New Home Planned for Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

​Donald Jubel, BSME ’73, believes that technology doesn’t build great companies. People do. This is what his father, Henry Jubel, a 1940 graduate of the School of Engineering & Applied Science, believed and demonstrated as the founder of Spartan Light Metal Products, headquartered in St. Louis. Established in 1961, the company is an industry leader in the design and manufacture of aluminum and magnesium custom
die-casting products and assemblies.

“My parents were very caring and giving,” says Mr. Jubel, who took the reins of Spartan as CEO after his father died in 1999. His mother, Elvira, died in May 2013. “My father believed in servant leadership and would always tell his employees, ‘I am here to serve my fellow man, not to be served.’ At our company, we call it inverted triangle leadership.”

To honor Elvira and Henry Jubel’s generosity, the Jubel family has made a substantial commitment through the Henry A. Jubel Foundation toward the construction of a new facility for the School of Engineering & Applied Science.

“This generous gift contributes to our long-range master plan for the engineering school by creating a new building—Henry A. and Elvira H. Jubel Hall—to house the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science,” says Dean Ralph Quatrano, PhD, the Spencer T. Olin Professor. “We are immensely grateful that Karen and Don Jubel believe in the power of philanthropy and the good it can bring to society through their extraordinary support.”


Improving infrastructure and research facilities are key to fostering the interdisciplinary nature of engineering. At Washington University, engineering faculty and students collaborate across converging disciplines to focus on the areas of medicine and health, energy and the environment, and security.

The school’s master plan calls for a 700,000-square-foot engineering complex. Over the past decade, the university, the engineering school and generous donors have invested more than $150 million in new and renovated space, which has met 50 percent of the school’s need for research laboratories and specialized facilities.

The construction of Jubel Hall, to begin in the next few years, marks the second phase of the school’s plan. In this building, mechanical engineers will collaborate with physicists, chemists, and chemical and biomedical engineers to promote the convergence of biomechanics, materials science and nanotechnology. Their research will help meet unprecedented challenges in fields such as aerospace and energy to secure a brighter future.

The new building also will enable the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science to expand the number of its faculty and provide the infrastructure to double its robust research program—all of which will advance research outcomes that benefit society and help strengthen the national engineering research agenda.

“America needs more young people who pursue engineering and other technical disciplines to help us compete globally,” Mr. Jubel says. “It is my hope that this new building will create enthusiasm and attract bright students who will serve as our leaders
of tomorrow.”


Henry Jubel attributed his success to his Washington University education. “This is why
our family and Spartan also have supported scholarships,” Mr. Jubel says. “My father
would always say, ‘Help people blossom.’ Hopefully, this new building will do that.”

Elvira and Henry Jubel’s hard work and sacrifice paved a road of educational and career opportunities for their children. Perseverance, Mr. Jubel says, played a big role in the process.

“My father and his parents were German emigrants who came to this country with nothing,” he says. “My father had a partial scholarship to Washington University so, to
make ends meet, he took a part-time job cutting grass after class and on weekends, and my grandmother went to work cleaning homes. My father said he never got to see a Bears football game.”

Two members of the family’s third generation have extended the university connection.
The Jubels’ daughter, Lindsey, earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering in 2009. Another daughter, Melissa, and her husband, Herb
Markwort, are enrolled in the Executive MBA program at the Olin Business School. Mr. Markwort earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the university in 2005.

The Jubels’ son, Lance, is pursuing a career in merchandising product development at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. He has done fashion shows in New York, Milan and Paris.

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton says, “Don Jubel’s deep commitment to his family, his faith and his alma mater gives special meaning to all that he undertakes. His service as a consummate volunteer, university trustee and a member of the engineering school’s National Council has been invaluable. We can look ahead, with great confidence, to the important work that will take place in Jubel Hall.”

Mr. Jubel concludes, “It would be my hope that an engineer who walked the halls of this
new building and learned in its classrooms might go on to develop something of great
benefit to society.”


“My father would always say, ‘Help people blossom.’ Hopefully, this new building will do that.” – Donald Jubel, BSME ’73