Electrical engineering major Xavier Farrell ’21 uses the M5 makerspace to work on a class project. So far, he’s made a motorized LEGO vehicle, a digital clock, and, he laughs, “I’ve used that space to fix my laptop.”
The M5 includes labs, a machine shop, a 3D printer, a media studio, study spaces, and classrooms. Lecturer Chuck Malloch says, “To have a really well-balanced education, you should have hands-on experience building projects. M5 is the place for making things…or breaking things to find out how they worked, or fixing things.”
Farrell is motivated to help others span the “gap between the people who need help and those resources that can help them,” he says. Whether through infrastructure, smart grid technology, or policy, Farrell aims to help make electricity more accessible for underserved communities.
This year, Farrell will be dipping into the M5 to work on his Senior Design Project, a year-long capstone course for which he works with a team to design and prototype an electrical system, accounting not only for its technical design, but also realistic constraints, economic viability, and ethical concerns about its uses.