Engineering innovation center plans events

The newly renovated Center for Engineering Innovation and Design hopes to bring together Yale’s design and engineering community.
The newly renovated Center for Engineering Innovation and Design hopes to bring together Yale’s design and engineering community. Photo by Kamaria Greenfield.

With a newly renovated space and nearly 200 prospective members, the Yale Center for Engineering Innovation and Design is looking to host a variety of student events this semester in an effort to continue expanding its presence on campus.

CEID Director Eric Dufresne said the center is in the final planning stages of lectures, workshops and study breaks targeted at Yale’s design and innovation community. Those involved with the CEID and students in Yale’s design community said they hope undergraduate groups will use the center to host events, and that the space will become a gathering place for those interested in design and innovation at the University.

“The events at the CEID will demonstrate the breadth of the center,” CEID Assistant Director Joseph Zinter said. “You’ll be just as likely to find a workshop on programming a microcontroller as you would a lecture from an MD discussing the design opportunities in the operating room [or] an info session on how to find venture capital for your idea.”

In the coming weeks, Dufresne said events will include a number of speakers and lecturers in a format similar to that of residential college Master’s Teas. Potential speakers include Segway Personal Transporter inventor Dean Kamen and Charigami founder Zachary Rotholz ’11. The center will also offer a series of training workshops on using the CEID’s tools and equipment led by CEID staff members, some of which will be repeated throughout the year.

CEID student aid Ellen Su ’13, who will lead a workshop on using MakerBot, a 3D printer, said she aims to instruct CEID members while also providing general information to students interested in the center.

Not all events that will take place at the CEID will be directly hosted by the center. Yale’s chapter of Design for America, a national group that promotes innovative design, hopes to use the CEID to host several events — including a conference for DFS chapters along the Eastern Coast on the weekend of Nov. 3.

For other events, the CEID will co-sponsor the activities along with an undergraduate organization. Dufresne said the center plans to partner with the Yale Entrepreneurial Society to host a career fair specifically geared toward technology-oriented start-up businesses. Entrepreneurial Society Co-President Tony Wu ’13 said he think the CEID is an ideal host for the Oct. 19 event.

“CEID feels like the right place for [the event], being the new buzz on the engineering side of campus,” Wu said. “We hope to provide students, especially those with an interest in STEM careers and technology in general, a resource in addition to the traditional UCS career fair.”

The CEID requires a staff member to be present at events attended by non-CEID members, Su said. She added that if a club wanted to hold regular meetings at the center, special arrangements could be made for the entire club to attend an orientation session for new CEID members together.

Of 17 students interviewed, eight said they would like to see the CEID focus on planning events that would help tighten ties in the design and engineering communities on campus.

Kimberly Moore ’14, an applied physics major, said Yale’s focus on the liberal arts has made it difficult for her to find a community of STEM-oriented students on campus. She called the CEID a step in the right direction for creating such a community, adding that the center seems to be marketing itself to the student body more effectively than other science organizations have.

Allison West ’14, a mechanical engineering major, also said that the CEID has the potential to be a home to Yale’s design and engineering community.

“Yale already offers a rigorous engineering education, but the CEID has the potential to create what the department currently doesn’t have a home for — a collaborative engineering community on campus,” she said.

The CEID opened on Aug. 26 as part of Yale’s freshman orientation. The development of the CEID cost $6.5 million.

Comments

  • newsjar

    Yale’s eminence in the liberal arts is well known off campus. CEID can help make that happen for the “hard” sciences as well. Bring more people here who aren’t historians and diplomats!
    (Plus, and not to sound too crass, but CEID can be a moneymaker for Yale, too, as these seminars and conferences at CEID gain speed. Liked this!