By Neal Singer "Mananaan," a 26-foot-tall, 15-ton abstract metal sculpture, has been added to the engineering quadrangle south of the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center at Springfield and Burrill avenues in Urbana. Mananaan is the god of the sea in Irish mythology and "occurs in the thoughts of Stephen Dedalus [in James Joyce's "Ulysses"], as a symbol of change," Muriel "Mickey" Scheinman, adjunct professor in art history, wrote in "A Guide to Art at the University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign, Robert Allerton Park, Chicago," a book to be published in 1995 by the UI Press. The work was created by metal sculptor Alexander Liberman, whose works can be seen in the Art Institute of Chicago; the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, all in New York City; the Smithsonian Institution collection in Washington, D.C.; and at the universities of California at Berkeley, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. The sculpture consists of a cylinder, resembling a telescope, that rises into the air. Next to it is an oval ribbon of steel that resembles a gigantic eye, also looking upward. Both pieces are supported by two cylinders cut in such a way as to enhance the skyward vision of the artwork. Delivered in sections Oct. 27, the 3/4-inch-thick steel sculpture is covered by a patina of rust. The piece was selected by the Grainger Engineering Library Sculpture Selection Committee, led by Roland Kehe, associate director of the Office of Capital Programs, and purchased with private funds. The committee selected the piece after touring an outdoor sculpture area in New York, according to committee member Tony Graziano, who is associate dean of engineering. "We saw it on top of a hill and it took everyone's fancy," Graziano said. "It was inspiring, and could be approached and touched. "It is massive but delicate, points to the infinite sky but is anchored solidly on earth, and is formed of a material that's imperfect but will serve forever. There's a lot of symbolism there that reminds me of engineering as a profession and the kinds of things engineers must consider in their practice." The piece was built at W.J. Layman and Sons, Warren, Ct. It was moved in one day to Illinois from Top Gallant Farm in Pawling, N.Y. The sculpture was positioned on the east side of the quadrangle to "balance" the southern door of the Grainger Library "and also to give the quadrangle character," Graziano said. Other members of the sculpture selection committee: David Dressel, director of the Office of Facility Planning and Management; Allen Edmonson, director of the Office of Capital Programs; Kathryn Martin, dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts; Donald Pilcher, professor of art and design; Eugene Wicks, professor of art and design; and Theodore Zernich, director of the School of Art and Design. Evans Woollen, architect for the Grainger Library, served as consultant to the committee.