A Space to Innovate

HCAMS Building
August 2, 2019

UMD is celebrating the grand opening of the Heikkila Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science (HCAMS) building.

The celebration takes place at HCAMS, 1038 University Drive, on Friday, August 9, 2019. Tours begin at 3 p.m. and the program starts at 4 p.m. 

Scheduled speakers include University of Minnesota Chair of the Board of Regents, Kendall Powell, Regent David McMillan, University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel, UMD Chancellor Lendley Black, Swenson College of Science and Engineering Dean Wendy Reed, and benefactors Kurt and Beth Heikkila.

The public is invited to this free community event.


HCAMS during construction with crane

The Heikkila Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science (HCAMS) Building was completed in January, 2019 after 18 months of construction.

The idea was sparked through UMD’s need for an additional space to innovate. The Swenson College of Science and Engineering was maxed out on capacity, and HCAMS offered an opportunity for updated and modernized chemistry labs and the newly-created Advanced Materials Center.

Its design is in stark contrast to traditional science buildings. Instead of having offices, classrooms, and labs separated by floors, HCAMS’ labs, classrooms, student spaces, and faculty offices share space. 

And unlike traditional labs which are often closed off, HCAMS is full of interior and exterior glass to add transparency.

“The HCAMS Building is designed to facilitate collaboration and mentoring,” says Swenson College of Science and Engineering Dean Wendy Reed. “Science is on display, generating interest in innovation and discovery.”

Classes are being held in HCAMS for the first time this fall, serving students from across disciplines, including the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Applied Materials Science program, and undergraduates minoring in materials science.

Recently, the Heikkila Chemistry and Advanced Material Science Building was chosen as a Top Project of 2018 by Finance and Commerce magazine. The award was presented to UMD on July 25.

HCAMS Specifications:

  • Three floors, 56,000 square feet

  • 12 Research Labs

  • One Advanced Materials Lab

  • Five Instructional Labs

  • One Research Instrumentation Lab

  • Five Graduate Student Workrooms

  • Five Study Areas

  • Four Collaboration Areas

  • One Instructional Storeroom and Prep

  • 22 Faculty Offices


Two women research in HCAMS

The HCAMS project cost $44,650,000.

UMD initially made request for funding in 2016, but the Legislature didn't pass any bonding bills during that session. In May, 2017 Governor Mark Dayton approved a bonding bill that included $28.3 million for HCAMS. 

Donors and UMD contributed the remaining $14,883,000.

Learn more about UMD's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Learn more about UMD's Master of Science in Applied Materials Science