BMEC Phase Two gets green light

Posted: April 23, 2021

By the summer of 2024, students and faculty will begin moving into Phase Two of the Biomedical and Materials Engineering Complex (BMEC), completing the most significant capital investments in teaching, learning and discovery in the College of Engineering’s history.

BMEC rendering from the  northwest
A rendering viewed from the northwest of a completed BMEC

In late February, The Ohio State University Board of Trustees authorized the university to enter and increase professional service and construction contracts for the completion of BMEC. Phase One of the Biomedical and Materials Engineering Complex—the university’s investment in next-generation materials research, development and experiential learning—was completed in summer 2020. Bringing together the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, Phase One showcases the exceptional teaching and research happening in the heart of Ohio State’s Columbus campus, while inspiring life-saving, unprecedented advances in the rapidly growing field of biomaterials.

In 2019, the College of Engineering leadership named BMEC Phase One the Mars G. Fontana Laboratories to honor metallurgical engineering’s tradition and impact at Ohio State. Widely regarded as the father of modern corrosion engineering, Mars Fontana (1910-1988) was one of the world's pioneers in research establishing basic scientific knowledge of the phenomenon of corrosion and its applications in engineering.

From innovations that enable lighter, stronger and more efficient vehicles to engineering tissue and other biomaterials to advance medicine, some of the world’s most critical problems will be solved at BMEC. The $90 million Phase Two project, which includes state and university investment plus a $20 million philanthropic target, will see Watts Hall demolished, prior to the construction of a new build facility attaching to a renovated MacQuigg Laboratories. In total, Phase Two will be a 156,000 square foot facility featuring modern, efficient spaces for 21st century teaching and research.

Design work for the highly anticipated Phase Two will begin this year. Demolition and construction for Phase Two is expected to begin in the summer of 2022.

BMEC project in progress (March 2021)
Photo taken in March 2021 of completed Phase One to the right of Watts Hall and MacQuigg Laboratories

In addition to completing the footprint needed to become home of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Phase Two will provide STEM education focused teaching labs, a new leadership suite for the College of Engineering and a residence for the Department of Electrical Engineering’s materials research group. First-year engineering classes also will move to BMEC, providing a model for the classroom of the future.

“Students and faculty are very attracted to new, open spaces with increased opportunities to collaborate, and the greatly enhanced environment for teaching and research” said Mike Mills, department chair for materials science and engineering. “Phase Two will strengthen the advances made through the construction of Fontana Labs and provide the department room for future growth and expansion on all fronts.”

Interested in learning how to support this critical project? Please contact Steve Crissinger, senior director of development for the college, at crissinger.15@osu.edu.