Supporting the MILL
A Vision for The MILL 2.0
Impact: The MILL will establish Georgia Tech as the definitive global leader in experiential peer- to-peer materials science and engineering education.
The Materials Innovation and Learning Laboratory (The MILL) is a student-led, open-access “make-and-measure” space for creating materials, characterizing their structure, and measuring their properties. Located in the J. Erskine Love Jr. Manufacturing Building, the MILL is unlike other “maker” spaces at Georgia Tech and amongst its peer institutions worldwide. It not only empowers students to create but to analyze and evaluate their creations, and this emphasis on analytical assessment in a peer-to-peer learning environment is what makes the MILL unique. No other institution allows undergraduates free access to over $700,000 of analytical equipment including electron microscopes, x-ray analysis tools, spectrometers, and mechanical testers, all available to students for their personal learning, curiosity-driven research and discovery, and exploration of materials’ properties and product performance.
Need to renovate: Visitors who get a chance to become acquainted with the MILL today are, without fail, awed by its analytical facilities, student management structure, and welcoming and inclusive culture. However, many visitors never get that far. Their interest is dampened by the current space—an inherited series of non-contiguous labs that falls short of most people’s expectations for the appearance of a modern research facility. To reach its full potential and further amplify its impact and reach, we need to renovate the MILL to an expanded, open, and welcoming space—a space that immediately inspires new students to want to stay, current students to proudly promote, alumni to remain invested, industry partners to enthusiastically engage, and Georgia Tech to prominently showcase.
Renovation Proposed: We seek philanthropic commitment for a transformative renovation budgeted at $6M. The renovation will expand the MILL to 6,000 square feet of modern, contiguous, and congestion-free space (MILL 2.0 concept plan attached) that naturally welcomes visitors, encourages exploration, and enhances the safety of operations and people. The renovated MILL will be a platform for innovative instruction and the campus hub for students from all majors to learn about materials. It will become the centerpiece for GT MSE recruitment, attracting K-12 talent and promoting collaborations with students from area minority serving institutions. It will be the engine of innovation and entrepreneurship providing students the confidence to address societal grand challenges and to lead in a globally competitive landscape.