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engineering

ASU’s engineering schools merge

Arizona State University is merging its two successful engineering schools. The move will enhance and expand engineering education opportunities, lead to growth in the number of engineering and technology graduates, strengthen and increase the impact of research and simplify engagement for industry.

This is a natural next step for ASU’s successful College of Technology and Innovation (CTI) and the Polytechnic campus, where the college is located. Both are now about a decade old.

CTI will be renamed the Polytechnic School, and will be housed within ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. The school will continue to have unique programs, and the engineering and technology programs will be expanded at the Polytechnic campus.

The Arizona Board of Regents approved the change Feb. 5.

“For ASU to pursue its mission of innovative education and research, there needs to be continuous evolution and improvement of the university’s schools and campuses,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “By incorporating the Polytechnic School within Fulton Schools of Engineering, a top 50 nationally ranked engineering school, Poly will attract more students and expand research possibilities faster than could have been done otherwise. The Polytechnic School brings to Fulton a number of high-quality applied engineering programs and additional research facilities and programs.”

In recent years, ASU has constructed new academic facilities at Poly, built a residential life academic village, and added new recreation facilities. The goal remains to have 15,000 to 20,000 students there.

“The merger of CTI and the Fulton Schools represents a logical fusion of two very successful programs,” said ASU Provost Robert Page. “It will provide our students with a better-defined set of program options and allow new synergistic connections among our faculty.”

Both CTI and the Fulton Schools share a strong interest in innovative, experiential education, student success and use-inspired research directed toward solving societal challenges in areas such as energy, health, sustainability, education and security.

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering is one of the largest engineering schools in the United States, with more than 10,000 students. CTI has more than 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students. The Fulton Schools undergraduate program ranking from U.S. News & World Report puts them in the top 25 percent of ranked programs. Both schools have faculty that have been honored with the highest awards in their fields.

Mitzi Montoya, who has served as vice provost and dean of ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation since 2011, has been promoted to vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation in the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development and university dean for entrepreneurship and innovation. In this new role, Montoya will synthesize activities across campuses and continue to enrich the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem.

During her time as dean of CTI, Montoya spearheaded several initiatives designed to promote and support entrepreneurship. She was pivotal in bringing TechShop – a membership-based, do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio with locations nationwide – to the ASU Chandler Innovation Center. She also launched iProjects, which connects ASU students with industry to solve real business problems.

Chandler Innovation Center

ASU Chandler Innovation Center Will House Do-It-Yourself TechShop

TechShop, a membership-based, do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio with locations nationwide, has reached agreement on terms that will bring TechShop to the ASU Chandler Innovation Center, giving Arizona State University students and Chandler-area makers, entrepreneurs and innovators access to a wide range of machinery, tools and software to turn their ideas into reality.

The ASU Chandler Innovation Center is an engineering and technology-based education and research hub located in downtown Chandler at the city’s former public works yard at 249 E. Chicago Street. It represents an alliance between the City of Chandler and ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation, which offers innovative learning models and interdisciplinary educational programs in engineering, applied sciences, management and entrepreneurship.

TechShop is the physical embodiment of the Maker Movement, providing inventors and hobbyists with workspace, community and tools – including welding stations, plasma cutters, hand tools and 3D printers – needed to make just about anything. The facilities operate on a membership model similar to health clubs, with monthly or annual fees covering unlimited access to equipment on a drop-in basis.

“The mission of the ASU Chandler Innovation Center is to support entrepreneurship and boost long-term economic growth by dedicating a space to teach, train and develop innovative individuals and companies in our community,” said Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. “The arrival of TechShop aligns perfectly with that goal and enriches our already substantial partnership with ASU at this facility.”

As part of the TechShop deal, the College of Technology & Innovation will offer free memberships to students who are taking classes at the Center, with discounted memberships available for other faculty and students. The arrangement will also increase the building’s space utilization by making classrooms available for TechShop programs when not in use by ASU.

“Integrating TechShop into the ASU Chandler Innovation Center democratizes access to tools for innovation and opens up tremendous new opportunities for our students to learn and create,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Our partnership with TechShop and the City of Chandler enables us to offer our students and the community more access to state-of-the-art technology and resources than any other educational setting nationwide.”

“TechShop’s agreement with ASU, our first academic partnership, pioneers a new model for integrating hands-on making into the teaching process,” said Mark Hatch, CEO of TechShop. “We welcome students at all our facilities and have found that great things happen when students, faculty, industry and individual makers collaborate in the same space.”

“ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation offers a state-of-the-art curriculum that blends theory and practice, with students applying new knowledge in team-based projects embedded across all four years of study,” said Mitzi Montoya, vice provost and dean of ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation. “Our students learn by making and doing, and we are incredibly excited to be able to offer our students access to more tools to design and build exciting solutions.”

TechShop Chandler will offer charter memberships beginning later this year. Interested parties can email chandler@techshop.com to receive alerts regarding becoming a member.

Every TechShop membership includes use of over $1 million worth of tools, equipment and design software, open workspaces, Internet access, and member-only meet-ups and special events. All TechShop locations are open from 9 a.m. until midnight, helping to attract more people into the downtown setting after hours.

For more information about ASU Chandler Innovation Center, visit ASU’s website at asunews.asu.edu