Berkeley Engineering

Spring 2003


From the Dean

In the News


Chang-Lin Tien (1935-2002): a chancellor's extraordinary legacy


Myers joins College faculty following work on human genome

> Popular scientific press cites College faculty
> Engineering alum selected for Haas award

Cal stuns Stanford in Big Game


Let there be light: Berkeley library top ranked


Two Cal engineers stump "Gimpy" bot blocker



Student Spotlight

Alumni Update

Class Notes

College Support

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hearst gala image
The September 22, 2002, gala event celebrating the reopening of Hearst Memorial Mining Building attracted nearly 1,000 guests and featured remarks by College, campus and state luminaries, lab demonstrations, and a rousing performance by the Cal Band.

Hearst Mining Building opens a new chapter in history

Hearst Memorial Mining Building officially reopened last fall, following a sweeping four-year renovation, restoration, and retrofit project that ushers the 1907 architectural landmark into a new era of high-tech engineering, nanoscience, and interdisciplinary research.

The building is rich in architectural detail and steeped in the history of California, the campus and the College. From its magnificent front doors, through the vaulted skylights of the entryway, to the Douglas fir window frames, its original features have been painstakingly restored and protected against the inevitability of a major quake on the nearby Hayward fault.

Hearst 1907 image

Mining was at its peak in 1907, and Hearst Memorial Mining Building was designed to be the largest and finest facility in the world devoted to mining education. The architect was John Galen Howard, and the benefactor was Phoebe Apperson Hearst, who dedicated the building to the memory of her husband George Hearst, a U.S. Senator and prosperous miner. She is barely visible in this photo of the August 23 opening, nearly a century ago, black parasol in hand.

In the process, the 19th century relic has been transformed into a 21st century marvel, providing an entirely updated infrastructure and new classrooms and labs for the most advanced materials science and nanoengineering research.

The pristine labs are equipped with precise light and temperature controls, mechanically stable space frames, and speedy power connections. These features will facilitate engineering advanced materials for everything from golf clubs to semiconductors, airplane parts, and artificial joints.

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering, which relocated to Evans Hall during construction, will return to Hearst Mining this May. New tenants will include components of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), the intercampus initiative launched by Gov. Gray Davis to apply information technology solutions to pressing societal concerns such as energy supply, the environment, and homeland security.

The retrofit involved base isolation technology, pioneered by Berkeley engineers 20 years ago, replacing the building’s brittle foundation with a shock-absorbent system of 134 composite steel and rubber bearings that allow the building to roll horizontally 28 inches in any direction.

Inside the front entrance of the four-story, 135,000-square-foot, 60-million-pound building, the exquisite Memorial Gallery features skylights and arches decorated with Guastavino tiles. Each pane of glass was inventoried and repaired or restored, and individual tiles were reinforced with pins for seismic security.

The $90.6 million project was funded by state, individual, and corporate donations.

FOREFRONT takes you into the labs, classrooms, and lives of professors, students, and alumni for an intimate look at the innovative research, teaching, and campus life that defines the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

Published three times a year by the Engineering Public Affairs Office. Have a comment about Forefront? E-mail your letter to the editor. Click here to learn more about the magazine.

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