Student works on project at Tech Spark - Tech Spark signage in background


TechSpark is Carnegie Mellon University’s focal point for technology innovation. This facility provides equipment for rapidly prototyping designs from ideas to reality for educational, extracurricular, and research activities. It is a hands-on learning and exploration space available for current College of Engineering students, faculty, staff, and collaborators across campus.

TechSpark’s Maker Series courses

TechSpark’s professionals apply their prototyping experience toward teaching the Maker Series courses. Students in these courses build projects to learn the safe operation of fabrication tools and provide access to equipment. Developing these skills is the foundation for prototyping and testing designs in real-world applications. Courses are offered each Mini (quarter) of the fall and spring semesters. To enroll, please get in touch with the registrar’s office.

No matter your experience level, students must take the course before being granted access to the equipment.

Courses partnered with TechSpark

TechSpark has partnered with various courses to provide physical, digital, and intellectual resources that enhance the quality of projects and educational outcomes for students. The first step in starting a project involves using the HighBay, which is a large meeting space for students to sketch out plans, list the needs of stakeholders, and begin calculations. They then proceed to use one of several computer stations equipped with various engineering software to simulate the critical components engineered in their design. Once the path forward is determined, students can access equipment to fabricate components of their project. Often, a considerable portion of students’ learning occurs while testing and iterating the prototype, as they aim to develop a proof-of-concept for the engineering design. Outcomes are a direct result of students' access to resources and workspaces seven days a week.

Instructors interested in hosting a partnered course and receiving consultation on TechSpark resources should contact the Faculty Director, Diana Haidar.

  • project storage – by instructor request to Fabrication Manager Ryan Bates, generally one blue bin per group (fit inside dimensions of 18” L x 12” W x 8” H), some large format storage by request (assigned floor space is limited) the bins must remain in TechSpark at all times
    • the bins are available during an extensive number of Open Hours
    • the bins must be returned to the labeled storage location when not in use
    • the bins must be emptied at the end of the semester by the course’s students or instructor
    • items must fit entirely in the bin or be subject to waste removal
    • TechSpark is not responsible for missing items
  • private reservations of teaching spaces – DesignStudio (Ansys C02) and Computer Cluster (Ansys B10)
  • non-private reservations of most rooms – HighBay (Ansys C01), FabLab (Hamerschlag C101), and other shops/rooms
  • support before, during, and after the semester for course activity logistics and curriculum
  • training by request – generally for TAs but occasionally for students (additional fee applies)
  • materials needed for a course activity are purchased by that course’s instructors

Student organizations using TechSpark

Involvement in student organizations is a valuable part of the student experience at Carnegie Mellon University. TechSpark’s professionals support student organizations by connecting these groups with guidance and mentorship while planning, accessing equipment, and building their projects. The student organization making considerable use of TechSpark’s resources may request a quantity of one bin (fit inside dimensions of 18” L x 12” W x 8” H) per semester, and they must follow all the policies listed above, including clearing out storage at the end of each semester.

Students plan their project during the 2023 Rethink the Rink event