Sounding the ‘Factory’ Whistle
New Engineering Building Expands Students’ and Researchers’ Opportunities to Innovate
By Sala Levin '10
Photo by Eric Kruszewski
From an underground quantum lab to spaces to test business ideas—not to mention advanced robots—the striking new E.A. Fernandez IDEA (Innovate, Design and Engineer for America) Factory is a place where students and researchers can push the limits of 21st-century innovation and entrepreneurship.
The 60,000-square-foot building, located next to the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, houses high-tech teaching and research labs, collaborative workspaces and meeting rooms. Officially open since May, it’s named for A. James Clark School of Engineering alum Emilio Fernandez ’69, an entrepreneur and inventor who developed e-reader technology and pioneered innovations in the rail industry, and who is philanthropically supporting the building’s construction.
In fact, the E.A. Fernandez IDEA Factory is the only building on the College Park campus that is funded solely through philanthropic support, with the cornerstone gift being part of the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation’s Building Together: An Investment for Maryland in 2017.
Fernandez hopes that here, science, journalism, the arts and other areas can jointly “come up with solutions to the problems that we have these days, which are complex problems that require interdisciplinary solutions.”
Tour the IDEA Factory by clicking on the purple circles in the graphic below:
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