaces for collaboration and conversation, including a new gathering point and cafe available to the entire campus.

“The new area is intended to become a focal point at the center of campus and a showcase for student work,” the release said.

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