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Florida Tech’s Harris Student Design Center Opens

Will Serve as High-Tech Workshop for Student Projects

MELBOURNE, FLA. — The Harris Student Design Center was unveiled Friday on the Florida Institute of Technology campus.

The 11,500-square-foot, single story structure, made possible by a $1 million gift from Harris Corporation, will serve College of Engineering and College of Science seniors completing capstone design projects.

“The new Harris Student Design Center represents Florida Tech’s long-term investment in improving our students’ experiences in their capstone projects, team interactions and overall exposure to the innovation, design and execution of their ideas,” said Martin Glicksman, dean of the College of Engineering. “In addition, the HSDC ensures everyone a safer, professional environment for accomplishing these important activities.”

The Harris Student Design Center is located on the south side of campus, not far from the Harris Center for Science and Engineering that opened in 2009. In the design center’s high bay space, student teams will fabricate and assemble a variety of projects, from unmanned submersibles and Baja cars to lunabots. The high bay will include:

  • Overhead door, 20 feet wide by 16 feet tall
  • Spray booth
  • Welding stations
  • Parts cleaning and acid etching area
  • 2.5 ton overhead crane
  • Project storage space
  • Four electronics/project team rooms
  • The Ideation Room for brainstorming and project meetings

“We are fortunate to have a top technological university such as Florida Tech so close to our world headquarters,” William M. Brown, Harris chairman, president and chief executive officer, said when the $1 million gift was presented in January. “Today’s students are our employees of tomorrow. It’s exciting to continue the long-standing, unique relationship we have with Florida Tech and build the advanced workforce we will need in the future.”

Harris employs more than 600 Florida Tech-trained engineers.

As Harris has been a university partner for decades, the company’s leaders have also served in university governance. Brown is a member of the Florida Tech Board of Trustees, and two former Harris CEOs also currently serve. Phillip W. Farmer, sitting Board of Trustees chairman, has served since 1994. John T. Hartley has served on the Florida Tech Board since 1987. Joseph A. Boyd is a trustee emeritus.

Harris is a leading global provider of communications and information technology products, software, systems and services to government, defense and commercial markets. Corporate headquarters are in Melbourne, and the company has about 14,000 employees who serve customers in more than 125 countries.

Florida Tech opened the Harris Student Design Center on Friday, Nov. 20. Pictured from left to right are: Greg Tsark, vice president for facilities operations; Alton Romig Jr., executive officer, National Academy of Engineering; Bill Brown, Harris Corp. chairman, president and CEO; Anthony Catanese; Florida Tech president and CEO; T. Dwayne McCay, Florida Tech executive vice president and COO; Martin Glicksman, dean, College of Engineering; Hamid Rassoul, dean, College of Science; and Pierre Larochelle, associate dean, College of Engineering.

Florida Tech opened the Harris Student Design Center on Friday, Nov. 20. Pictured from left to right are: Greg Tsark, vice president for facilities operations; Alton Romig Jr., executive officer, National Academy of Engineering; Bill Brown, Harris Corp. chairman, president and CEO; Anthony Catanese; Florida Tech president and CEO; T. Dwayne McCay, Florida Tech executive vice president and COO; Martin Glicksman, dean, College of Engineering; Hamid Rassoul, dean, College of Science; and Pierre Larochelle, associate dean, College of Engineering.

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For a video of the hour-long ceremony, including the keynote presentation by Al Romig on innovation and the famous Skunk Works, click here.

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