Digital Design Fabrication Lab lauches

New lab in The Rita allows students to bring ideas to life


The College of Arts and Humanities hosted a soft launch for the Digital Design and Fabrication Lab on April 18 for the students and members of the community, which featured a tour and demonstration of several of the lab’s features.

This was followed by a panel of department faculty and other members of administration who have been instrumental in making this lab a reality. The panel featured Fireside theater employee Nate Stamper, graphic design professor Carey Watters, art professor Trenton Baylor and theater art professor Jody Sekas.

Colleges strive for continuous improvement, and consequently, UW-Parkside is constantly seeking to improve and enhance their facilities in order to remain relevant and competitive.

With technology and digitalization becoming aspects of our everyday life, the College of Arts and Humanities wanted to come up with a way that students can be competitive in a digital world. Chancellor Debbie Ford said the lab has “a goal to make sure that our students are prepared to live, work and contribute in this digital world.”

The digital lab is a tool that will enhance students creative problem solving skills by encouraging new ideas and critical thinking. Students will learn how to use the machines with the intention of teaching the students how to turn ideas into designs and then create the objects. Scott Wallenberg from Modine Manufacturing Company said that math and science students would greatly benefit from learning these skills and makes them more competitive in the job market.

The conception and creation of the lab took a little over two years. Professor Baylor submitted a sabbatical in the fall of 2016, and a proposal for funding came in February 2017. The lab is finally up and running in April 2017.

With the current technologically advanced landscape of the modern job market, institutions of higher learning must incorporate technological education in order to remain relevant and competitive. UW-Parkside’s addition of the Digital Design and Fabrication lab is a step in the right direction to prepare students for life after college.

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