The University of Maryland has been heavily involved in 3D printing for years now, and they continue to expand. We’ve followed as they have opened a MakerBot Innovation Center as well as developing alternative processes with materials like graphene. Now, the university is dedicating a 184,000-square-foot facility centered around engineering and bioengineering innovation.

To be named after its supporter and alumnus, the A. James Clark Hall will also function as a hub to bring together other partnerships from around Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

The new hall will also serve as the only facility in the US focused on both bioengineering and heath-related products. These will incorporate FDA-funded Centers of Excellence in both Regulatory Science and Pediatric Device Innovation.

“Great ideas will turn into life-changing devices and biomedical treatments in this magnificent research building,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “Our students, faculty, researchers and partners will have what they need to produce bioengineering marvels, as well as advances in other fields.”

The A. James Clark Hall is also being funded by the State of Maryland, alumnus and biomedical pioneer Robert E. Fischell, and other donors to include T.K. Patrick and Marguerite Sung, Lawrence C. and Melanie Franco Nussdorf, Ronald and Karen Lowman, Rajan and Sandhya Mittu, and Pepco Holdings, Inc.

Clark Hall Exterior, Sept.19 2017

With such expansion and the opportunity for furthered innovation, the university can continue in their ongoing goal to bring in both the best students and faculty—along with establishing important research. The building will offer:

  • Flexible classrooms
  • An innovation lab
  • 40,000 square feet of state-of-the-art research laboratories
  • 6,800 square feet for students to collaborate on projects, including cross-disciplinary work, located in the first floor Leidos Innovation Lab featuring workbenches, specialized utilities, digital displays, and more

“My father felt the University’s decision to name the School of Engineering after him was the most meaningful honor he would ever receive,” said Courtney Clark Pastrick, board chair of the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation. “I think he would be humbled to have this cornerstone of innovation named in his honor. Our family is proud of its potential to truly transform the future of education and health in our world.”

Labs throughout the building are meant to ‘spur the organic flow of ideas.’ In particular, a lab for prototyping and 3D printing allows users to bring ideas to life quickly.

“The Leidos mission ​to make the world safer, healthier and more efficient requires an innovative workforce. ​Leidos proudly supports the University of Maryland’s Fearless Ideas Campaign, further equipping the nation’s future engineering labor pool by using our cutting-edge Leidos Innovation Lab on the first floor of the new A. James Clark Hall,” said Roger Krone​​, ​Leidos Chairman and CEO.

Club rooms also available for students are meant to allow for gathering places where startups, competitive teams, and others can brainstorm and work together in creating.

“Clark Hall embodies the future of multidisciplinary engineering with human impact,” said Darryll J. Pines, dean of the Clark School and Farvardin professor of engineering. “Our engineers have a long history of life-changing innovations, from the implantable insulin pump to 3D printed vascular grafts. These state-of-the-art facilities will create the next generation of engineers who will advance human health worldwide, transforming millions of lives.”

Bioengineering—applying engineering to biomedical technologies—is one of the fastest growing tracks at the University of Maryland.

“At the center of the region’s biotech corridor, Clark Hall will offer new opportunities for engineers across all eight disciplines to connect with experts from the University of Maryland School of Medicine on innovations that will change the course of human health for decades to come,” said Fischell Family Distinguished Professor and Bioengineering Department Chair John Fisher. “In this way, researchers from both the College Park and Baltimore campuses can utilize resources housed within Clark Hall to tackle challenges in areas ranging from cancer therapeutics and diagnostics to rehabilitation robotics and tissue engineering.”

Find out more about A. James Clark Hall here.

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