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Villanova University Receives $1 Million Gift from L3Harris Technologies, Inc., to Support College of Engineering Building Expansion Project

Villanova University Receives $1 Million Gift from L3Harris Technologies, Inc., to Support College of Engineering Building Expansion Project
The future L3Harris Technologies HAVLab will provide the College of Engineering with a unique world-class laboratory facility for development, implementation and testing of innovative robots and drones—projects like the one pictured here.

VILLANOVA, Pa.—Villanova University has announced a $1 million gift from L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: LHX), towards the expansion of its College of Engineering’s primary academic building. In recognition of this gift, the College of Engineering’s new Heterogeneous Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory (HAVLab) will be named the L3Harris Technologies HAVLab. Since 2013, L3Harris has now contributed more than $2.5 million to Villanova’s College of Engineering.

“L3Harris is a key partner for Villanova Engineering,” said Michele Marcolongo, PhD, the Drosdick Endowed Dean of the College of Engineering. “From the unique summer INNOVATE program to internships and job opportunities for our engineering students and now the support of our new world-class robotics laboratory, we are thankful for the contributions of L3Harris for helping us to advance engineering education.”

The L3Harris Technologies HAVLab will provide the College with a unique world-class laboratory facility for development, implementation and testing of innovative robots and drones, including small-scale unmanned air, underwater, surface, ground and amphibious vehicles. The lab will facilitate development and testing of algorithms for cooperative missions between intelligent vehicles operating in different mediums—for potential use in search and rescue, mine sweeping and fighting forest fires. It will include a cage/fly space equipped with netting and a motion capture system. A control room with workstations will be located adjacent to the lab. It will also include a 4.5’ deep, 16’ x 10’ in ground research vessel on one side and solid ground for the remainder.

“This gift and L3Harris’ legacy of supporting Villanova highlights our shared belief in the power of innovation and the strength of the University’s engineering program,” said Jim Girard, L3Harris Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. “We are proud of our partnership and of the many former Villanova students who have joined L3Harris and are making tremendous contributions to the company’s success and our customers’ critical missions.”

In 2017, the College of Engineering received a $1.25 million donation from L3Harris—$1 million of which endowed a summer innovation incubator program to help propel the next generation of Villanova engineers. INNOVATE: The L3Harris Summer Program exposes students to advanced real-world engineering challenges and fosters innovation and an entrepreneurial approach to problem solving. It has also created a pipeline for employment opportunities for Villanova students at L3Harris.

A total of $36.7 million has now been raised for the expansion project, which includes 15 seven-figure gifts.

About the Project

In October 2021, the University unveiled plans for a 150,000-square-foot addition to transform its College of Engineering’s primary academic building, the Center for Engineering Education and Research. This project will more than double the existing 90,000-square-foot building, allowing for an expansion of engineering lab space of more than 60 percent, as well as the creation of state-of-the-art instruction spaces for hands-on, problem-oriented and team-based learning.

The addition will include flexible laboratory spaces designed for multi-disciplinary teams to work together on topical areas of research; classrooms that can adapt to various teaching and lecture formats; and a two-story Innovation Lab, which will include workspaces, tools and equipment for building, and space to accommodate large-scale project work. The University broke ground on the $125 million project in Spring 2022, with the expansion scheduled to be completed by Fall 2024. The project was designed by BLTa—A Perkins Eastman Studio and Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP. 

Find more information on the building expansion project.

About L3Harris Technologies: L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across space, air, land, sea and cyber domains. L3Harris has more than $17 billion in annual revenue and 47,000 employees, with customers in more than 100 countries.

About Villanova University College of Engineering: Founded in 1905, Villanova University College of Engineering is committed to an educational program that emphasizes technical excellence, innovation, and a liberal arts education within the framework of the University’s Augustinian Catholic tradition. The result is rigorously educated, socially grounded, conscientious thinkers and doers who are professionally prepared to make meaningful change in the world.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit