Introduction to Engineering Buildings

The faculty of engineering at McMaster represents a large chunk of its student body, and as such, has many important affiliated buildings. The engineering students at Mac navigate between seven major ones where the bulk of our classes take place. These buildings are the Arthur N. Bourns Building, Burke Science Building, John Hodgins Engineering Building, Engineering Technology Building, H. G. Thode Library, Gerald Hatch Center for Engineering Experiential Learning and Information Technology Building.


Arthur N. Bourns, or ABB, is located on the West side of campus beside Cootes Dr. It contains the first-year chemistry labs, many smaller tutorial rooms and several lecture halls. An addition to this building was added last year called the Innovation Tower, where many labs and tutorials take place, especially for students in the Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences program. Students usually walk through it to get to the science and engineering library, H. G. Thode.



H.G Thode is a four-floored library with lots of large tables for collaboration on the first floor and more cubicle-style seats on the second. The third floor is a space for Integrated Science students called the I-Study. The basement is a ‘quiet floor’ where talking between cubicles is kept to a minimum and lots of rigorous studying takes place. The main floor has a small café called the Reactor, where many students buy snacks or copious amounts of coffee during exam season. The basement also contains the Learning Commons, where you can find 3D printers and experiential equipment that students can use for their personal or school-related projects.



Burke Science Building, or BSB, is one of the largest buildings on campus, containing everything from large lecture halls to small tutorial rooms. The basement consists of cool research equipment and most of the physics department’s lab rooms. The second floor is used mainly by the Biology department, and the third floor by the school of Earth, Environment and Society. There is also a small café on the first floor with a nice study area.



Another place to find engineering students is the John Hodgins Engineering Building, or JHE. Lectures of all sizes take place here, and the entranceway has an open and lively seating area where many students wait between classes, study or chat with each other. It also houses a lot of the engineering faculty’s cool research equipment, which is contained at the back of the building in a warehouse.



Connected to the John Hodgins Engineering Building on its south side is the Gerald Hatch Center, or Hatch. Its first floor is where you’d look to find information on the McMaster Engineering Society (MES). There is a small room by its entrance called the Drain where there is usually an MES representative. It also has many small tables for studying and an MES-dedicated hangout room. The second floor has several study rooms that can be booked for group work and more tables and couches. This is where many engineering faculty events are held. The third floor is the location of the Co-op and Career Services, where you can find co-op coordinators and academic advisors.



Another important building is the Information Technology Building, or ITB. This building is home to many Computer and Electrical engineering classes and labs, as well as some larger lecture halls. Many professors in those streams also have their offices here.



Lastly there is the Engineering Technology Building, which is one of the newest establishments at McMaster. It is located on the most southern part of campus and can be seen from Main St. beside McMaster’s Children’s hospital. It contains lots of tech-related lab rooms and equipment, such as the faculty’s 3D printers and computers for virtual modelling. There are countless tutorial rooms, as well as many engineering faculty professors’ offices. It also has a Booster Juice where students can grab a quick snack and chat with each other after class.



Written by: Elsa Bassi