Jan. 9, 2017 marked the beginning of a new chapter for Lipscomb’s Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering. The new Fields Engineering Center opened its doors for the spring semester, uniting engineering faculty and students under one roof for the first time.
This 26,800-square-foot building replaces the previous engineering labs, classrooms and offices located in both the James D. Hughes Center and the McFarland Science Center on campus. Construction on the project began December 2015.
The building houses collaborative learning spaces, flexible teaching areas and labs among other features. The building is also a learning tool in itself with its exposed and color coded MPE ducting, piping and conduit in lab and learning spaces; central monitoring of mechanical systems and rooftop access for solar experimentation.
“The new facilities greatly enhance the educational opportunities for students, both present and future as they explore and discover the field of engineering in a state-of-the-art learning environment,” said Justin A. Myrick, dean of Lipscomb’s Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering.
The sustainability features also provide valuable real-world learning opportunities for students. Features include; a white roof, energy-efficient lighting, mechanical and plumbing systems designed at a LEED silver level, storm water management through planting and infiltrations, climate-appropriate materials for site landscaping and concrete structure that includes recycled content.
“These facilities will have an impact on engineering students for years to come and will help equip generations of students to make an impact on their communities through engineering,” Myrick said.
The Fields Engineering Center is named for longtime ExxonMobil executive Charles Fields and his wife, Margaret. A 1964 graduate of Lipscomb Academy, Fields graduated with a chemical engineering degree from Vanderbilt University and began his career in Houston, Texas, with Humble Oil and Refining Company, which later became ExxonMobil Corporation. In 2001, Fields was named executive vice president of ExxonMobil Development Company, the company responsible for planning and executing all major oil and gas developments for the corporation. He retired from ExxonMobil in 2006 after more than 38 years of service. He was a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers throughout his career and lived in a number of locations, including Texas, Louisiana, Florida, New Jersey and Australia.
“I believe engineers can really make a difference in the future, in addition to them having satisfying, challenging and rewarding careers, they can really make a difference because engineers are problem solvers,” said Fields. “So I am excited to be helping to support this new facility. Me and Margie were so comfortable in giving to the College of Engineering because of the dean and professors that we have gotten to know throughout the years."
Lipscomb University’s Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering provides students the opportunity to prepare for an engineering career in an educational environment that also encourages Christian character. The college offers ABET-accredited undergraduate degrees in civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering.
A major focus of Lipscomb’s engineering program is challenging its students and alumni to use their engineering education to help others and for the betterment of society. Since 2004, the engineering college has sponsored 25 volunteer mission teams providing 200 spots for students to carry out ministry support, disaster relief and community development in Honduras, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. This past summer, engineering faculty and students completed a 104-foot-long pedestrian bridge in San Esteban, Honduras, to connect two schools separated by a very busy highway that elementary and middle school students must cross daily.