Overflowing with ideas

Emilio Fernandez '69 is a man of ideas. Read the life story of this fearless inventor and entrepreneur, whose ideas took him from a burnt radio transistor to an invention displayed in the Smithsonian.

Emilio Fernandez on the IDEA Factory staircase
square feet of project
lab spaces

Top floor

Lockheed Martin Rotorcraft Labs
Spread across two floors, the labs will be a new home for the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center. Here, faculty and students will conduct research on rotorcraft aerodynamics, structures, and flight mechanics. It’s also home to a monorail hoist, a giant, yellow crane-like device that can haul heavy equipment up from the ground.

Third floor

Robotics and Autonomy Lab
In this third-floor hub for advancing robotics systems, students can work with Spot, a mobile robot from Boston Dynamics, and an unmanned ground vehicle called Husky from Clearpath Robotics.

Robert J. Flanagan Collaboration Corner
Gathered behind and in the glow of the IDEA Factory's famous dichroic glass, students will study and hang out in this casual and stylish space.

Second floor

IDEA Central
The glass-enclosed café on the second floor is a new hub for the engineering community and features Sally, the salad-making robot serving fresh made-to-order meals.

Pedro Wasmer '62 Conference Room
In this modular room, Terps can brainstorm as one or two groups, or gaze meditatively at the campus views through the tall windows.

Ortanez Family Terrace
Located on the second floor adjacent to IDEA Central, this is a meeting point for faculty, staff, and students to enjoy the outdoors, watch sunsets, and sip a latte at sunrise.

Randy Ortanez ‘82 Innovation Bridge
This skybridge connects the IDEA Factory to the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building.

First floor

Tom & Susan Scholl Center for Student Innovation
The Tom & Susan Scholl Center for Student Innovation is the entire first floor of the IDEA Factory, and comprises the ALEx Garage, Angel P. Bezos ‘69 Rapid Prototyping Lab, and the Startup Shell.

The ALEx Garage
The ALEx Garage is an area for student teams like Terrapin Rockets and Robotics@Maryland.

Angel P. Bezos ’69 Rapid Prototyping Lab
Equipped with 3D printers and other in-demand gear, the lab joins a community of campus makerspaces that inspired Make:magazine to spotlight UMD as one of the nation's "best maker schools."

Startup Shell
The popular student business incubator now has a spacious home with moveable whiteboards, tables, and couches. 

Below grade level

TDF Foundation Quantum Technology Center Labs
Below grade level with a 3.5-foot-thick concrete floor to isolate delicate experiments from environmental interference, this home to the Quantum Technology Center is where students and researchers focus on translating quantum physics into real-world technologies. 

Microscopy Lab
This materials science and engineering lab includes an aberration corrected microscope that provides data with atomic resolution.