New chemical engineering and biomedical engineering building

New Building Plan

A new building for the departments of Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering is planned to open in 2019. The project is currently the largest project in Penn State's capital plan.


  • New and expanded faculty, staff and administrative offices to accommodate department growth
  • Specialized chemical engineering laboratories
  • Student collaboration space and project-based education
  • 194,500 total square feet

$150MM total cost: The College of Engineering needs to raise $10MM of these funds

Approved by the Penn State project decision review board, October 2014

News for Students 

In late fall, work will begin on a new six-story home for the Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Departments. This new building is scheduled to open in early 2019 and  will occupy the current site of Fenske Lab. All students, staff, faculty, and labs currently in Fenske Lab will move to temporary locations during the summer and fall of 2016. 

What to Expect

Though the Chemical Engineering Department will be in temporary space from late 2016 through 2018 while the new building is under construction, business will occur as usual with classes and chemical engineering education. Nearly all of the undergraduate chemical engineering classes are already taught in classrooms outside of Fenske Lab, and this will continue to be the case when the department is in its temporary space.

During summer 2016, all of the undergraduate program functions will move to the lower level of Thomas Building. This location will have the ChE 480 lab, the computer labs, the AIChE/OXE student office, and the undergraduate program office with Rachel Smith and Dr. Matsoukas.  Other faculty members who will be located in the Thomas Building are Dr. Hillsley, Prof. McFadden, and Drs. Velegol, Borhan, and Armaou. There will also be a conference room in the Thomas Building for TA office hours. The accommodations for the 480 lab and the computer labs will be much nicer than what we currently have in Fenske, so the move to temporary space will be an upgrade in this regard. 

Most of the experimental research labs in Fenske will move to the Greenberg Ice Pavilion, which is located between McKean and Hastings Roads, west of University Drive. Greenberg will also house the graduate program office and most of the people currently in Fenske. There will also be a conference room in Greenberg for TA office hours.

If you have any questions about the changes that will be taking place during the summer and fall, please feel free to contact department head, Phillip Savage, or Roger Dunlap, Chemical Engineering Facilities Coordinator.

Additional information will be available soon



The Penn State Department of Chemical Engineering, established in 1948, is recognized as one of the largest and most influential chemical engineering departments in the nation.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry.

Department of Chemical Engineering

121 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2574