Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- November 4, 2005
Cal Poly College of Engineering to Name New Engineering Building
for Refrigeration Pioneer
Cal Poly will memorialize a distinguished alumnus Monday, Nov. 14, with a ceremony to name
a new engineering building after him.
The "Grant M. Brown Engineering Building," located at the corner of California Boulevard and
Highland Drive, will be officially named at the 11 a.m. event in honor of the generous
donations of the Ross M. Brown Family Foundation.
The Brown Family gift includes $200,000 to fund student scholarships and $300,000 in equipment.
In addition, the gift provides $2 million to endow the James L. Bartlett Jr. Professorship to
promote multidisciplinary project-based learning. Over 60 family members and university
representatives will be on hand for the dedication.
The Grant M. Brown Engineering Building contains approximately 32,480 square feet. Departments
housed in the building include aerospace engineering, industrial & manufacturing engineering,
and materials engineering. It also houses high-tech laboratories for advanced manufacturing,
materials removal, electronic fabrication and other programs.
"Cal Poly's College of Engineering expresses its appreciation to the Brown family for this
generous donation that enables us to sustain and enhance the quality of engineering education,"
says Dean Peter Y. Lee.
About Grant M. Brown:
A 1960 Cal Poly air conditioning and refrigeration-engineering (ACRE) alumnus, Grant M. Brown
fulfilled the promise of Cal Poly's learn-by-doing engineering education with a distinguished
career. He founded two companies, ERS (Engineering Refrigeration Systems) and Phoenix
Refrigeration Systems, Inc. Brown led Phoenix to become number one in U.S. systems sales. The
company pioneered and manufactured the rooftop condensing units and electrical houses used by
the supermarket industry, and subsequently merged with Hill Refrigeration. Today it is one of
only a handful of suppliers of refrigerated supermarket display cases.
About James L. Bartlett:
The James L. Bartlett, Jr. Professorship acknowledges the engineer who was a mentor to Ross
Brown (Grant M. Brown's brother). Engineer-entrepreneur Bartlett has spent more than six
decades transforming his technical expertise and business experience into pioneering developments.
After earning his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute,
he held research positions with several companies He helped found Cosmodyne Corp., which became
one of the nation's largest manufacturers of equipment for storing, transporting and handling
liquefied gases. He later became president and owner of Hydranautics, a manufacturer of
equipment for offshore drilling rigs, shipyards and reverse osmosis desalination. In 1984,
Bartlett founded his own company, Bardex Corp., to make equipment for offshore platforms and
heavy-load moving. Bartlett later formed two new companies to make semipermeable membranes
for ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis. More recently, he helped in the
formation of Pacific Design Technologies Inc., a company focused on the design and construction
of space-cooling systems.
Contact: Amy Hewes, College of Engineering, (805) 756-6402,