Fab Lab to receive new home in MNTL

ECE News

Daniel Dexter, ECE ILLINOIS
5/6/2016 2:45:46 PM

Story Highlights

  • The facility, affectionately called the Fab Lab, is currently in the process of being moved to a new space in MNTL.
  • The Fab Lab is used primarily to teach ECE 444, which gives students a hands-on experience in the process of making semi-conductor devices.
  • Sievers believes that the move will beneficial for everybody involved because the new space will create higher visibility for the Lab.

The Fabrication Lab, a staple of Everitt Lab since 1965, will be receiving a new home this June.

The facility, affectionately called the Fab Lab, is currently in the process of being moved to a new space in the Micro + Nanotechnology Lab (MNTL). The Fab Lab is used primarily to teach ECE 444, which gives students a hands-on experience in the process of making semi-conductor devices.

Dane Joseph Sievers
Dane Joseph Sievers

Fab Lab coordinator Dane Joseph Sievers said the course is unique in that students are able to work through each step of the procedure themselves to get a solid foundation in how the theoretical material can be applied.

“This lab ties in the with semiconductor physics course to verify that the physics works, and it does,” Sievers said. “What differentiates us from other places is that the students don’t hand off their work at any point. They do all the processes themselves.”

After the ECE department made the move to the new ECE building in 2014, Sievers said that the original plan was to keep the Fab Lab where it was. However, Everitt Lab is being completely remodeled in preparation for the new home of the bioengineering department, which made it impossible to keep the Fab Lab there.

This put Sievers and course director Xiuling Li in a difficult position because they had to find an appropriate home for the facility.

“I spent a tremendous amount of time to figure out the most cost effective, sensible and intuitive place to relocate,” Sievers said. “It turns out that MNTL is the place to be. It took a lot of ingenuity to get in there.”

Xiuling  Li
Xiuling Li

Sievers believes that the move will beneficial for everybody involved because the new space will create higher visibility for the Lab. Students and visitors alike will have the opportunity to view the research going on in the facility, which will hopefully foster an even greater academic environment.

Construction on the new space is well under way and equipment is expected to be moved into the MNTL space shortly. The scheduled date of complete is June 15 with classes set to resume in the fall.

“This move has opened a lot of new potential and a lot of new interaction,” Sievers said. “We are progressing into a better space.”

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