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Rose-Hulman Announces Plans for Student Innovation Center

July 25, 2011

Student innovation projects and hands-on engineering competition teams will have a new home at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology with the addition of the Student Innovation Center.  The building is currently under construction on campus.

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The new 16,200-square-foot building will be the site for Rose-Hulman's Advanced Transportation Systems (ATS) program and other student competition teams.  The current ATS automotive laboratory, located on Indiana 46 across from Rose-Hulman's South Campus, is being lost to make way for a new highway project.

With the Student Innovation Center, the ATS program will gain a new purpose-built work environment featuring advanced technologies and flexible work spaces.  It will provide much-needed space for student projects, and consolidate project space which has been divided between Rose-Hulman's South Campus and the John T. Myers Center for Technological Research with Industry.  The open workspace will also allow for the sharing of ideas, tools and assistance between teams.

"Our competition teams will no longer be scattered around campus.  Bringing them all under one roof will enhance collaboration and allow more students to get involved in these valuable, hands-on experiences," President Matt Branam said.

Zac Chambers, faculty co-advisor for Rose-Hulman's EcoCAR sustainable vehicle development project, believes the SIC will increase student participation in innovative projects and, therefore, improve teams' performances in national engineering design competitions.

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"Having EcoCAR and other projects able to call campus 'home' will improve student recruitment efforts, team cohesiveness and work flow," said Chambers.  "Students will be able to play a role in project development throughout their college careers.  And, for the EcoCAR team, students will no longer have to make the 15-minute drive to the South Campus ATS Laboratory to work on the project.  They can walk over to the Student Innovation Center and work on the project throughout the day and night."

The new SIC, which will open in mid-September, will be located just west of the Facilities Operation Center in the northeast corner of campus.

Moving student project teams out of the John T. Myers Center will also free up space to add seven new state-of-the-art classrooms.  The renovation will address the current shortage of optimally sized rooms, featuring seating for 15 to 25 students.

The ATS program includes the EcoCAR2 project along with the efficient vehicles team, human powered vehicle team, formula motorsports team, Design-Build-Fly aircraft team and Team Rose Motorsports Club.

For updated info and images, read the Innovation Building Blog.