The grand opening was held Thursday for the Center for Space Exploration Technology Research, which will focus on research and education in propulsion and energy engineering. It is part of a NASA project to get the nation's minority institutions involved in aerospace.
UTEP President Diana Natalicio says the center will help train a new generation of Hispanics to work in the aerospace industry.
Mason Peck, NASA's chief technologist, says the partnership will help develop new technologies for future missions as well as produce innovations to benefit the economy.
The new center facilities are part of a $22 million renovation in the engineering college.