The University of North Dakota recently announced a $5 million gift from the Hess Corporation to the UND College of Engineering and Mines. The gift, along with a $2.5 million match from the North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Fund, will provide $7.5 million in funding towards the new Collaborative Energy Complex in the College of Engineering & Mines.
The combined $7.5 million will fund specific portions of the Collaborative Energy Complex with the aim of stimulating innovation, problem-solving, and futuristic ideas, and creating hands-on experience, outreach, enriched lab experiences and industry partnerships between the university and the energy profession.
“This is a great day for the University of North Dakota,” said UND President Robert Kelley. “We are delighted to announce this gift from the Hess Corporation and the match dollars, which combined go a long way toward making the Collaborative Energy Complex a reality. The partnership being demonstrated today—between the Hess Corporation, the State of North Dakota through Governor Dalrymple and the Higher Education Challenge Fund, the UND Alumni Association and Foundation, and the UND College of Engineering & Mines—is exactly the kind of private-public collaboration which will help us advance the university and achieve our goals related to serving North Dakota.”
“We are proud to partner with the University of North Dakota to support the College of Engineering and Mines, which is on track to become a premier engineering school,” said Greg Hill, president and chief operating officer of Hess Corporation. “Providing this educational venue will not only help the state by training individuals to be ready for careers in the oil and gas industry, but will enhance the ability of Hess and the industry to hire local talent.”
“We are pleased to see that the state’s Higher Education Challenge Fund is encouraging the spirit of philanthropy, including this generous gift of $5 million from the Hess Corporation,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said. “This is exactly the type of support we envisioned for our colleges and universities when the Challenge Fund was proposed in our executive budget.”
“We are delighted to be part of this partnership with Hess Corporation and the State of North Dakota. On behalf of all of us in the College of Engineering and Mines, I wish to express our gratitude to our partners. This is a great model of how industry support and public resources can work together to advance engineering education, research, and innovation. The Collaborative Energy Complex will provide our students and faculty with state of the art labs to address future challenges and explore big ideas. We look forward to utilizing this generous gift along with the match dollars to better educate engineers who will contribute to the success and prosperity of North Dakota and the nation,” said Hesham El-Rewini, dean of the UND College of Engineering & Mines.
“We are most appreciative of this gift from the Hess Corporation for the Collaborative Engineering Complex. It is another example of the innovative thinking and the investment that the Hess Corporation has made not only in the University of North Dakota, but also the state of North Dakota. This gift—along with the Higher Education Challenge Match Grant from the state—will propel UND to be a leader in the energy field. We can’t thank the Hess Corporation and the State of North Dakota enough,” said DeAnna Carlson Zink, CEO of the University of North Dakota Alumni Association and Foundation.
The Hess Corporation gift is intended to advance UND’s Petroleum Engineering program, and also support Hess’ core values and the University’s Exceptional UND vision, which emphasizes the importance of educational opportunities and space to gather and collaborate. Pledges and commitments of $11.8 million have currently been made toward the $15.5 million goal for the project. This gift is amongst the largest from a corporation to the UND Alumni Association and Foundation.
The Hess Corporation $5 million gift (and the $2.5 million from the North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Fund) will be used to establish several significant features in the new building:
- Hess Innovation Lab, to stimulate innovation, problem-solving, and futuristic ideas
- Hess 3D Visualization and Reservoir Simulation Lab, for creating hands-on experience, outreach, and enriched lab experiences and industry partnerships
- Hess Drilling Simulation Lab, for hands-on experience, outreach, and creating hands-on experiences and industry partnership
- History of Oil and Gas atrium display
Collaborative Energy Complex
The 30,000-plus square-foot Collaborative Energy Complex (CEC) will be set on the southeast part of campus between Leonard Hall and Upson Hall I. The new CEC will bridge the two existing facilities, forming a major engineering education and research complex on campus that will include Upson Hall I & II, Harrington Hall and the nearby Wilson M. Laird Core and Sample Library.
The CEC primarily will serve as a new headquarters for the rapidly growing Department of Petroleum Engineering and the Institute for Energy Studies. Currently, the College of Engineering and Mines is bursting at the seams with petroleum engineering students, fueled by booming oil and gas exploration in western North Dakota. The Petroleum Engineering program started with four students in 2010 and will have more than 200 students enrolled this fall. The new building will also house the Engineering Student Success Center, which will help enrich students’ experience through personalized advising and mentorship, outreach activities, professional development opportunities, internships, and industry interactions.
“The proposed Collaborative Energy Complex is an excellent example of the successful private-sector partnerships that UND has fostered in recent years across our academic and research enterprises,” said Kelley. “I commend Dean El-Rewini and his College of Engineering and Mines colleagues for their initiative and vision to strengthen these important bonds, which should provide immediate opportunities for students and long-term solutions for the future of North Dakota and the nation.”
More than just a building to house programs, El-Rewini stressed that the new facility—as its name suggests—will provide students and faculty with a place to interact with each other as well as with colleagues from other units on campus and beyond.
“The Collaborative Energy Complex is a combination of several strategic initiatives for our College,” El-Rewini said. “It will provide a common umbrella for interdisciplinary programs in the important field of energy. In addition to providing cutting-edge lab resources and multipurpose teaching centers for students, CEC will provide space for interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty and industry representatives in all fields related to energy.”