Donor Recognition

We extend our sincerest gratitude to each and every donor who has made the vision of the E.A. Fernandez IDEA Factory a reality.

square feet of project space
lab spaces
students smile together over iPad while working in the startup shell
Tom & Susan Scholl Center for Student Innovation
Dedicated to student innovation, competition, and entrepreneurship, the Tom & Susan Scholl Center for Student Innovation includes a student co-working, design, and fabrication space; a rapid prototyping lab; a pop-up innovation lab, the Startup Shell; and the xFoundry@UMD’s offices.
xFoundry@UMD is a new initiative launching out of the E.A. Fernandez IDEA Factory that promotes technology innovations and advancements through collaborations with every academic discipline on campus by fostering a multidisciplinary guided curriculum with annual targeted competitions designed to address societal challenges. xFoundry@UMD’s academic program, Xperience, carefully packages curated courses and focused competitions to tackle grand challenges, and their series of strategic programs aim to transform universities into entrepreneurship hubs. Housed inside the xFoundry@UMD’s space, the Xpress Studio is a state-of-the-art video podcast studio open to all xFoundry teams and members of the Xtrapreneur Student Organization. 
The ALEx Garage
Focusing on teams proposing solutions to important problems, the Garage offers space to rotating groups that are developing prototypes and working to commercialize  them. It is equipped with full build space, including dedicated exhausts above every work station, a workshop with machining and welding capabilities, and garage door access for loading and unloading vehicle-sized hardware into the space.  In 2024, ALEx Garage will be outfitted with the latest in AI technology for building digital twins, HD camera systems, Edge Computing hardware, IoT sensor technologies, and Augmented Reality hardware.
Angel P. Bezos ’69 Rapid Prototyping Lab
Equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters and other in-demand gear for students to operate, this lab, operated by Terrapin Works, joins a community of campus makerspaces that inspired Make:magazine to spotlight UMD as one of the nation's "best maker schools." The Rapid Prototyping Lab is one of the f fully equipped maker spaces on campus usable by trained students and faculty with minimal supervision, allowing them to bring their visions to reality on demand.
Startup Shell
Startup Shell is a student-run business incubator and co-working space that provides the student entrepreneurship community with the space, resources, and network to explore ideas, collaborate, and scale their ventures. The Shell’s new home in the IDEA Factory is replete with co-working space, a pitch stage, and conference rooms accessible 24/7 to Shell members. 
students stand on the terrace of the IDEA factory on sunny day
The glass-enclosed café on the second floor is a new gathering spot for the engineering community. Open throughout the week during the academic year from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the café offers breakfast,  lunch, bakery options, and coffee. The café space accommodates startups that partner with xFoundry and UMD Dining Services to bring new culinary experiences and technology to the IDEA Factory. 
Pedro Wasmer '62 Conference Room
A modular, environmentally friendly conference room configured for meetings, ideating sessions, and other events with 180 degrees of natural light pouring into the space and comprehensive audio-visual capabilities for hybrid and virtual meetings. It has hosted influential external events, such as a roundtable discussion with Congressman Glenn Ivey (D-MD) on ways Prince George’s County can further develop as an innovation hub.
Ortanez Family Terrace
Located on the second floor adjacent to the IDEA CentralCafé, this outdoor space connects to the Kim Plaza below and is a great meeting point for faculty, staff, and students. It will eventually host the Smart Living Canopy, designed through an xFoundry competition in collaboration with the Schools of Architecture, Engineering, and Computer Sciences.
Randy Ortanez ‘82 Innovation Bridge
This sky-bridge connects the IDEA Factory to the second floor of the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building and provides students from both facilities with access to the UMD FabLab, a microelectronics fabrication facility that bolsters UMD’s recent entry into the Midwest Microelectronics Consortium.

students enjoy the multi-colored filtered light of the collaboration corner

Robotics and Autonomy Lab
Home of the Maryland Robotics Center Robotics and Autonomy Laboratory (RAL), this multi-purpose robotics lab hosts motion capture technology, assembly and testing areas, and a range of robots, including Spot, the robotic dog (Boston Robotics), and Husky (Clearpath Robotics). The RAL functions as a shared research and education facility for all Maryland Robotics Center faculty and affiliated students and supports mobile robotics research, prototyping and manufacturing, and capstone projects for the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Minor. Recently, personnel from the RAL have been funded as participants in the DARPA Triage Challenge, which seeks to use drones and robots to assess injuries in mass casualty incidents.
Robert J. Flanagan Collaboration Corner
The collaboration space is located in the glow of the IDEA Factory's dichroic glass, which changes color based on the light, allowing students to hang out and study next to the Robotics and Autonomy Lab.

student sits in model created in the Rotorcraft Lab

Lockheed Martin Rotorcraft Labs
A new home for the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center (AGRC) and one of three national rotorcraft centers of excellence. Research in the AGRC includes aerodynamics, flight mechanics, vibrations, structures, computational fluid dynamics, acoustics, and other topics. The ARGC boasts a full simulation-to-prototype workflow capability, with advanced computational equipment housed alongside hangars for indoor prototype testing. The lab is equipped with a monorail hoist to haul heavy equipment up from the ground through large double doors on the building’s side, allowing researchers to load full-sized autonomous aerial vehicles into the space.

student fiddles with electrical wiring

TDF Foundation Quantum Technology Center Laboratories
With state-of-the-art laboratories to isolate delicate experiments, the IDEA Factory is home to the Quantum Technology Center, where students and researchers focus on turning quantum physics into real-world translational technologies to address some of society’s toughest challenges. Currently, researchers in the QTC are working on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of individual biological cells and proteins, as well as sensors to enable the stable operation of the nuclear fusion reactors of tomorrow. 

Microscopy Lab
Part of the Maryland NanoCenter, The AIMLab II  will house a new state-of-art Aberration-Corrected-Transmission Electron Microscope. This microscope is capable of identifying chemical constituents and bonds down to the single-atom level. These atomic-resolution images will enable an unprecedented degree of materials innovation across a wide scope of nanoscience and engineering disciplines, supporting the NanoCenter’s mission of advancing nanotechnology at the University of Maryland.