Renovated workshops and labs now open for students to gain hands-on experience

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: September 16, 2022 10:00 a.m.

Students check out the new printers in the 3D printing lab.
Students check out the new printers in the 3D printing lab. Credit: U of R Photography

What was once a space under construction that gathered inquisitive looks from students passing in and out of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science student lounge is now a spot for those same students to bolster their hands-on and experiential learning.

On Friday morning, President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen was joined by Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Dr. Phillip Choi as well as faculty, staff, students, and special guests to mark the opening of the newly renovated and enhanced lab space on the main floor of the Education Building.

“It has been so neat seeing all the hard work they put into it, especially all the things they’ve got it in it,” said Bailey Armstrong, a fourth year electronic systems engineering student and president of the Regina Engineering Students’ Society (RESS). “I think it will be so awesome to actually get in there.”

Student using a scientific machine
State of the art tools, equipment, and machinery will be available to students in the renovated lab and workshop spaces. Credit: U of R Photography

The new space will feature a workshop equipped with the most advanced hand tools, a 3D printing lab, an electronics and instrumentation lab, and a machine shop.

“The opening of this new lab space reinforces the faculty’s commitment to providing students better opportunities to advance their studies and careers through experiential learning,” said Dr. Choi. “Engineering is hands-on, it’s learning by doing, so we want to make sure our students have access to the best tools and equipment to be successful.”

The space will be utilized by students in all program areas of engineering as well as by the Educating Youth in Engineering and Science (EYES) programs and engineering student teams such as Cougar Racing, the Regina Engineering Concrete Toboggan Team, Engineers Without Borders, and Ram Tech.

Student use in the workshops will be supervised and supported by staff and instructors from the faculty, which will be beneficial to students looking to complete group work and for fourth-year students working on their capstone projects.

Students using scientific machines
Students check out the new printers in the 3D printing lab. Credit: U of R Photography

“Having this new space will be super beneficial and helpful to our ability to learn,” said Emily Schwab, a fourth-year electronic systems engineering student and vice-president of finance with RESS. “To be able have the space here to do the work, and also have the professors and the people who already know how to do all these things around and able to answer questions is going to be great.”

“It will be nice having one centralized location for our capstone projects – if you don’t have the space or materials at home, you can use it here at the University,” Armstrong added. “Even for us older year students particularly – because we are a little more familiar with what the space is used for – we’re really excited knowing we’ll have this kind of space to work on our projects.”

Whether you are a student considering entering the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science or about to graduate from it, this space has something for you. The 3D Printing lab will be connected to the campus community so students and staff in other faculties can modernize learning opportunities by utilizing the equipment. The space will help also support grad students and faculty researchers by providing them better access and support for the creation and development of prototypes and models.

Students using tools in a lab
Students use some of the new tools in the Electronics and Instrumentation Shop. Credit U of R Photography

“When we’re trying to find jobs after university, a lot of us don’t necessarily know how much will be hands-on, so having this space will allow students to gain the knowledge and understanding of the instrumentation and get the real life application so we can be prepared for anything,” Armstrong added.

The space will be named the Mitchell Workshops in honour of John and his late wife Tillie Mitchell, who are close friends of a generous donor who contributed $1 million to the renovation project.

“It’s an honour for me and my family to have our name associated with this project and the University of Regina,” the long-time Regina resident said. “I’m thrilled that students will have the opportunity to get the hands-on experience they need to achieve their career goals.”

Research is part of the Discovery area of focus in the University of Regina’s [2020-2025 Strategic Plan kahkiyaw kiwȃhkomȃkȃninawak – All Our Relations]. The University values and supports an environment that allows for high-quality teaching, research, and learning that strengthens the academic successes of our students and faculty and improves the lives of Canadians.