U.A. Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Building
- This building was awarded the American Concrete Institute Georgia Chapter’s 2003 1st Place Award for Low-Rise Buildings.
The U.A. Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Building is home to the only public-private joint academic department in the country: the Coulter School of Biomedical Engineering. This $23 million facility is the hub for Georgia Tech and Emory students who are members of this program. Spread over 90,000 square feet, it provides classrooms and research laboratories fit to carry out high laboratory live loads. The state-of-the-art construction techniques and materials used in the creation of this building are featured on several construction and supplier sites as the model for their future business opportunities. All of this was made possible by the leading gift of $16 million biomedical engineering program development grant from the Whitaker Foundation.
The building is designed as two wings joined by a common connector. Each wing is comprised of classrooms, laboratories, offices and a lecture hall, while the connector provides public gathering and collaboration spaces. The $23-million facility is one of four buildings that make up the new Life Sciences and Technology Complex in the heart of the campus.
Whitaker was an extraordinary man, earning a mechanical engineering degree from MIT, an electrical engineering degree from Carnegie Institute of Technology, and a law degree from Cleveland Law School. He founded Aircraft-Marine Products, which was grounded by the following principle: "Discover what the customer needs and supply it." Within 10 years, it was offering thousands of custom connection devices and soon became the world’s largest manufacturer of electrical devices. Upon his death in 1975, his will granted $120 million to the development of Biomedical Engineering research.