During the October 2010 dedication ceremony for Stephen F. and Camilla T. Brauer Hall at Washington University’s McKelvey School of Engineering, the facility was hailed as “a hub for new ideas” and “the focal point for research that will lead to a healthier, more sustainable, and cleaner planet.”
The facility was the second building to open as part of a new engineering complex on the east end of the Danforth Campus. It expanded the engineering school’s footprint by 150,875 square feet—adding 32 labs, 60 offices, 180 student workspaces, two classrooms, and vital collaboration spaces—and provided a home for faculty members in the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering and Department of Biomedical Engineering.
Named in recognition of the contributions of longtime university benefactors and leaders Stephen and Camilla Brauer, the building went on to become the first LEED Gold-certified academic building at WashU and receive multiple construction industry awards.
Lauded for its design, Brauer Hall’s greatest impact is reflected in the work accomplished behind its granite and limestone façade over the past decade. Fulfilling the expectations of planners and engineering community members, the building has become a destination and pathway for innovative teaching and research.
“Brauer Hall stands as the centerpiece of a masterfully designed and executed engineering campus. Flanked by Whitaker and Green halls, and providing the architectural context for Jubel and McKelvey halls, Brauer Hall is the focal point for the McKelvey School of Engineering. It is where we pursue life-changing, interdisciplinary research and produce dynamic engineering leaders through education and interactive experiences.”
McKelvey Engineering dean and James M. McKelvey Professor
“We have been able to use Brauer Hall to make a mark well beyond Washington University. Having the space for in-depth discussions for long hours in the company of scholars has had a catalytic effect on our research. Simply stated, there is a pre-Brauer phase, which sowed the seeds and helped us take root in areas of interest to us. And during our time thus far in Brauer, we have built on the foundations of our lab’s efforts and grown into various synergistic areas of biophysics and bioengineering that we did not think possible.”
Edwin H. Murty Professor of Engineering
“In 2008, I started my faculty position with an office in Cupples II. I had three small labs—one in Urbauer Hall basement, one in Sever Hall basement, and the last one in Lopata Hall. It took a lot of planning to coordinate the research work in the three separate labs and my office. Once we moved to Brauer Hall in 2010, all that changed. We could work systematically and effectively, and the productivity of our work and the safety in the lab significantly improved. Moving to Brauer Hall was the start of many career and scientific accomplishments.”
Professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering
“Brauer Hall is unique in its collaborative thrust. The faculty suites allow for research discussions and collaborative ideas to occur amongst faculty very easily. Not all academic buildings have such discussion-focused spaces, so this is an important distinction. Similarly, the trainees who work in my research lab are able to interact easily in the connected office space with each other and their fellow Brauer Hall trainees. … Brauer Hall has made our research easier, which has led to acceleration of our discoveries.”
Associate professor of biomedical engineering
“In addition to providing the environment that is necessary to perform cutting-edge research, first-in-class facilities like Brauer Hall instill an excitement in the students and faculty that fosters creativity. It is also enormously important in attracting new faculty and students to the university. There is a compounding effect in that as we excel, we are more attractive to others, and thus we excel even more.”
Richard Axelbaum, BS ’77
Stifel and Quinette Jens Professor of Environmental Engineering Science
“Brauer Hall has become a home base for me and for many of my fellow Dual Degree Program students. We are always working collaboratively in the conference rooms, and I enjoy being able to connect with professors within the many study areas of Brauer. The building has created a wonderful environment for students to learn together.”
Anna Hartig, Class of 2023