UT offers many science and engineering facilities to students

Freya Preimesberger

3D printing? Plasma cutters? High-power lasers? UT has your back.

“One of the things that’s really special here is that the first day you show up the first hour you’re here you can be making things, learning how to make things that you did not know about before,” said Scott Evans, director of Longhorn Maker Studio, an engineering resource.

UT offers a large number of resources to its community. Students from a wide range of fields can utilize these resources to make the most of their experiences at UT. The following resources are just a few of the spaces and services available to Texas science and engineering students.

Cockrell School of Engineering Resources:
Located in the Engineering Teaching Center, the Longhorn Maker Studio is a workshop where Cockrell students are free to design and create. Available equipment includes laser cutters, 3D printers, plasma cutters, computer numeric control machines, industrial sewing machines and graphical programming tools. Engineering students can receive training and use equipment at no cost. 

“We provide a facility where undergraduates can invent things, solve problems, do whatever they want,” Evans said. “Part of what makes an engineer good is the skills for creating complete solutions and working in teams.”

The Engineering Teaching Center is also home to the Innovation Station, a standalone 3D printer available to students. Students can upload designs remotely and pick up them up after they’re printed. 

College of Natural Sciences Resources:
Machinists at the Physics Machine Shop create unique instruments needed by College of Natural Sciences students and researchers that are unavailable elsewhere. The lab has created equipment that ranges from muon detectors to devices that take photos of atoms. The department also has the Physics Student Machine Shop, where students can make their own instruments.

“If they’re willing to get their hands dirty and do their own stuff, they’re more than welcome to do that,” said Allan Schroeder, supervisor of the Physics Machine Shop. “The students that come through here are so incredibly intelligent and they had some really great designs that’s what makes it so interesting for me.”

The Physics department has other facilities for graduate research, including a cryogenic laboratory, laser sciences and nuclear magnetic resonance laboratories. The RLM building houses the Texas Petawatt Laser, the highest power laser in the world.

The College of Natural Sciences also offers access to many other facilities including labs for genetic engineering and proteomics, as well as a large collection of algal samples for research. 

Additional Resources:
The Texas Advanced Computing Center has supercomputers that perform complex calculations for a broad range of research topics. Researchers use these facilities for researching cancer, engineering rockets and predicting the weather. The center collaborates with researchers from all fields. Dan Stanzione, center director, recommends that interested students first take classes on supercomputing from UT’s Department of Statistics and Data Science.