Creating a Makerspace in Northwest Tennessee

One of the best ways to spur innovation is by eliminating silos—encouraging collaboration and idea sharing among people of different backgrounds. UT Martin is on a mission to do just that.
A UT Martin student works on a 3 D printer

UT Martin’s 50,000-square-foot Innovation and Product Realization Facility project will combine educational facilities, entrepreneurial centers and manufacturing workshops surrounding a shared industrial makerspace to promote workforce collaborations and economic development in northwest Tennessee.

The Innovation and Product Realization Facility is a joint effort by UT Martin, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology and Dyersburg State Community College and was recently placed on the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s capital projects recommendation list for funding. The facility also will host the Northwest Tennessee Entrepreneurial Center as well as the Regional Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Center to assist local businesses.

The UT Martin Department of Engineering graduates about 40 students a year with 85% to 90% beginning their engineering careers in West Tennessee.

Students collaborate in a large, ventilated workshop setting
Rendering of the Innovation and Product Realization Facility

The Department of Engineering offers two degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, with concentrations in civil, electrical, computer, manufacturing and mechatronics engineering to provide students with a variety of technical skills. With the installation of the Innovation and Product Realization Facility, students will receive more hands-on training opportunities while working with partnering industries in the region, potentially leading to more jobs for UT Martin graduates.

Everywhere you look, UT is serving Tennessee.