More big news out of Duke University: the school plans to invest $100 million in a new center for the study of Engineering and Physics. The 85,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in 2018, creating a state-of-the-art space where Engineering and Physics faculty and students will work on both pure research and consumer projects with practical applications, like solar power.

This facility was announced during celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Duke Engineering in April.

Thus far in 2015, Duke has made impressive advances across the board in the area of science and technology. In addition to this sizeable investment, Duke recently appointed Tim Cook, Apple CEO (among many others) to the school’s Board of Trustees. Cook joined the Board of Trustees with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, and joined forces with the rest of the board, including board member David Topper, an alum of Duke, financial strategist, and business leader who also supports science education in the United States.

“This facility will make possible the best of Duke’s vision for teaching and learning: bringing together students from different fields of study to work collaboratively on projects that address the problems of our time,” said Duke President Richard H. Brodhead. “It will provide a physical home for Duke’s growing partnerships that link engineering with the sciences and liberal arts, helping our students develop the board perspectives they need to become leaders and innovators.”

The new facility will have many benefits for the university. According to Trinity College of Arts & Sciences dean Dan Kiehart, the state-of-the-art facility will both allow the university to attract and retain the best faculty, and will create a dynamic environment where education and industry will meet.

This new facility will be reside in Duke’s West Campus, tucked between the Teer Engineering Building and the Physics Building. Here’s how the 85,000 square-feet will be allocated:

  • 25,000: Educational space, including teaching labs and classrooms to be shared by the Pratt School of Engineering and the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences.
  • 5,000: To create a 150-seat lecture hall.
  • 40,000: Devoted to engineering research.
  • 15,000: Devoted to physics research.

You can learn more about this facility by reading this press release at Duke Today.