Gene Haas Foundation Donates $1M to Advanced Engineering Building

Rendering of Makerspace

The Gene Haas Foundation's $1 million gift will support the creation of a collaborative makerspace in the new Advanced Engineering Building.

Nov. 3, 2021

Premier makerspace to be named the Gene Haas Collaboratorium after Foundation founder

The Gene Haas Foundation has committed $1 million to UNLV to support the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering’s Advanced Engineering Building (AEB). The new building will enable UNLV to meet skyrocketing enrollment demands in engineering and support a highly skilled workforce, integral to Nevada’s economic future. Fundamental to the building is a premier makerspace where students, industry partners and even the public can work together on projects. This gift will make that space possible and be named in the Foundation’s honor. 

“As an urban research university with one of the most diverse undergraduate populations in the country, our greatest purpose is to remove obstacles that stand in the way of dedicated students and get them to the finish line,” said Keith E. Whitfield, President of UNLV. “We are inspired by community partners like the Gene Haas Foundation for the opportunities their donation provides to the future generations of UNLV's engineering students.” 

The Gene Haas Foundation was established in 1999 by Haas Automation, Inc. founder and CEO Gene Haas, to support the needs of the local community. It has expanded to support manufacturing training and education programs worldwide and provided more than $120 million dollars in grants since its inception. Haas Automation is the largest machine tool manufacturer in the western world and is currently building a new facility in Henderson, Nevada.

While the new manufacturing facility will bring skilled jobs to Southern Nevada, the gift from the Foundation brings opportunities for students and the community. The 3,800 square foot Gene Haas Collaboratorium will be a space where students can work together to design and build their innovations and will include various hands-on equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, tabletop mills, and computers with design and training software. Situated in the southeast corner of the new building, the makerspace will have glass walls facing the new pedestrian UNLV Innovation Boulevard, where all passers-by can watch the activities taking place within.

“The Advanced Engineering Building will be an embodiment of the college’s mission, ‘Educate, Engage, Inspire, Innovate,’” said Rama Venkat, dean of the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering. “Its construction is about more than creating a state-of-the-art space, it is about creating a diversified economy for the state, a skilled workforce for industries, and a stronger, thriving Nevada for us all. None of it would be possible without the vision and support of partners and donors like the Gene Haas Foundation.” 

The $73.6 million state-of-the-art Advanced Engineering Building is funded by the State Legislature, UNLV capital bonding, and private gifts. Groundbreaking is scheduled for January 2022, and opens to students in the spring 2024 semester. For more information regarding the Advanced Engineering Building, including naming opportunities, contact engineering@unlv.edu or call 702-895-2913.