Hessert Laboratory

The old Aerospace Laboratory affectionately
referred to as the "Aero Shack"


By the late 1970s it was quite apparent that the original Aerospace Laboratory Building was nearing the end of its service life. Therefore a plan for a new building was developed. This involved the renovation of the old Heat and Power building on the North side of the campus. Prior to 1980, this building housed many of the laboratories for the Mechanical Engineering program. Professor Stephen Batill developed the rst plan for the renovation of the building to include the facilities from the Aerospace Laboratory. However, it was not until 1987 that the funding for the renovation was realized through a generous gift from Marilyn and Thomas Hessert. This resulted in the founding of the Hessert Center for Aerospace Research. This was later changed to the Hessert Laboratory for Aerospace Research in 2003 following the establishment of the Center for Flow Physics and Control (FlowPAC).

The architects used earlier plans and requirements to create the building that now houses the Hessert Laboratory. The original architects' drawing and a photograph of the newly completed laboratory are shown below. The plans added two levels totaling 15,000 sq-ft to the front of the Heat and Power Building. In addition it renovated the the original building to make space available for the Aerospace Research Laboratory facilities. The combined space totaled 40,000 sq-ft.

The ground breaking ceremony for the Hessert Laboratory took place in 1989. The Hessert Laboratory was completed in 1991. This was shortly followed by the demolition of the old Aerospace Laboratory. This ended an era dating back to the early 1940s. However the traditions forged in the "Aero Lab" were carried over into the Hessert Laboratory and in FlowPAC.