Everything at cutting-edge Tempe residence hall designed to enhance what Ira A. Fulton students learn in classrooms and labs
When Arizona State University’s latest crop of engineering students move this weekend into the state-of-the-art residence hall built specifically for their discipline, they aren’t living in just any old dorm.
They are living totally immersed in an engineering education experience.
Everything about Tooker House, a brand-new 1,600-student community for engineering students, is designed to enhance and extend what they learn in classrooms and labs.
“Innovation has a new home address at Tooker House,” said Kyle Squires, dean of the Fulton Schools of Engineering. “This mixed-use living and learning facility sets a new standard in engineering education and reflects the breadth and depth of the student experience at the largest engineering school in the nation.”
Video by Ken Fagan/ASU Now
The fully Wi-Fi-accessible facility has enough bandwidth to accommodate four devices per resident. There are seven social lounges, seven study lounges and six academic success centers.
“Everything in here is built with the mind-set of engineers,” said Bradley Bolin, assistant director for residential life at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “If you look at the ceilings, they look like they’re unfinished, but this is the finished product. They know engineers want to see not just the surface, but what’s beyond the surface. Where does water run? Where is the electricity? What kind of materials did they use?
“If you walk down the hallway, you’ll see where the hot water line is and where the cold water line is. You’ll see where Internet is placed. Our electrical room is all glass on the hallway side. Students who are interested in that type of engineering can walk down to what is running our building and look through and see actual engineers using the space.”
Engineers love to know how things work, and how things are put together.
“To see the inner workings of a building kind of kick-starts peoples’ imaginations,” said Pedro Giorge, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering who lives in Tooker House. “It’s really cool to see an application of what we learn in school actually applied. When you’re in your books and you’re concentrating on your work and the theories behind really don’t make a connection until you actually see something like an electrical system or a mechanical system. It’s just really cool to see that at home for a lot of these students.”
The vast majority of Tooker House residents are first-year engineering students. (The first and second floors are dedicated to upper-division students.) They run the gamut: civil engineering, mechanical engineering, material management engineering.
“Any type of engineering taught at Fulton, they can live at Tooker House,” Bolin said.
Two makerspaces outfitted for engineers provide a collaborative environment where students can work on projects, develop new technologies and have access to tools like 3-D printers and laser cutters. The spaces are also equipped with video chat, adjustable tables, soundproofing and lockers for projects.