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Indiana Tech College Opens New Engineering Design Lab

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology opened the new state-of-the-art building to bring classrooms and mechanical engineering labs together under one roof, boosting the school’s tech reputation.

by Alex Modesitt, The Tribune-Star / April 4, 2019

(TNS) — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology dedicated a new engineering design and laboratory building Wednesday, the college’s latest effort in boosting hands-on learning experiences.

The 13,800-square-foot Richard J. and Shirley J. Kremer Innovation Center opened at the start of the 2018-19 winter academic quarter and has quickly become a one-stop-shop for students and educators alike.

The Kremer Center offers equipment for students to create device prototypes for a variety of projects. In the fabrication lab, the center has a water jet machine, wood cutting equipment and new tabletop CNC router to shape metal, thick plastic, wood and glass.

The building also has a thermofluids laboratory with a water channel and other equipment that allows professors to build dimensional analysis experiences into their fluids classes, which are being taught in the adjacent classrooms.

Michael Moorhead, associate professor of mechanical engineering, said he’s especially excited about the latter, as having the classroom and laboratory space under one roof is invaluable.

“Our classes are short enough and the academic and laboratory spaces are far enough apart that, in the past, we’d make those trips to and from and not really have enough time to do anything,” Moorhead said.

“But now I’ll teach fluid mechanics in this classroom here and, if we decide to go look at the wind tunnels or anything like that, we can take the few steps down to the lab.”

Shukun Patel, a junior mechanical engineering major from Dayton, Ohio, echoed Moorhead’s sentiment, saying the new center boasts a host of advantages over work spaces of the past.

“Before in some of the other work spaces, the way they were set up, we would all be in there working but it would get pretty crowded,” said Patel, the incoming president of the Rose-Hulman robotics team.

“But now that we have this space and places to do most of our work in one area, it’s made it a lot easier.”

The center was named for Richard Kremer, a 1958 Rose-Hulman graduate and founder of FutureX Industries Inc., and his wife Shirley for their generous donations to the institution.

Richard Kremer attended the dedication and said his namesake center is in keeping with what he feels is a hallmark of Rose-Hulman, a dedication to helping students explore their education outside a traditional classroom.

“The foundational knowledge you learn only gets you to the batter’s box,” Kremer said. “Now, you’ve got to do something with it. You’ve got to solve problems, you’ve got to innovate and you’ve got to come up with new products.

“And that’s what Rose does, and that’s where they excel. Not many colleges have that mindset.”

©2019 The Tribune-Star (Terre Haute, Ind.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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