Donald's Garage to Open at University of San Diego

New $4.5 Million Facilities for Innovation at Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering

A new era of innovation and exploration begins at the University of San Diego’s Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering Friday, April 10 with the opening of the Cymer Ideation Space and Donald’s Garage. The dedication ceremony and tours of the new $4.5 million facilities will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. in the university’s Loma Hall.

Totaling some 10,000 square feet, the new facilities will provide students with the space and tools they need to invent and design to find the discoveries and inventions that could transform our lives for the better.

Work will begin in the Cymer Ideation Space, where students can meet with professors and industry representatives to brainstorm and collaborate on new engineering ideas and designs. The space includes flexible furniture and walls with writeable white boards for students to sketch out ideas.

Students can then take their ideas and turn them into prototypes in Donald’s Garage. The space –featuring an array of design and prototyping machines – is named after the late Donald P. Shiley, inventor of a revolutionary heart valve. His wife, Darlene Marcos Shiley, made the gift to establish the school.

“If you are going to invent and create and solve problems where the answer can’t be dictated immediately on a blackboard, you don’t do that in a traditional classroom,” said Engineering Dean Chell Roberts. “You have to be able to tinker with things, to make mistakes and errors and then build and test and create.”

The new facilities also include machine and wood shops and a fabrication lab where students can turn concepts into life-size, workable products using machines to weld, laser-cut and shape metals and plastics. Phase two of the renovations for an additional 9,000 square feet of research space will begin this fall.

The transformative gift from Darlene Marcos Shiley made it possible for the University of San Diego’s Engineering Programs to become a full-fledged school in the fall of 2013. An additional gift from Cymer, Inc., the San Diego-based make of complex lasers used in semiconductor production, also helped create the new facilities.

“We are so grateful for this generous support that has made this exciting day possible,” Roberts said.

The Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering is also making some innovative changes to its curriculum. In addition to its unique dual bachelor of arts and sciences degrees in electrical, mechanical, and industrial and systems engineering, the school is developing a fourth bachelor’s degree with three specializations in software engineering, bioengineering and sustainability. A master’s degree may be introduced in the next few years as well. The school currently has approximately 500 engineering students enrolled and plans to increase to between 700 and 800 students over the next few years.

The Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering is currently ranked 14th by U.S. News & World’s Report, up eight spots from a year ago for schools whose highest degree is bachelor’s or master’s.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.