Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., has opened the Bechtel Innovation Design Center, envisioned as a space where students, staff and faculty can transform their ideas and innovations to real-world products and impact.
The 31,000-square-foot, $18.5 million building will be available 24/7 for Purdue innovators. Some of the equipment available in the center include CNC (computer numeric control) tools, waterjet cutter, laser cutter, laser engraver, 3D plastic printing, paint and surface finishing, welding, wood working tools and electronics assembly.
“Creating such a prototype or product can be expensive and time-consuming endeavor," says Dan Hasler, chief entrepreneurial officer for the Purdue Research Foundation. "The Bechtel design center is a game-changer in filling this critical need at Purdue.”
Providing a hands-on environment in design and development fills an important need for students, staff and faculty.
“We have witnessed a tremendous increase in student engagement in design and creation of products and in startup creation over the past three years,” says Gary Bertoline, dean of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. “The Bechtel design center provides them with a place to explore new ideas and put those ideas into action.”
Kyle Hultgren, founder of Image Medical Device and director of the Purdue University Center of Medication Safety Advancement, plans to take advantage of the new design center.
“Designing and creating a prototype for a device is one of the most challenging aspects for an innovator, and I spent quite a bit of time finding the right place to further develop a medical syringe that I had patented and am commercializing,” Hultgren says. “While the partnerships that I ended up making are invaluable, the Bechtel center will enhance these partnerships and provide me and other innovators with a tremendous asset to test our ideas and advance our technologies”