College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

New student innovation center to provide hands-on experience

Students in the colleges of engineering and design will soon have the opportunity to work with more hands-on projects in a new Student Innovation Center.

The center is a joint project between the two colleges and aims to provide students with a more modern space to work on class and organization projects, such as the Data Mining and PrISUm Solar Car teams, said Provost Jonathan Wickert. He also said students in other disciplines and studies will be able to use the center as well.

The space, approved by the Board of Regents at the September meeting, would be the central workspace hub to house resources students would use to complete projects.

The building is centered around the idea of “learning through making,” said Luis Rico-Gutierrez, dean of the College of Design.

“We learn through making,” Rico-Gutierrez said. “That is the big umbrella concept for that building. Our students and faculty can engage in learning through making.”

Many of the design and manufacturing labs are scattered around multiple buildings, Wickert said. The center would provide one location, open 24 hours a day, for students to work on projects.

Students would also have a chance to work with students in other disciplines, said Sarah Rajala, dean of the College of Engineering. She said this is important when students are posed with complex, real-world problems and situations.

“It’s not just an engineering student doing something,” Rajala said. “It’s students from multidisciplinary aspects and having a home where the students can come to and spend time together to learn how to solve these problems.”

Read the full story here.