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Zeeco CEO Darton Zink, alongside OSU President Kayse Shrum (second from left), prepares to cut the ribbon during the launch celebration for the new Zink Center for Competitive Innovation housed within the newly renovated Engineering South building.

Oklahoma State opens remodeled Engineering South building after multi-million dollar renovation

Friday, September 1, 2023

Media Contact: Mack Burke | Associate Director of Media Relations | 405-744-5540 |

Facility to also house the Zink Center for Competitive Innovation

A historic building in Oklahoma State University’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology has received a much-needed upgrade. 

OSU held a private ceremony Friday to unveil a revitalized Engineering South and celebrate the launch of the new Zink Center for Competitive Innovation housed within. The building, which originally opened in 1939, has been under construction since June 2021. 

The multi-million dollar revamp of Engineering South completely renovated the 84-year-old building, adding new classroom space, as well as modern utilities and technology. While Engineering South’s facade has remained the same, its interior has been completely transformed. 

“OSU is committed to preparing the workforce of the future and empowering graduates to take on society’s most pressing challenges,” said OSU President Kayse Shrum. “As we celebrate the newly renovated Engineering South building today, we’re really celebrating the opportunity it represents — for our students, the university and the state.”

“We’re also celebrating the launch of the new Zink Center for Competitive Innovation, which wouldn’t be possible without the visionary support of Darton and Jamie Zink. It’s not a coincidence that the Zinks and OSU have such a close partnership — we think alike. Through the Zink Center, they are committed to shaping graduates who are ethical leaders with competitive spirits who help others and who get things done. Darton calls it grit, and at OSU we call it living the Cowboy Code.” 

The Zink Center for Competitive Innovation will be an open, collaborative space that can be flexibly configured for informal conversations, formal group meetings or seminar presentations. The Zink Center was funded by a major gift from the Zink Family Foundation.

Dr. Dan Fisher is the inaugural director of the Zink Center, which will allow for more face-to-face faculty mentorship opportunities for CEAT’s competitive student teams, such as the concrete canoe, Cowboy Racing and Bullet Racing teams. The center also will ease potential collaboration between CEAT and OSU Spears School of Business students through the Riata Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“I’ve seen firsthand in my life how competition and innovation lead to success,” said Darton Zink, president and CEO of Zeeco, Inc. “This center will help to foster those qualities for the next generation of leaders while also providing them with lessons and experiences about the importance of grit and determination.”

New amenities within Engineering South include men’s and women’s restrooms on each floor, a state-of-the-art HVAC system and larger elevators. Glass walls and taller ceilings amplify the space while keeping original details intact — such as beaming and the grand central staircase — helping to maintain some of the building’s original character.

Engineering South also will feature a new layout with CEAT Scholarships and Recruitment,
Career Services and Special Programs on the first floor, the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering on the second floor, the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering on the third floor and a large student study area on the fourth floor. An addition to the east end of the building will house the 207-seat Chickasaw STEM Auditorium. 

“The reopening of the remodeled Engineering South completes the modernization of the homes of all the academic units within CEAT,” said Dr. John Veenstra, interim dean of CEAT. “The transformed space provides state-of-the-art classrooms, offices and meeting areas for faculty and students which will enhance our ability to deliver high-quality instruction and mentoring of our students.”

OSU will hold a public ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Engineering South at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2.

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