Penn’s Electrical and Systems Engineering Department reimagines labs for the future
Focused on research areas ranging from the promising use of robotics to aid in disaster response operations to the development of informational systems for energy, health and transportation, the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering (ESE) is recognized as a thriving intellectual hub at Penn.
To support the forward-looking mission of the Department and the School, ESE has expanded and renovated many of its laboratories. The modern and multi-functional Dorothy M. Angello ESE Suite occupies the second floor of the Moore School Building, located at the corner of 33rd and Walnut Streets, and serves as a brilliant example of architectural revitalization. The Suite’s new labs were designed to facilitate collaborative discovery and the cross-fertilization of ideas, and are outfitted with equipment and instrumentation to perform at the leading technological edge.
“ESE is at the center of the School’s future while standing on the shoulders of the great Penn engineers of the past,” says Department Chair and Joseph Moore Professor George J. Pappas. “In 1946, Penn gave the world its first digital computer through what was called the ENIAC Project. This was the seed of a cultural transformation that rivals the discovery of fire,” says Pappas. “Today, as ESE dives deeper into the relationship between technology and humanity, we see clearly that tomorrow’s problem solvers will need to possess insatiable curiosity, a broad foundational understanding and a dose of humility.”
ESE makes its home in the very building where the ENIAC computer was developed, and museum-quality displays of the original ENIAC remind Moore School Building visitors of Penn’s unique and profound place in history. Penn Engineering looks forward to creating, repurposing and renovating space throughout Engineering’s corner of campus and beyond to meet the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s researchers. Importantly, up-to-the-moment labs and facilities have been proven to attract faculty and students of the highest caliber.
A goal of the ESE renovation was to ensure the facility retained a valued deference to Penn’s storied past and also inspired a new brand of unbridled curiosity and commitment. Says Pappas, “We are creating the research in both basic and applied arenas to impact everything from urban transit to prosthetic device enhancements to mobile solar power. In the end, it’s about changing people’s lives for the better, and in significant and lasting ways.”