Cockrell Engineering launches Texas Inventionworks program

Natalie Venegas

Texas Inventionworks, a program dedicated to teaching research and innovative projects to engineering students, officially launched Thursday at the Cockrell School of Engineering. 

Director of Texas Inventionworks Scott Evans said the program provides students and faculty members with the resources needed for product development, including support in design, building and facilities.

“We are turning things around and making it possible for students to solve problems and work on designs even within their first week,” Evans said. “We are creating engineers (who) are going to add value to companies much sooner in their careers.”

The program is a rebranding of Longhorn Maker Studio, a similar program implemented in 2014, Evans said. The program is funded in part by National Instruments co-founder James Truchard, an electrical engineering alumni. 

For mechanical engineering senior David Yun and architectural engineering senior Oscar Fernandez, seeing their project become a reality was something they never thought would be possible without the proper funding. 

 



Yun said his project, which consisted of a chess board with magnetic and electromagnetic sensors, required a lot of expensive materials.

“It’s more than just showcasing projects — it really gives you the resources to be able to build it,” Yun said. “If I didn’t (have the Inventionworks program), I would have to buy a bunch of different tools just to be able to do this.” 

Electrical engineering freshman Sophia Gendron said Texas Inventionworks allows engineering students to expand their knowledge to make their innovation projects a reality. 

“With this new program, a lot more projects are able to reach students,” Gendron said. “Not a lot of people knew about Maker Studio, and now with Texas Inventionworks, students know that they can come in and develop their own innovation projects.” 

Evans said he hopes Texas Inventionworks becomes a nationally-recognized program that integrates engineering, education and innovation. 

“Students will get an opportunity to learn how to operate life as an engineer almost immediately,” Evans said. “This is valuable because becoming a good designer takes years, and now we can start that ‘become a designer clock’ freshman year instead of waiting until senior year.”