A recent tour of the Fab Lab at Lewis and Clark Community College’s Edwardsville campus.
EDWARDSVILLE – Emerson, a global technology and engineering company headquartered in St. Louis, sees Lewis and Clark Community College’s St. Louis Confluence Fab Lab as a resource for its innovative research and development divisions.
The company is the first to purchase the newly-offered Premier Corporate Membership, which gives Emerson’s engineers and their SIUE School of Engineering interns access to the Fab Lab’s cutting edge manufacturing technology needed to design, build and test tech solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets.
The Fab Lab empowers its members to explore, innovate and invent new products to solve real world problems. Located on L&C’s N.O. Nelson Campus in Edwardsville, Illinois, the Fab Lab houses industrial grade design, fabrication, finishing and assembly tools for many different materials and processes.
“This is why the United States Fab Lab Network chose us to host its 2017 Symposium earlier this month,” said Fab Lab Director Luke Jumper. “The focus was on technical training and education so that staff members of fab labs from around the country could share ideas on leading high impact educational programs in their spaces. This includes how to connect with, and relate to, like-minded groups of students or inventors in other parts of the world.”
As part of an international group of labs piloted by MIT, users of the Fab Lab can share knowledge with a global network of educators, students and inventors. This is useful to Emerson, whose clients are located around the world.
“Emerson is eager to access the advanced tools and technology that the Fab Lab offers to aid our engineers in the development and prototyping of innovative new products,” said Bill Butler, vice president of engineering, White-Rodgers, for Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions platform. “Our investment in the Fab Lab is also driven by our advocacy of STEM education and Emerson’s desire to support tomorrow’s engineers.”
For 125 years, Emerson has been guided by a passion to make the world a better, safer, more sustainable place. It finds solutions to customers’ complex challenges through technologies that constantly advance. Crucial to its engineers is a place for research and development with access to knowledge that inventors around the world possess. The St. Louis Confluence Fab Lab provides both in a 5,000-square foot facility, conveniently located, with extensive hours, knowledgeable staff and an advanced communications lab.
“The Fab Lab’s hands-on facility and extensive equipment, hardware and software offering makes it unique in this region,” said Robert McClellan, who volunteers his time with ENGTEC, an outreach arm of SIUE’s School of Engineering, as well as the Fab Lab. “It is the perfect place for companies, large and small to develop and tweak prototypes. Usually R&D is very expensive, but the Fab Lab, with its unique linkage to Lewis and Clark Community College and the SIUE internship program, along with inexpensive access, makes this Fab Lab an easy choice.”
Individual members of the Fab Lab include Lewis and Clark and SIUE students of engineering and architecture, local entrepreneurs, individuals whose projects and hobbies require manufacturing equipment too large or expensive to own, and youth in STEM programs that are developing innovators of tomorrow.
Learn more about the St. Louis Confluence Fab Lab at www.lc.edu/fablab, or about the USFLN’s 2017 Symposium at usfln.org/index.php/symposium.
— From the Illinois Business Journal via LCCC