Edgerton Center

The Edgerton Center offers a wide variety of courses for both undergraduate and graduate students, and provides resources and opportunities for students to pursue hands-on projects, UROPs, and other activities.

Named for Professor Harold Edgerton, whose high-speed photography legacy lives on with the Strobe Alley exhibition of Edgerton photographs, the center can provide students with a workplace, a place to test equipment, access to the Student Machine Shop, or simply advice and encouragement. The classroom and studio are located in Strobe Alley on the fourth floor of Building 4, as is the Student Project Lab (4-409). The lab is equipped with hand tools, a sewing machine, soldering tools, electronics prototyping tools, and basic test equipment. For more information on using these facilities, contact Jim Bales or Amy Fitzgerald.

Subjects offered include introductory electronics, digital photography, and classes in international development (D-Lab classes). In addition, Doc Edgerton's Strobe Project Laboratory 6.163 is taught each term by associate director Jim Bales.

The Student Shop in 44-022 offers regular training sessions for use of CNC mills, lathes, a 3D printer, and more. The Area 51 CNC Machine Shop is located on the first floor of N51. The first floor fabrication facility—with CNC milling and lathe machines, an injection molding machine, a thermal forming machine, and a waterjet cutting machine—is available to students on clubs and teams, D-Lab, and to the students, faculty, and staff of the International Design Center. The third floor space, the Milk Drop Shop, is used by clubs and teams for small-scale project work. 

The center supports about a dozen student clubs and teams including the Solar Electric Vehicle Team, the MIT Robotics Team, Formula SAE, and others. We provide teams with a space to work space, machining equipment, some funding, administrative support, and advising. Students interested in proposing a new team should contact Sandi Lipnoski.

International development is a potent area of interest for students and faculty, and is a key part of MIT's goal of advancing global education. D-Lab is a program that fosters the development of appropriate technologies and sustainable solutions within the framework of courses and field trips. There are several academic offerings that make up the suite of D-Lab classes, falling into the broad categories of development, design, and dissemination. For more information about D-Lab, contact Melissa Mangino or call 617-324-2589.

The Edgerton Center K-12 Outreach Program gives MIT students an on-campus opportunity to teach engineering and science to 4th through 8th graders from area schools. Topics include mechanical engineering, circuits, optics, biology, and more. Contact Amy Fitzgerald or call 617-253-7931 to become involved.

The faculty director of the Edgerton Center is Professor J. Kim Vandiver, Room 10-110. For general information, contact Sandi Lipnoski, Room 4-408, 617-253-4629, or visit the website.