MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — University of Minnesota students are getting the chance to use new, hands-on technology to prepare them for careers in engineering.
The University officially unveiled three experiential learning labs Thursday within the College of Science and Engineering.
The labs feature state-of-the-art equipment, like 3D printers and laser cutters, to give students a competitive edge in their studies and life after college.
“We’re often very good at teaching and equations and theory, but we’ve fallen a bit behind,” said mechanical engineering professor Will Durfee. “And so we’re showing them how to take good ideas and build them.”
The idea came from students who said they wanted access to equipment they would see in their fields.
“There are a lot of different companies that use these prototype parts, and signage is made with laser cutters,” Ben Guengerich, a lab manager, said.
John Adams, a junior at the U, spent Thursday using a hydro-abrasive water jet, which can cut things like wood, steel and even granite to make countertops.
“It is [powerful],” Adams said. “Especially if you put 30 horsepower behind it and pressurize it up.”
Any of that over your head? That is exactly why the U is training the next generation of engineers.
The upgrades cost around $2 million, with most of the money donated by an anonymous alumnus.