Encyclopedia Brunoniana

Prince Engineering Laboratory

Prince Engineering Laboratory was dedicated on May 4, 1962, with a panel discussion on “Engineering Education and Research – Stimulus to Modern Industrial Development.” Named the Frank John Prince Engineering Laboratory for its generous donor, director of the Universal Match Corporation of St. Louis and father of Frank C. Prince ’56, the two-story brick and concrete building, 270 long and 90 feet wide, provided room for research in structure and materials, thermodynamics, and fluid mechanics. The subsonic wind tunnel formerly housed in the old Engineering Building and the transonic-supersonic wind tunnel from the Aerodynamics Research Laboratory in Merino Flats were moved into the Prince Laboratory, and a new shock tunnel was installed. The architects, Sherwood, Mills and Smith, designed the building with a large open area with a mezzanine, making it possible to observe the laboratory from the observation gallery without disturbing work in progress. The 163 small windows on the north and south sides were intended to “humanize” the interior. Triangular windows at the roof line provide light without using wall space, and the folded construction of the roof reduces vibration from heavy machinery. The contractor for the building was E. Turgeon Construction Company of Providence.