"Wilsdorf Hall is a major step forward in Virginia's commitment to best-in-class science and engineering education, built on the promise of collaborative research that will yield breakthrough discoveries for the global marketplace."
Virginia Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra
Wilsdorf Hall is named in honor of the late Professor Heinz G.F. Wilsdorf, who was first chair of the Department of Materials Science and his wife, the late University Professor Emerita Doris Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf.
Wilsdorf Hall is a 99,000 gross-square-foot, five-story structure that links the University's materials science and chemical engineering buildings. It includes research laboratories, faculty offices, conference rooms, computational facilities and work-study areas.
The building serves researchers in materials science and engineering, chemical engineering and nanotechnology at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Gregory H. Olsen, a 1971 graduate of the Department of Materials Science, gave the lead gift for this building. A suite of laboratories and the connection between Wilsdorf Hall and the chemistry library were made possible by a generous gift from the Matthews family, in honor of the late John W. Matthews, the gifted scientist who pioneered the understanding of epitaxy. Additional private supporters include E. Lee (CE '58) and Janet C. Showalter who named a computational lab in Wilsdorf. Mr. Showalter also issued a challenge to his fellow 1958 classmates to match his gift and name the student lounge. Additional funding came from University resources and corporate donors, including the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation and Merck & Co. Inc.
Construction began in 2003, with Mr. Olsen on a backhoe digging the first shovelful of dirt near Engineer's Way. The building was dedicated in November 2006 and is now a vibrant environment for formal and informal interdisciplinary collaborations.