At a community event Thursday, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay celebrated the debut of $1.5 million in equipment that was recently delivered to the Brown County STEM Innovation Center. The new resources will help prepare the next generation of engineers and others headed into STEM careers.
United Kingdom-based TecQuipment manufactured the equipment, which was delivered and installed by provider LAB Midwest of Mequon. The event included demonstrations as well as comments from LAB Midwest CEO Renee Kirchner and UW-Green Bay College of Science, Engineering and Technology Dean John Katers.
Jagadeep Thota, a mechanical engineering assistant professor for the school, oversaw researching, selecting and ordering the equipment.
More than 100 pieces of laboratory equipment fill four labs and a machine shop in the STEM center. This includes a Stratasys 3D printer; turbines, which take energy from fluid motion and convert it to mechanical energy; a fluid flow channel, which allows students to better understand fluid dynamics; and a tension and hardness testing machine, which tests the hardness of materials and can characterize them for mechanical properties.
The equipment has real-world applications for the students using them, Thota said. For example, the turbines often are found in hydroelectric plants, and students can get hands-on experience with machines before entering the job market.
“The STEM area is very much in demand, and the job market is good in the area,” Thota said. “The equipment allows students to get practical experience for the workforce.”