Though nanoscience and nanotechnology involves matter the size of tiny atoms and molecules, the requirements for building an advanced nanotechnology research facility are extremely large. In 2008, when Stanford University began construction on their Science and Engineering Quad (SEQ2), it looked to General Contractor Hathaway Dinwiddie to construct a state-of-the-art Nano Center. In turn, Hathaway Dinwiddie sought out the electrical expertise of Cupertino Electric to build the 140,000-square-foot Nano Center and Huang Engineering Centers, where advanced research in a variety of fields is conducted.
The Stanford University Nano Center and Huang Engineering Center buildings, which comprise the Engineering Quad along with the Y2E2 Environment and Energy Building, were both designed and built by CEI. The Nano and Huang Engineering Centers are connected by a sub-basement tunnel and each contains shared and individual user-specific research spaces. The lab spaces are varied and range from clean rooms and precise instrumentation areas to shop and teaching spaces.