School of Engineering Opens Workspace for Undergrads

Some might think engineers spend their time working on projects with only a calculator and a computer for company. Nothing could be further from the truth. Engineers know that collaboration drives creative thinking—which can result in some of the most exciting innovation and discovery. 

The School of Engineering fosters collaboration within departments and across engineering disciplines and has recently dedicated a new space specifically for undergraduate students to work on group projects or practice presentations without interruption. The Undergraduate Collaborative Conference Room, located behind the Engineering Information Technology lab in room D-111, is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and undergraduate students can walk in at any time during those hours – no reservation necessary.

“That is the beauty of it, it’s an open space for them to collaborate, work on homework, or just study,” said Robert Perez, a systems administrator with Engineering Computing Services, who helped design and set up the room. “This space is for them to work, study, and collaborate on projects.”

The DSV and Engineering Information Technology (EIT) computer labs both offer powerful workstations that students can use to help them with their assignments, but they often are used by instructors whose classes take precedence. The new collaboration room is geared towards students, allowing them to complete their work uninterrupted.

While the room is meant for undergraduate engineering students, there are no restrictions on what they can use the room for, whether that be individual assignments or group projects. The room has three computers identical to the ones in the labs, along with space for individuals to use their laptops.

Along with the workstations, the room has a conference table, two smaller tables, a television monitor for presentations, and a printer available for student use.

“Because so much of engineering is about working in teams and learning from each other, it is a priority for the school to conceptualize and develop student-centric areas that enhance the exchange of ideas and information. The Undergraduate Collaborative Conference Room gives students a dedicated space in the Engineering Building where they can conveniently gather to work on group or individual assignments,” said Peng Song, the School of Engineering’s associate dean of undergraduate education.