Carnegie Mellon Engineering

Roberts Hall:  A Reflection

Overlooking Panther Hollow is the George A. Roberts Engineering Hall. The building has played an important role in elevating the stature of the College of Engineering throughout the world.

George Roberts Named after its benefactor George A. Roberts, who earned his degrees in Metallurgy at Carnegie Mellon, the building is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories and classroom facilities, and it has become a hub for interdisciplinary research activities. The J. Earle and Mary Roberts Materials Characterization Laboratory (named after Roberts’ parents) has been crucial in advancing the work of the Materials Science and Engineering department, and other labs have significantly contributed to the success of major research centers, such as the Data Systems Storage Center and the Center for Nano-enabled Device and Energy Technologies.

Roberts HallIn addition to labs and classrooms, the towering building contains offices, a library that features an archival metallurgical research collection, and conference rooms. On the top floor is the Singleton Room, a sunlit auditorium where events are held, and dignitaries such as Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Teresa Heinz and leading industry figures and scholars have all been guests. Roberts Hall has provided the College of Engineering community with the facilities necessary to conduct research, study and congregate, and as a result of these pursuits, Carnegie Mellon remains at the forefront of engineering education and technology development.

Two of our leading faculty discuss importance of the building:

Greg Rohrer
Head, Materials Science and Engineering

Roberts Engineering Hall and The J. Earle and Mary Roberts Materials Characterization Laboratory, which is located on the first floor of the building, have had a transformative effect on the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). First and foremost, these state-of-the-art facilities have enabled research not otherwise possible. The characterization facilities have been used by students and faculty to make breakthroughs in the study of electronic materials, magnetic materials, and metallic and ceramic microstructures. Second, the modern, well-appointed building has been a factor in attracting the best students and faculty to MSE.

Jimmy Zhu
ABB Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Director of DSSC

Roberts Engineering Hall is the home of the Data Storage Systems Center (DSSC), a world-leading research institution in magnetic data storage technologies. Exactly ten years after moving into its new home, the center is thriving on the fast moving technological front. Supported by 12 industrial companies, industrial consortium, and government agencies and with an over $5 million annual research budget, the center is developing advanced data storage technologies for future hard disk drives (HDD) and scalable magnetic memory technology for magnetic solid state drives (SSD), as well as training graduate students. The center has made a substantial contribution to and direct impact on the extraordinary advancement of hard disk drive technology and has supplied the $60B/year HDD industry with over one hundred Ph.D. and M.S. graduates.



~By Sherry Stokes