Director Dr. Matthew Swabey

As a forward-thinking facility on campus, the Bechtel Innovation Design Center requires forward-thinking leadership. Dr. Matthew A. Swabey began serving as the inaugural Director of the Bechtel Innovation Design Center on August 15, 2016.

Dr. Swabey leads the Center, focusing on leading the Center staff, graduates, and undergraduates to deliver on the following problem statement:

“How do we help a student make something useful within two weeks, regardless of their background.”

Since the Center opened in 2017 we have enabled student members to make their project parts. Currently they enjoy a 90% first-time-machining success rate designing with our Manufacturing Digital Twin, enabling them to design and manufacture graphically and virtually error free.

As Director of the Bechtel Innovation Design Center, Dr. Swabey will oversee operations, maintenance, and use of the facility. In addition, he will provide leadership, training, education, and support for students working on both curricular and extracurricular projects in the facility. Over the course of this coming year, he will be engaged in developing policies and procedures, ensuring successful completion of construction, and gearing up for full operation of the facility once the doors open.

Dr. Swabey received his B.Eng. degree (with honors) in electrical and electronic engineering in 2001 and his Ph.D. degree in electronic engineering from the University of Southampton, Southampton, U.K., in 2006. He has held multiple research fellow positions and became Teaching Fellow in 2007 at the University of Southampton, U.K.

In 2011 he emigrated to become Deputy Director of Laboratories in Electronics and Computer Engineering at Purdue, in the United States. Dr. Swabey managed the curriculum and delivery of a portfolio of mixed signal laboratory courses including the two largest core laboratory classes and Electrical Engineering Senior Design. In five years in a leadership role in the ECE lab team, approximately 6,500 students took labs, multiple classes were overhauled and replaced, industrial support grown by 6000%, and technologies updated.

Dr. Swabey believes it will be particularly rewarding to see teams of students progress from being entirely new to the facility to the stage in which they are providing encouragement to the more recent arrivals.

“We won’t make things for people. We will be helping people make things. That is the type of experience employers are looking for in our graduates. Purdue has always delivered great experiences to our students, and now we will be taking it to another level with the Bechtel Center.”


Phone: +1-765-494-8655
Bechtel Innovation Design Center
1090 3rd Street
West Lafayette, IN