ORU engineering department uses $250,000 grant to renovate areas for new machine shop and labs

By Natasha Mitchell ('94)

Oral Roberts University’s engineering department recently renovated areas for a machine shop and labs. These renovations were made possible through a $250,000 grant from the Helmerich Foundation. An open house will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. April 12 on the first floor of the Learning Resources Center.

President Mark Rutland will extend thanks to the Helmerich Foundation for the funding which led to the development of the new engineering lab.

John Matsson, chairman and professor of Mechanical Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, said the renovations will benefit the students in a positive way.

"The improvements will benefit the engineering students in that they will get a better education that will prepare them for the job market," he said. "The students will get a larger machine shop and labs with more equipment that will be used to, for example, build the racecar but also for many other projects and courses."

The new machine shop includes 5,000 square feet of workspace that will be used by all engineering students. A computer lab will also be located within the shop. The machine shop will be used for classes as well as projects.

One of the projects that will be built in the new machine shop is a formula SAE racecar. This car is a multiyear project that will later be sent to competition.

Two engineering labs also received renovations. Each lab received new instruments, furniture, computers, tables, projectors, white boards, floors and countertops. These labs will be finished later this semester. Both the machine shop and the labs are located on the first floor of the Learning Resource Center.