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27 September 2017

Purdue debuts $18.5m Bechtel Innovation Design Centre

Faculty and students have been given access to an array of production services at the facility.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Purdue University has launched an $18.5m complex, dubbed Bechtel Innovation Design Centre (BIDC), to help turn engineering designs into physical prototypes.  

The centre will also provide potential researchers with services such as product testing. Utilities that can be accessed at the centre include waterjet and laser cutters, a laser engraver, 3D plastic printing access and electronics assembly tools. 

The facility is primarily geared toward students at Purdue’s College of Engineering and Purdue Polytechnic Institute, the latter of which awards engineering technology degrees.

The university launched 100 spinouts over the past five years, half of which now employ at least one student in a leadership position.

Purdue has launched a range of policies over the past few years for those looking to tap the university’s commercialisation ecosystem. They include an express licence for self-funded intellectual property creators and an incubator program dubbed Firestarter.

BIDC is dedicated to Stephen Bechtel, co-owner of civil engineering group Bechtel and a class of 1946 graduate of the university.

Mung Chiang, dean of Purdue’s College of Engineering, said: “The opportunity for Purdue engineering students to learn and create in BIDC will greatly enhance their overall educational experience.

“The College of Engineering is proud to collaborate with the Purdue Polytechnic Institute to launch this remarkable maker space. ­­

“The talent and programs in this space will further enrich the vibrant ecosystem for entrepreneurs at Purdue: turning our education and research into positive [impacts] on people’s lives.”

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