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Zeanah Engineering Complex Recognized for Outstanding Project and Outstanding Design

The Zeanah Engineering Complex (ZEC) was recognized for winning two awards in the MHM December 2023 Newsletter. The purpose of the MHM Newsletter is to highlight “the design, service, and happenings at McCarty Holsaple McCarty Architects and Interior Designers.”

First, the ZEC won the Outstanding Project Award in Learning by Design’s Fall 2023 Architectural and Interior Design Awards of Excellence edition. The ZEC was recognized as an “award-winning benchmark facility for incorporating next-generation learning space design and planning methodologies.”

Second, the ZEC was selected for publication in Endeavor Business Media’s American School & University 2023 Architectural Portfolio for Outstanding Design Award. The ZEC was not only honored for education design excellence but also for “representing today’s most effective learning environments.”

Exterior view of Zeanah Engineering Complex's South Entrance

The Tickle College of Engineering’s (TCE) first-year program faculty played a huge role in ZEC receiving these two awards. After all, the ZEC was brought to life through the ideas of TCE’s Engineering Fundamentals (EF) team along with building planners.

During the planning process, there was one over-arching idea the team had for the building – to have a space that “welcomed students into the world of engineering and to begin that experience from their first moments in class.”

The EF faculty wanted to ensure the ZEC classrooms and spaces were both flexible and innovative. They envisioned students learning from their instructors, as well as their peers. To help students actively learn in a collaborative way, the ZEC provides three active learning classrooms, 15,000 square feet of classroom space, thirty-two 360 Learning Monitors, and 15 flex classrooms when divided.

The ZEC is the largest academic building on UT’s campus. It features first-year engineering programs, the Kao Innovation and Collaboration Studio, the top-ranked Department of Nuclear Engineering, and new flexible research laboratories.

“The Zeanah building is a transformative facility,” said Dean Matthew Mench. “The spaces within are set up to advance state-of-the-art education and research and help us prepare the engineers of tomorrow.”

Since its creation, the ZEC has achieved its original goal and continues to work wonders for students, faculty, and the UT community.


Lilly Tran (