Go go gadgets! NYU Tandon opens high-tech engineering workshop • Brooklyn Paper

Go go gadgets! NYU Tandon opens high-tech engineering workshop

New York University civil engineering junior Alec Gonnella is one of the student workers at the school’s new MakerSpace center.
Photo by Sarah Dougan

They’re really shaking up engineering class!

Downtown’s New York University Tandon School of Engineering opened its new Maker Space on Sept. 20 — a high-tech workshop with 3D printers, laser cutters, and an “earthquake machine” that allows students can simulate the affects of the natural disaster on different structures — and the brainiacs-in-training say the new-fangled gadgets will help them bring their lessons to life.

“It’s really great to apply the things we learned in class,” said mechanical engineering and nuclear science junior Joseph Nardone, who also works in the lab. “It allows us to test our own ideas.”

The studio also gives undergraduate students the chance to experience a real engineering workplace by bringing together all the different kinds of specialities in one area, and to get their hands dirty with the kind of lab work that is usually reserved for grad students, said one faculty member of the Jay Street college.

“That’s what makes this unique — the undergraduate students can come in and make their dreams reality, and usually that’s just for grads,” said assistant professor Ryan Hartman, who is also the engineer in residence at the school’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

And students aren’t the only ones using the lab to turbo-charge their ideas — local entrepreneurs are able to use it as well, and one says having access to the best tools in the trade allows his business to save time and money by creating product models itself instead of paying someone else to do it.

“Having a space like this is really key for rapid prototyping, it is key to rapid development,” said Louis Auguste of Alexapath, which creates technology to connect smartphones to microscopes so doctors can easily and cheaply share lab slides. “They spared no expense in getting the best stuff in here.”

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