Engineering school receives $15mn donation

The University of Michigan College of Engineering on Feb. 16 was given a $15 million gift. In recognition, the Computer Science and Engineering Building will be named the Bob and Betty Beyster Building.

Philanthropist J. Robert Beyster is a four-time UM alumnus and founder of the research and engineering firm, Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC).

In addition to entrepreneurship programs and capital improvements at the college, the gift provides a minimum of $9 million to endow a fellowship program that will fund up to 10 engineering doctoral students each year.

The Beyster Fellows Program will support students in fields that link high-performance computing to applications with real-world impact. That could include research in bioinformatics, mobile computing, network security, renewable energy materials, advanced imaging and stealth technologies, nuclear reactor safety and robotic systems for automotive safety and military vehicles, among other areas. The gift also includes up to $5 million toward renovating the Ford Nuclear Reactor Building, pending project approval.

The gift also contributes up to $1 million to the Center for Entrepreneurship to educate students and the community about the benefits of employee ownership.

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