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“Transform MEB” is the department’s largest undertaking ever, with an estimated cost of $37 million. Once it is completed, MechSE’s education, innovation, and community will bolster the department’s place among the nation’s elite engineering programs for decades to come.

The campaign has already begun in a big way: we have secured $10 million from the U of I and an inspiring $12 million pledge from alumnus Sidney Lu! This is an incredible start, but $15 million is still needed. We are asking you, our alumni and friends, to partner with us in reaching this goal.

Contact Lauren Dodge (, 217-333-7108) or Betsy Powers (, 217-333-9713) in our Advancement office, to learn about other ways you can make an impact.

Let's make this happen

The project jolted to life when alumnus Sidney Lu (BSME ’81) pledged a $12 million cornerstone gift. The east-wing addition—the largest part of the overall project—has been named the Sidney Lu Center for Learning and Innovation to honor Mr. Lu and the incredible spirit of giving he has shown toward our students.

As leader of Foxconn Interconnect Technology, Mr. Lu is an excellent example of the world-class success our alumni can attain. It was an inspiring moment when he first mentioned his desire to see the project succeed, proclaiming “Let’s make this happen!” With your help, it can and will happen.

“There are always worthy causes in terms of philanthropy, but to me it’s most important not just to give but to enable. And we can do that through excellence in education, which personifies MechSE. There is really no better place for me to invest my money in society than right here at MechSE,” said Mr. Lu.

“I have given to MechSE for many years because I believe it is important to assist our undergraduate and graduate students in their studies. If we are to maintain our position as one of the top engineering departments in the nation, we must be able to attract the best students and provide them with a top educational experience.”

- Robert Miller (BSAE ’54, MS TAM ’55, PhD TAM ’59) Professor Emeritus, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering