Student Lounge2

Thanks to the generous contribution of University of Utah engineering alumnus Brett Helm, electrical and computer engineering students will be able to study, collaborate or just hang out in a new meeting space on campus designed to build a sense of community.

The Craig M. Jorgensen Student Lounge and Study Room is an 850-square-foot area with a main lounge and two study rooms that each include an 80-inch monitor for presentations. The area is located in Room 2255 on the second floor of the Merrill Engineering Building.

It is one of two new areas on the engineering campus made possible by a $100,000 leadership gift provided by Helm. His donation also made possible the naming of the Randall Lunt Executive Board Room in the Meldrum Civil Engineering Building in addition to the Craig M. Jorgensen Student Lounge and Study Room.

“You look at the Warnock Engineering Building and the lower-level areas, and everywhere we’re trying to create a sense of community for students, and these spaces build community,” said Marilyn Davies, director of external relations and development for the U’s College of Engineering. “This is an area where students can study, interact, and work on a project together.”

Helm is an industrial engineering graduate from the U who is now co-founder and CEO of San Diego-based cyber-security company, DB Networks. He made part of the gift in Jorgensen’s name because Jorgensen was an influential mentor in Helm’s life.

“He [Helm] is one of those rare people who use philanthropy to honor those who were an inspiration to him,” Davies said.

Jorgensen was a pioneer in telecommunications in Utah for nearly 20 years. He was director of the state’s Division of Telecommunications as well as an assistant director of IT for the Department of Administrative Services. After retiring from the state, Jorgensen later started Quantum Telecommunications, a Salt Lake City-based consulting firm. He has worked more than 44 years in the public safety telecommunications field.

“We are extremely grateful for this generous gift from Brett Helm,” said Gianluca Lazzi, chairman of the U’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. “It’s gifts like these that really help elevate our department to greater things. This study area will prove to be invaluable for students who are looking for a comfortable, quiet place to do their work or to just come together to talk about what they’re learning from class.”