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Jack E. Brown Building

In the fall of 2004, the Chemical Engineering Department moved into the new seven-story Jack E. Brown Chemical Engineering Building. The 205,000 square-foot building, prominently located at the corner of University Drive and Spence Street, is adjacent to the university's Cyclotron building.

The building's first floor houses six general use classrooms, computer laboratories, and a 600 square-foot computer cluster room. Department staff and faculty offices are located on the second floor, along with offices for the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center. Graduate student offices and research labs are located on floors three through seven.

The Houston-based architectural firm of 3D/International designed the building that bears the name of Jack E. Brown, co-founder of Wagner & Brown, Ltd. A $5 million gift from Brown and his wife, Frances, was the largest private donation toward construction of the state-of-the-art building.

Interior of Jack E. Brown Engineering Building.

At a Glance

  • Located at the intersection of Spence and University
  • 205,000 gross square feet
  • $38 million to construct
  • Seven stories
  • 712 core supercomputer cluster
  • 127 offices for students, faculty and staff
  • 88 research and teaching facilities
  • nine clean rooms
  • six general classrooms
  • four computer labs

About Jack E. Brown

Jack E. Brown was a principal founder in Midland-based Wagner and Brown, Ltd., an independent oil and gas company. A San Antonio native, Brown entered Texas A&M just three days after graduating from Breckinridge High School in 1942. He entered the U.S. Army a year later to serve in World War II and was among the first occupation troops in Japan. Brown returned to Texas A&M in 1947, graduating in 1950 with bachelor's degrees in petroleum and mechanical engineering. He immediately began his oilfield career as a roughneck in Abilene. Later he worked in Alice, Texas, and Venezuela before returning to the Permian Basin. In 1962, Brown and two other partners formed a company, now Wagner & Brown, Ltd., with exploration and production interests in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, Michigan, Kansas, Wyoming and Mississippi. The company has helped drill more than 2,500 wells and currently has more than 170 employees in its Midland, Houston, field and affiliate company offices. Brown's non-energy business interests include financial investments, real estate and a company that manufactures fueling and compression systems and equipment for vehicles operating on compressed natural gas.

Brown served on the board of numerous Midland organizations including Midland College, Midland Community Theatre and the Petroleum Museum. He and his wife (Frances) had three children - Van Brown; Peggy Brown Ingram, Texas A&M Class of '97; and Patrick A. Brown, Texas A&M Class of '80 - and 12 grandchildren.

Brown passed away Aug. 24, 2015, in Midland, Texas.