College of Engineering receives $3 million from Harris Corp.

Published: November 3rd, 2009

Category: Announcements, InsideUF, Seen & Heard, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida’s College of Engineering announced today (Nov. 3) that it is receiving $3 million in support from Harris Corporation, based in Melbourne, Fla., to promote research collaboration, train scientists, and retain and recruit faculty.

The gift, made through the Harris Foundation, will establish an endowment fund to support early stage, innovative research projects in the field of computer science and engineering. Areas of research may include mobile communications, high-performance computing and medical informatics.

“We’re very fortunate to be part of Harris Corporation’s leadership initiative in education and research,” said UF President Bernie Machen. “Their commitment to UF and their recognition of the importance of a healthy and diverse state economy demonstrates an optimistic strategic view of the future, and we share that view with Harris.”

In recognition of the Harris gift, UF will create the Harris Gateway to Learning and Innovation in the College of Engineering, housed in the current Computer and Information Sciences building. A portion of the gift will fund the renovation of the third floor of the building to make way for this new facility.

“The Harris Gateway is aptly named in that it will provide a ‘door’ to many benefits,” said Howard L. Lance, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Harris. “It will support the ¬¬¬recruitment and development of outstanding faculty, enhance industry partnerships, create a dynamic educational model and play a key role in recruiting outstanding students to UF.”

Harris Corporation has had a longtime partnership with the University of Florida and currently employs 850 of its graduates.

“The Harris gift is an example of how leadership, partnership and innovation can mutually benefit two dynamic organizations, and in turn, benefit industry and the nation’s economy,” said Cammy Abernathy, dean of the College of Engineering. “It is also a fitting tribute to the launch of the college’s celebration of its 100th anniversary.”

The renovated space in the Computer and Information Sciences building will foster an “intellectual collision,” according to Abernathy. More than 1,100 students, 40 faculty and many visitors from industry frequent the building on a routine basis. The Harris Gateway creates a comfortable, conducive environment for the interaction of these individuals.

Work on the renovation is scheduled to begin in spring 2010.

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