Published: May 13, 2019 By

Photo of the building with overlaid text saying "Building Complete"
Live webcam of the Aerospace Building construction site.

Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences is moving! After 18 months of construction, the department will vacate all of its space in the Engineering Center this summer and move to a brand new, dedicated building for the aerospace department on East Campus.

The new facility is located on Discovery Drive between the LASP Space Sciences building and SEEC/SEEL building off Colorado Blvd.

Over the summer, all of the aerospace department laboratories, centers, faculty and staff offices, workshops (e.g. machining, electronics), graduate student workspaces, and other equipment will be relocated to the new building. The entirety of the department will reside in the new building.

Save the Date now for our Grand Opening Celebration on Monday, August 26, 2019 at 12:30pm (the first day of Fall classes). More information will be announced in the coming months.

How will this impact students?

Starting Fall 2019, all aerospace courses will be taught in the new building, with the exception of certain freshman-level classes (see "What courses will be in the new building?" below). All faculty offices and laboratories will also be located in the new building.

Colorado Space Grant Consortium, which is not part of Smead Aerospace, will remain in the DLC.

How does this building compare to the Engineering Center?

The Engineering Center (EC)—comprised of multiple compartmentalized structures—was originally completed in 1965, while this four-story, 175,000 sq. ft. building will allow the Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences department’s community to be under one roof together – all while adding to the overall CU Engineering footprint on campus. Not to mention that there are windows everywhere in the new building. Even fully internal spaces have cut-outs to allow natural light in.

The new building will also be LEED Gold certified and built to limit its environmental footprint. In additional to technological innovations, as part of being a building with sustainability in mind, there will be shower facilities to encourage biking and other types of non-car commuting.

The building was designed through discussions with CU Boulder faculty and students, and will allow us to expand our course offerings, research collaborations, and cement CU Boulder as the hub of Colorado’s aerospace industry.

How will I get around the new building?

The new building is “L”-shaped, with multiple elevators and stairwells that access all four floors.

There will be a helpdesk in the first-floor lobby that will have partial student worker coverage throughout the week, much like the EC lobby information desk, to field questions and direct students and visitors. You can also seek help from the department’s Administrative Suite located on the 2nd floor of the new building. This is where advising services will be located, too.

Room Numbering: All rooms in the new building will use “AERO ###” as their format (versus the “ECAE” or “ECNT” abbreviations you’re used to seeing in the Engineering Center). And since it is a single building, “AERO” will be the only room designation.

Research Clusters in the building will be organized by floor:

  • 1st Floor: Classrooms, Machine Shop, Wood Shop
  • 2nd Floor: Autonomous Systems (Focus Area), IRISS, RECUV, Department Administration Offices
  • 3rd Floor: Bioastronautics (Focus Area), Fluids, Structures, and Materials (Focus Area), Aerospace Mechanics Research Center (AMReC, formerly Center for Aerospace Structures),
  • 4th Floor: Astrodynamics & Satellite Navigation (Focus Area), Remote Sensing (Focus Area), Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR), Space Weather Center

Where can I get food in the new building?

There will be a coffee bar on the first floor. It will be similar in size to the Celestial Seasonings booths in the Engineering Center. In addition, the SEEC/SEEL building, located next door, has a hot sandwich shop. The Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building opposite LASP also has a café.

What’s the new building address?

3775 Discovery Dr.
Boulder, CO 80303

When is the department moving?

June 24 – July 17.

We will be fully moved into the new building before the start of fall semester.

What courses will be in the new building?

All ASEN courses will be taught in the new building except for the following freshman-level classes, which will remain in the Engineering Center:

  • ASEN 1022 – Materials Science for Aerospace Engineers
  • GEEN 1400 – First-Year Engineering Projects
  • ASEN 1400 – Gateway to Space
  • ASEN 1969 – Pathway to Space

How do I get back and forth to main campus?

The Stampede bus runs between main campus and east campus every ten minutes from 8:30 – 5:30 PM Monday – Friday. More information on bus routes is available from Parking and Transportation.

East Campus Parking Map
East Campus map. The Aerospace Building is marked in orange. Parking lots are shown in blue.

Where can I park?

There is a large existing lot (Lot 546/556) located behind the new building. This lot is shared with SEEC/SEEL. Passes may be purchased—or transferred from Regent/Lot 436—from Parking and Transportation. Hourly metered spaces are also available.

Is there enough time between back-to-back classes to get from the new building to main campus?

All East Campus classes, including those in the new aerospace building, have start times shifted by 30 minutes. This means courses taught at 10:00 AM on main campus are taught at 10:30 AM in the aerospace building. A fringe benefit of this 30-minute shift is the earliest morning start time for classes in the new building is 8:30 AM.

What will happen to the existing aerospace labs and offices in the Engineering Center?

This new building is not just great for our aerospace department – it benefits our whole engineering community here at CU. The College of Engineering & Applied Science will use the current aerospace wing as a rotating space for other departments to use temporarily while their departmental spaces get renovated. The former aerospace wing in the Engineering Center will also be updated and our other departments in the college will benefit from its use.