The location of the campus in a vibrant economic center of Alabama is especially fortunate for engineering students. Many industrial facilities that employ engineers are situated in the immediate vicinity, including Delphi Automotive Systems, the Uniroyal Goodrich tire plant, the JVC Magnetics America Company, the Hunt Refining Company, a Merichem plant, the Drummond Coal Company, the Tuscaloosa Steel Corporation, Johnson Controls, the Western Division of Alabama Power Company, and many engineering consulting firms. Students often have opportunities to visit local companies, including a Mercedes-Benz manufacturing facility located nearby.
Seven buildings located in the northeastern section of the campus house the College of Engineering. Robert A. Hardaway Hall contains the departments of mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering and mechanics, and the Engineering Graphics Program. Shaler C. Houser Hall contains the departments of computer science and electrical and computer engineering. The East Engineering Building contains the Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP), engineering laboratories, and electronic classrooms.
H. M. Comer Hall, the Mineral Industries Building (MIB), contains the departments of Civil, Construction, and Environmental engineering and industrial engineering. Also located in MIB are the administrative offices of the dean, the Engineering Student Services office, the External Affairs and Development office, and the Capstone Engineering Society, as well as the Engineering Electronics Technical Services Facility and the office of the coordinator of the College computer network.
The Tom Bevill Energy, Mineral, and Materials Science Research Building contains the departments of chemical and biological engineering and metallurgical and materials engineering, the Metal Casting Technology Center, the Sponsored Engineering Programs office, and the offices for special projects such as the Environmental Institute. The biological sciences, chemistry, geology, and physics departments also share space in the building. The Houser Hall Annex contains the Engineering Mechanical Technical Services Facility, the electrical engineering microwave and optics laboratories, and the Cooperative Education Program.
The Eric and Sarah Rodgers Library for Science and Engineering is a repository for all types of scholarly information, with coverage for all science and engineering disciplines plus nursing. Built in 1990, the library is a modern facility where state-of-the-art technology is used to access information. The library provides access to many electronic resources, such as journals and Web-based databases, over the Internet. A Scientific Communications Lab is available for instructing students and faculty in the use of electronic research tools and information sources. A sampling of the library's services is found at its website: http://www.lib.ua.edu/libraries/sel.
The library's collection consists of more than 200,000 books and bound journals and about 1,400 current periodical subscriptions. The library aims to support learning, teaching, and research interests of the faculty and students. Several thousand new books and technical reports are added to the library each year, with individual titles often acquired as a result of recommendations by library users. Additional library materials, supporting studies in the social sciences, business, and humanities, are housed on campus in the Gorgas Library and the Bruno Business Library (described elsewhere in this catalog). The Geological Survey of Alabama maintains a separate library on campus, open to the public, with a large collection of materials in the earth sciences.
The library is staffed by three professional and five paraprofessional staff. Librarians provide general and specialized reference services, and offer formal instruction in the use of library resources. An active outreach program extends services to students and faculty outside the library in offices, labs, and classrooms.
The College of Engineering maintains approximately 400 PCs and workstations located throughout college offices and laboratories for use by students, faculty, and staff. In addition to these computers, the College also provides computer facilities consisting of approximately 125 IBM PCs and 12 Linux workstations that are dedicated for use by engineering and computer science students and are open daily. All of the College's computer facilities are networked and, for student convenience, are located in three different buildings. Also available to students are a number of smaller departmental computer labs consisting of approximately 100 computers of various architectures. A wide variety of hardware and software systems are available to meet the diverse needs of students in various disciplines. Both hardware and software capabilities of the computer facilities are upgraded regularly.
The College also operates computer classrooms composed of approximately 250 computers and 12 advanced multimedia presentation systems. Four of these classrooms are used by the Freshman Program. The College also houses two QUEST teaching facilities in which classes are recorded to videotape for distribution to remote learning sites. The College of Engineering Auditorium now includes an advanced multimedia presentation system with large screen graphics presentation capabilities. Also there are additional classrooms equipped with multimedia podiums capable of computer, document, and video projection.
In addition to the College of Engineering's local computer facilities is the Office of Information Technology (OIT), which serves the data-processing needs of instruction and research. OIT is located in Gordon Palmer Hall and houses an IBM 9673-R53 mainframe computer for administrative services, a Sun Enterprise 6000 System for academic services, and a Sun Enterprise 4000 System for library services. Also, access to the CRAY C94A/264 Supercomputer located in Huntsville, Alabama, is available to many College computer users.