University raises $10 million for new science building

Author: Strategic Marketing and Communications
May 17, 2022
Science & Engineering Innovation Center

SF State moves closer to its fundraising goal for the Science & Engineering Innovation Center thanks to the Genentech Foundation and other partners

San Francisco State University has received commitments totaling more than $10 million from the Genentech Foundation and other partners in support of the new Science & Engineering Innovation Center (SEIC). The gifts mark the public launch of San Francisco State’s Catalyze the Future campaign to raise $25 million from private sources. With the California State University system investing $150 million to fully cover the facility’s construction, $25 million in privately raised funds will provide leading-edge research equipment and support to student success initiatives and programming related to SEIC.

Among the funds raised thus far is a generous $5 million gift from the Genentech Foundation. The majority of these funds ($3.5M) will provide state-of-the-art equipment for chemistry teaching labs and activities. The remainder will contribute to student scholarships, support faculty designing new chemistry curricula associated with new ways of teaching chemistry on campus, and help faculty and student research activities in the new building. Commitments from other funders to date focus on equipment and instrumentation for the facility.

“The Catalyze the Future campaign builds on our decade-long partnership with SF State by expanding access to the most advanced technologies, facilities and curricula to make it easier for students from historically underrepresented communities to pursue degrees in STEM fields,” said Allen Napetian, Board Chair of the Genentech Foundation and Vice President, Site Services at Genentech. “We are already so impressed by SF State students and faculty, and now expect the renovations and improvements supported by this new funding to further enhance students’ educational experience and academic outcomes.”

The 179,000-square-foot SEIC is a historic opportunity for SF State to provide science and engineering classrooms and labs furnished with state-of-the-art technology and tools. The addition will expand student education and research opportunities, and provide high-quality labs for many College of Science & Engineering (CoSE) faculty members. SEIC will serve more than 7,000 CoSE students and hundreds of general education students each year.

As the new home of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, SEIC will facilitate studio-style hands-on chemistry teachings, which will impact all CoSE students who have to take chemistry. The new facilities will include three studio-style integrated lecture/lab chemistry classrooms with audio-visual systems, configurable work stations, and integrated research and lecture labs. A physical chemistry and chromatography lab will have two mass spectrometers available for research. Other noteworthy additions include facilities for protein crystallography — a new experimental capability for the University — and cold room and culture support spaces for advanced studies of macromolecules.

In addition, the new building will also house the School of Engineering. New engineering facilities include two makerspaces and a machine shop where students can produce and prototype their designs and projects. For many students, this will be their first experience working in a creative makerspace. There will also be an engineering applied project space with a strong wall/strong floor and shake table that will be used by hundreds of undergraduate students in fundamental engineering courses and by students participating in engineering competitions. Other highlights include a robotics and mechatronics lab, an engineering fluids and process control lab with wind- and water-testing capacity, a configurable training HVAC system and more.

The CoSE dean’s offices will also be moving to the 5th floor of SEIC. On the ground floor, there will be an accessible Student Success Center and Student Enrichment Opportunities Office (SEO), along with a donor wall and a reconfigurable lecture hall/teaching space with advanced audio-visual capabilities.

Slated for completion in 2024, the newly built 125,000-square-foot building and renovated and repurposed 54,000-square-foot building will have frontage on 19th Avenue’s transportation corridor. SEIC will be designed to be LEED Gold-certified, with leading-edge energy and ventilation systems. Many spaces in the building will be flexible and adaptable and can be reconfigured to reflect changing needs and future technologies. As the college’s students graduate, their diversity, perspectives and commitment to living in the Bay Area will positively impact the local STEM industries and community.

“The new SEIC building will provide students with the quality education and hands-on training necessary to meet the new and rapidly changing science and technology needs of the Bay Area and the nation,” said Dean of the College of Science & Engineering Carmen Domingo.