Campus Renovations

Penn State Opens Renovated Mechanical Engineering Lab

At Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Penn., the Department of Mechanical Engineering recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new ME Knowledge Lab. According to a university news release, the lab marks the launch of a revamped curriculum for the program. The renovated space opened to students for the fall semester.

“We are so excited to welcome our students into the new facility,” said Mary Frecker, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. “With the successful construction, in tandem with the new curriculum, our students will be better prepared to begin their careers as mechanical engineers.”

The 5,700-square-foot space was formerly a basement that saw limited use. Fundraising through alumni and industry professionals saw the “mostly unusable” space transformed into a state-of-the-art lab for undergraduates to contribute, collaborate and practice hands-on research. Applications include energy, sustainability, bioengineering, big data, autonomy, robotics and advanced manufacturing.

Renovations began in fall 2020. Amenities in the new facility include a collaborative design hub; 3D printers and a light makerspace; lab stations with characterization devices for turbines and battery cells; a virtual reality learning site; and an autonomous vehicles lab.

“By creating spaces that not only encourage engineering ingenuity, but also facilitate such work, we’re setting ourselves and—more importantly—the future, our students, up for success,” said Justin Schwartz, the Harold and Inge Marcus Dean in the College of Engineering.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].