The University of Texas at Austin

Gary L. Thomas Energy Engineering Building

A foundational academic facility powering tomorrow's energy changemakers.

Established in 1883, and home to the number one petroleum engineering program in the U.S., The University of Texas at Austin (UT) is an essential cornerstone of Texas energy’s past, present, and future – one-third of today’s UT Cockrell School of Engineering graduates work in the energy market.

Alongside the LEED Silver Engineering Education and Research Center (EER), also designed by AEI and opened in 2017, UT’s new Gary L. Thomas Energy Engineering Building (GLT) establishes a strategic home for the UT Cockrell School of Engineering.

GLT is designed to have a 50-year lifespan and solves UT’s shortage of wet labs for research and undergraduate teaching.

Spanning six floors, GLT houses the following specialty labs:

  • Core sampling lab for petroleum research
  • CT lab for scanning rock samples
  • Laser lab
  • Low-vibration lab
  • Showcase lab
  • Wet and dry lab


Austin, TX


  • Ennead Architects LLP - Design Architect
  • Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. - Architect of Record

LEED Status

LEED Platinum

Building Size

183,000 square feet

GLT showcase lab featuring core samples.

Petroleum Engineering Program - 2023 U.S. News & World Report

Achieving LEED Platinum, AEI designed GLT with active chilled beams, demand-control ventilation, and a variable air volume exhaust system. AEI’s design incorporates high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and special lab piping accommodating flammable and oxidizing gases as well as contained labs with high electrical usages involving furnaces and ovens requiring special consideration.

AEI provided mechanical, electrical, and piping/plumbing engineering design, energy modeling, life cycle cost analyses, and construction field services for GLT.

GLT's building exterior.

The UT Engineering Education and Research Center (EER).

Alongside engineering design services, AEI's in-house architectural lighting design studio, Pivotal Lighting Design, provided exterior and interior lighting design services focused on visual comfort, safety, and sustainability throughout the lab, learning, and collaboration spaces. The lighting design also included wireless lighting control lighting – the first time on UT's campus.

Driving the energy industry forward, GLT's state-of-the-art academic facility encourages problem-solving research through community building, knowledge sharing, and interdisciplinary collaboration.