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Scott Collins and Orlando Project Controls donate $50,000 for new senior design lab

Story by
Trisha Radulovich
collins and group with check
(L to R): FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering Chair Lisa Spainhour, Scott Collins, Dean Murray Gibson and Associate Dean for Student Services & Undergraduate Affairs Michelle Rambo-Roddenberry with Mr. Collins’ donation of $50,000 for a civil engineering senior design lab. (Photo: FAMU-FSU Engineering/M Wallheiser)

Scott Collins, Principal of Orlando Project Controls, LLC, returned to his alma mater, the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, to give an inspiring talk to a group of civil and environmental engineering (CEE) senior design students. After sharing interesting anecdotes from his life and professional experiences, Collins had one more surprise for the students:  a generous donation to the department’s new CEE Senior Design lab. 

Collins presented the college with a donation of $50,000 from Orlando Project Controls, which will allow the department to complete renovations and purchase technology for the new lab. This will give students a modern space to use the engineering skills they’ve learned in the classroom and apply them to real-life projects. It also gives Collins naming rights for the space.

“It is wonderful to come back and share my experience with these students,” Collins said. “I am very happy to be in a position to not only share what I have learned but to support the students by building a senior design lab where their ideas can flourish.”

The funds for the new lab will go towards renovations, furniture, computers and technology, as well as for an enclosed conference area where students can gather with their teams to brainstorm and practice presentations. Students will spend a lot of time in the lab working on their capstone projects, which they present at the semester’s end to a panel of engineers who work in consulting, industry and government.

“We envision the new senior design lab as a place with updated technology, where our students can learn work-ready skills in a collaborative setting,” Lisa Spainhour, professor, and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said. “Scott shares this vision, and we are grateful for his generous contribution and its positive impact on our program.”

“Scott is one of our college’s first alumni, and he wanted to share his success and give back in a meaningful way,” Michelle Rambo-Roddenberry, associate professor and associate dean for student services and undergraduate affairs, said.

Collins, a 1987 graduate of the college and Florida State University, received his bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering. Orlando Project Controls was recognized on the Seminole 100 list for the last three consecutive years in a row. The award program recognizes 100 of the fastest-growing Florida State University alumni-owned or alumni-led businesses.

“Remote learning and the current conditions in the world have been challenging for students,” Rambo-Roddenberry said. “Scott’s generous gift is truly uplifting and gives us reason to celebrate goodness and hope. Students are looking forward to returning to full in-person learning and collaborating in their new lab.”

The dedication and naming of the new facility is planned for Fall 2021 semester.