SuperTalk Mississippi

USM Eagle Maker Hub receives funding to expand

Photo courtesy of the University of Southern Mississippi.
Photo courtesy of the University of Southern Mississippi

New funding provided by the Civil-Military Innovation Institute Inc. (CMI2) will enable The University of Southern Mississippi’s unique Eagle Maker Hub to enhance its productivity as a digital fabrication makerspace.

Dr. Anna Wan, Eagle Maker Hub founder, and director says the contract with CMI2 includes approximately $250,000 that will be used to expand existing prototyping capabilities, as well as add new capabilities.

“The two most exciting additions are custom circuit boards and continuous carbon fiber 3D printing,” said Wan. “Instead of shipping off custom circuit board jobs, we can make circuit boards in-house. In addition, we will be able to 3D print parts that are lighter and stronger than aluminum.”

USM’s Eagle Maker Hub is the first public makerspace available at a Mississippi university, providing access to tools for digital fabrication, rapid prototyping, and coding. Through this innovative facility, USM students and faculty are developing new ways to inspire learning in traditional subjects with the latest fabrication technology.

Wan notes that the original goal of Eagle Maker Hub was to place this technology in the hands of all students, their teachers, and future teachers. Now, university students not only have unique opportunities to experience technology integration in the classroom and participate in authentic research, but also professional level prototyping.

The Eagle Maker Hub is a key contributor in the CMI2 support of the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) Collaboration Portfolio, specifically its Maker Program. Nationwide, the NSIN Maker Program aims to transform solutions concepts into working prototypes. By using a collection of prototyping hubs throughout the country, NSIN, and its partners including CMI2 works to build a network of innovators to solve national security problems.

“CMI2 has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with (Vice President for Research) Dr. Gordon Cannon and USM. We are proud that our partnership has been integral in moving USM up to an R1 Carnegie Classification of Higher Education status,” said Dr. Zenovy S. Wowczuk, Managing Director of CMI2. “The work Dr. Wan is leading at USM is exemplary for other prototyping hubs throughout the country.”

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