Engineering Product Innovation Center at Boston University's College of Engineering

Transforming the Future of Engineering Education

The Engineering Product Innovation Center (EPIC) is a 15,000-square-foot, $9 million facility on Commonwealth Avenue in the heart of the Boston University’s Charles River Campus. It is a pioneering facility that helps address a critical need in the US: the training of prospective engineers who understand how to develop and manufacture innovative new products.

Boston University built EPIC to create a new generation of engineers capable of understanding and leading the entire new product innovation process, from design through manufacturing, in a global environment. Many universities in the US have manufacturing-oriented centers, but for the most part, they focus on basic manufacturing research. EPIC focuses on educating both undergraduates and graduate students in the entire range of relevant skill sets—from design to prototyping to manufacturing to lifecycle management—that are vital to product innovation.

In EPIC, students experience hands-on design, prototyping and small-scale manufacturing as an integral part of their overall engineering curriculum.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

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EPIC features teaching space, demonstration areas, laboratories and a product fabrication facility, all in a reconfigurable layout that is easily adaptable to future technologies and educational needs. The facility includes:

  • Hardware and software for computer-assisted design, including an $18.8 million in-kind gift of product design and lifecycle management software from PTC.
  • Rapid 3D prototyping and additive manufacturing tools.
  • A full machine shop, featuring multi-axis CNC machines, mills, lathes, and other standard industrial tools.
  • Electronics design and fabrication capability, including test, PCB fabrication and surface mount soldering.
  • An automated, robotic, manufacturing line.
  • A materials characterization laboratory.
  • A metals foundry.
  • A complete carpentry shop.

Suggestions for additional tools and capabilities are always welcomed from the BU community and can be sent directly to the Director of the Center at gjfine@bu.edu.

The Curriculum

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Our fundamental goal is to prepare undergraduate engineers to become designers who develop both innovative products and advanced manufacturing processes, regardless of major. EPIC educates students in the entire range of relevant skill sets, including:

  • Engineering Design
  • Computational Design Software
  • 3-D Prototyping
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Robotics

EPIC initially supports these aims by:

  • Teaching a new engineering design course called “Introduction to Engineering Design” to be offered to sophomores beginning in the spring of 2014.
  • Becoming a focal point for a new and revitalized master’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering.
  • Supplementing and enriching existing courses already offered within the College of Engineering.
  • Offering a variety of non-credit seminars and classes designed to enrich the academic experience for all our students.
  • Being available for the use of trained engineering students for independent projects of their own choosing.

How to Get Involved

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If you are a member of the Boston University community, there are a variety of ways you can use EPIC and learn how to turn your ideas into real products.

First, take the On-line Safety Test. Everyone who passes can have hands-on experience in manufacturing.

After you pass the test, you can use EPIC in any of four ways:

  1. Enroll in EK 210, a two-credit Engineering Design Course offered in the fall for sophomores only. The class meets in EPIC.
  2. Sign up for one of the clubs that meets regularly in EPIC, such as the Design Community or the Global App Initiative.
  3. Bring in your own personal project (just a sketch is required) and we can help you build it.
  4. Sign up to work in EPIC next year by contacting Joe Estano.

Staff Directory

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Gerry Fine, Director
gjfine@bu.edu | (617) 353-6373
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology

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Joseph Estano, Laboratory Supervisor
jestano@bu.edu | (617) 353-6653
Over 30 yrs manufacturing experience including U.S. Navy Machinist Repair. Training in manufacturing technology, leadership, business management. Responsible for operation, maintenance, and safety of all departmental instructional laboratories.

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Bob Sjostrom, Senior CIMLAB Specialist
sjostrom@bu.edu | (617)353-4246
Over 35 years experience in manufacturing and computerized machining in both production and research fields. Responsible for day to day operation of department machine shop and also provide design assistance and research support when needed.

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David Campbell, Laboratory Engineer
dcampbel@bu.edu | (617) 353-3952
Over 20 years experience supporting R&D technologies. Training in telecommunications engineering, PC desktop support, project management, and business management. Responsible to Laboratory Supervisor to provide system administration support to the SCUD Lab and Graduate Computer Lab, and the continuous safe operation of all laboratory equipment.

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Ryan Lacy, ADMS Lab Supervisor/Machinist
lacyr@bu.edu | (617) 353-4274

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Kara Mogensen, Laboratory Supervisor
karam@bu.edu | (617) 358-1565
Earned her degree in Engineering Physics with concentration in Materials Engineering from the University of Connecticut, and has industry experience with Olin Brass of Waterbury, CT, Bodycote of Andover, MA and ISPG Inc. of New Milford, CT.

EPIC Calendar

The Hours at EPIC
Monday thru Thursday - 8AM to 10PM
Friday – 8AM to 6PM
Saturday and Sunday – 10AM to 6PM

For room reservations, please use our online form.

 

More Info

For more information about EPIC, please contact:
Gerry Fine, Director of EPIC
gjfine@bu.edu or 617.353.6373