A place to call their own: Engineering and computer science students get center on campus

Finding space on campus for group meetings can often be difficult. To help students find space to study or work, Washington State University Vancouver’s school of Engineering and Computer Science has developed a Student Innovation and Design Center in VECS 123 that will be open for engineering and computer science students as of Mar. 6.

Prior to housing the new design center, the room held a computer lab. The old computers lacked many of the programs engineers needed and the lab was underused. The newly converted space is equipped with four engineering computers, a variety of desks for team meetings, multiple whiteboards and two meeting cubes that can each facilitate up to six people for student laptop teleconferencing.

The center may be used for holding team meetings, collaborating with project sponsors, conducting engineering & computer science club meetings and receiving tutoring for computer science, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering coursework. There are currently over 100 seniors working on capstone projects so priority reservations will be given to these students.

Freshmen and sophomores in engineering and computer science programs will have access Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. if space is available. Juniors and seniors in these programs have access to the room whenever the building is open, but must swipe in with their ID cards.

Some students have already gotten a glimpse of the new Design Center and have had varying opinions. A few students expected a more industrial facility while others liked it and thought it was well lit and clean.

Enoch Mbuyamba, a mechanical engineering student said, “For the capstone we always have to go places to find a spot on campus. This is actually a great resource… and you can talk here with a loud voice.”

The facility is still under construction and currently only possesses items relocated from other parts of campus. In the near future, WSU Vancouver will reach out to industry partners for financial support. One of the whiteboards is currently used for students to write their suggestions and improvements.

Some future improvements are planned. The Design Center will get an overhead projector, printer and potentially more white boards. Visit the center for more information and to see what they have to offer and remember to bring your CougarCard with you.

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