John E. Swearingen Engineering Center
The center includes the
triangular 210,000-square-foot main building faced with Alabama
limestone and more than 100,000 additional square feet of classroom and
office space in nearby remodeled buildings donated by the South Carolina
Electric and Gas Company.
The center houses more than 20 laboratories for research in fracture
mechanics, computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing, computer
graphics, and machine intelligence and robotics. Other labs are designed
for research in high-voltage phenomena, fluid dynamics, structural
testing, soils and foundations, biomechanics, environmental engineering,
and industrial waste treatment.
One wing of the main building constitutes a four-story lab. The
second, third, and fourth stories have floors that are half permanent
and half expanded metal grating. If an unusually tall piece of equipment
is needed, the grating can be removed, allowing the equipment to extend
to the roof and permitting researchers access to it from all four
A fiber optic system handles computer interconnections between the
center and other buildings on campus, enhancing the center's networking
capability. A lovely courtyard provides a setting for various social
functions as well as a gathering place for students.
John E. Swearingen (Class of 1938, 1965 Law Honorary), chairman of
the Board of Standard Oil Company (Indiana), joined Standard in 1939 as
a chemical engineer in research. After holding several positions in
Standard's research department, he transferred in 1947 to Amoco
Production Company (then Stanolind Oil and Gas Company). He returned to
Standard in 1951 and was elected chairman of the board in 1965 after
serving as president, CEO, and a director.
He is also a former chairman of the National Petroleum Council; a
director of the Chase Manhattan Corporation, the Chase Manhattan Bank,
N.A., the Lockheed Corporation, the American Petroleum Institute, and
Northwestern Memorial Hospital; and a trustee of Carnegie-Mellon
A native of Columbia, he has served as a member and chairman of the
President's National Advisory Council at Carolina.