Students hammer out real-world projects at the Idea Forge

Published: May 23, 2016

Last year the former law library of the Fleming Building was transformed into a new collaborative space designated for students to imagine, design, create and test products and solutions to meet a range of needs. Billed as the Idea Forge, this 22,000-square-foot facility is an innovative engineering facility built to enhance the student experience by introducing them to multiple philosophies of design.Students in the Idea Forge

Students entering the Idea Forge are greeted with rapid prototyping, welding and electronics shops, as well as advanced machining facilities. The facility will host student welding workshops, some specifically focused on women, and community outreach in the form of K–12 educational programs. The goal of the workspace is to be flexible and reconfigurable to meet the ongoing needs of students and their projects.

As part of a yearlong course, the Department of Mechanical Engineering boasts 31 senior design teams, with 188 students utilizing the Chevron Mechanical Engineering Design Studio to design, iterate, test and fabricate projects meeting the specifications of their industry sponsors—Medtronic, Shell, Oracle, Micro Motion, GE and many more.

The Makerspace housed in the Idea Forge is the first space of its kind on campus. Supported by the engineering Residential Academic Programs and the Engineering Quad, this interdisciplinary space opens in spring 2015 and showcases open-ended design-build projects.

Visit the new Idea Forge website