The A. James Clark School of Engineering

, University of Maryland

College Park, MD

Entry View
Study Space
Study Space, Stairwell, Elevator Bank
Study Space

Ready to expand the boundaries of innovation, entrepreneurship, and world-class research, The A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland sought a facility that was “unconventional in every way.”

So, pushing the limits of what’s possible, the EYP team designed a building that defies gravity — floating a solid box of flexible research space above two glass levels of student innovation and collaboration spaces.

Dubbed the IDEA Factory, the street level invites onlookers to peer inside and see the energy of entrepreneurship at the heart of the Clark School’s reputation. You’ll find undergraduates sharing tools in the Rapid Prototyping Lab, preparing for design competitions in the ALEx Garage innovation workspace, or working on next generation apps in the Startup Shell, an incubator for student-run startups. The Shell already has generated over 60 ventures, valuing $20 million and growing.

Then the second floor, sheathed in glass, encourages students, faculty, and staff to grab a bite of the best food on campus while exchanging thoughts in collaboration areas and conference rooms. Great ideas often emerge after faculty lunch-time presentations and create buzz in this social hub for the engineering school.

And floating above these inviting spaces, the box of research labs allows walls to be reconfigured in a snap, providing the University unprecedented ease in adapting to research demands. Home to the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center, drones zoom by, and students explore bio mimicry in the Robotics Realization Lab.

Tucked away below ground is the Quantum Technology Center, hosting sensitive equipment harnessing the power of the very small.

Combined, the IDEA Factory is a place of curiosity, energy, and exploration, educating 21st-century engineering leaders.

Building Facts

  • State-of-the-Art Laboratories, Workshops, and Collaboration Spaces
  • Robotics Realization Lab
  • ALEX Garage (IDEA Factory Design Studio)
  • Quantum Technology Center Lab
  • Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center
  • Design-Build
  • 60,000 GSF

Building Progress

The E. A. Fernandez IDEA Factory is taking shape, inspiring innovation and entrepreneurship.

The road from idea to invention is filled with bumps, and this new building will pave the way for our innovators.

Wallace D. Loh University of Maryland President