MechSE Giving Opportunities

MechSE is consistently ranked as one of the top mechanical engineering programs in the nation and continues to thrive because of the generosity of our donors. The support of our alumni and friends greatly helps the department as we pursue the best students and faculty and seek to provide them an outstanding academic experience. The generosity of our donors has an immediate impact on our students through the support of awards, scholarships, fellowships, and Senior Capstone Design projects. Read each giving opportunity below to learn more about that specific fund.

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MechSE Giving Opportunities

Give to Students

MechSE Engineering Visionary Scholarship

Engineering Visionary Scholarship (EVS) Initiative. The opportunity to improve the quality, diversity, and global influence of our undergraduate students has never been greater. The opportunity to improve the quality, diversity, and global influence of our undergraduate students has never been greater. Scholarships bring the nation’s best students to the College of Engineering and Illinois MechSE by making college more affordable. Since the EVS fund’s launch, the College has seen:

  • 55% increase in the number of women in the freshman class
  • 55% increase in the number of under-represented minority students in the freshman class
  • 6 times more first-generation college students offered scholarships than in 2012

MechSE Graduate Fellowships

The MechSE Graduate Fellowships Fund is a current use fund which is used to provide fellowships to deserving MechSE graduate students. Contributions to the fund are used to provide MechSE Outstanding and Excellence Fellowships and also to supplement fellowship funding from named fellowship awards.

Mechanical Science and Engineering Priority Fund

Mechanical Science and Engineering Priority Fund (formerly the MechSE Alumni Educational Fund) provides flexible, unrestricted support to the department. Contributions to the fund are used to provide scholarships and fellowships to our students, to maintain and improve our state-of-the-art undergraduate instructional and research laboratories, to support our departmental seminar series, to support various student groups and activities, to help recruit the very best faculty and staff, and to support many other departmental programs and needs.

Give to Facilities

Sidney Lu Mechanical Engineering Building

Since 1950, the Mechanical Engineering Building (MEB) has been the foundation and headquarters for one of the nation’s top engineering departments. Nearly 20,000 students have become engineers here and then entered the world prepared to take it by storm. Now, buoyed by a cornerstone gift from alumnus Sidney Lu, we have the opportunity to transform MEB into an incredible, 21st-century facility that will inspire and empower current and future generations of MechSE students to be the best in the world.

This historic project includes a five-story addition to the east of MEB, a single-story addition to the north, and 66,000 square feet of existing space re-imagined, re-engineered, and optimized for education, innovation, and community. More than ever before, the Sidney Lu Mechanical Engineering Building will be the place where successful careers are launched and the seeds of innovation are sown. It will be truly transformational.

Naming opportunities include: 

  • MechSE MakerWorks -- a comprehensive all-in-one student co-working space
    • Innovation Studio
    • Senior Design studios
    • Biomechanics, Robotics, Automation & Mechatronics Lab
    • Design & Manufacturing Lab
    • Active Learning Lab
    • Metal machining space
    • Woodworking space
  • Active learning or traditional classrooms throughout the building
  • Student Center on the first floor in the new addition
  • Huddle rooms for Undergraduate Programs and Graduate Programs
  • Conference rooms
  • Prefunction study spaces
  • Multipurpose spaces

To name your own space in the building or for more information, please contact Kendra Wolf, Associate Director of Advancement.

Laboratory Support and Naming

There are currently more than 50 labs in MechSE conducting education and research in such diverse areas as materials testing, automotive systems, fluid mechanics, micro- and nano-electromechanical systems, energetic materials and much more. Corporate partners or individuals may get involved by sponsoring research projects or educational activities, or by donating state-of-the-art equipment. 

Equipment Donations

Donations of equipment that supports the current education and research missions of MechSE are welcome. Such donations may be designated with a plaque or nameplate honoring the individual or corporate donor. For more information on these giving opportunities, please contact Alec Verone.

Give to Special Projects

MechSE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fund

These funds support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Funds will be used for student and staff expenditures such as travel to attend DEI conferences, school recruitment and benchmarking visits to help improve current DEI efforts, and company enrichment and educational visits for students to build corporate networks.

MechSE Senior Design (ME 470) Fund

The MechSE Senior Design Project (ME 470) Fund supports our Senior Capstone Design course. In ME 470, students work in teams under the supervision of MechSE professors to tackle real design problems from manufacturers and service industries. Students gain a variety of benefits from this open-ended problem-solving experience, which requires them to synthesize and apply the knowledge they have gained through their engineering courses, to work within time and budget constraints, and to present their progress and results through regular oral and written communications with company members.

MechSE Student Society Funds

Student organizations provide members with a variety of opportunities for social and professional development. Organizations build camaraderie among current students in MechSE and offer them a venue for networking with engineering students on other campuses. Because the student organizations are affiliated with national engineering associations, they also present an important opportunity to connect with professional engineers in a variety of employment settings. For the professional engineer, student organizations furnish an ideal setting for interacting with a committed group of students, in many cases students who share a disciplinary focus.  MechSE students are active in a number of honorary and professional societies.

Advancement, Alumni, and Corporate Contacts

Kendra Wolf

Kendra Wolf
Associate Director of Advancement
160 Sidney Lu MEB
1206 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 300-7297

Steve Zahos

Steve Zahos
Coordinator of Corporate and Alumni Relations
1056 Lu MEB
1206 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 300-6798