As a new, forward-thinking facility on campus, the Bechtel Innovation Design Center requires new, forward-thinking leadership. Dr. Matthew A. Swabey began serving as the inaugural Director of the Bechtel Innovation Design Center on August 15, 2016.
“My vision for the Bechtel IDC is that it will be a place where a student can see something interesting is going on, come in and be introduced to all the exciting possibilities. I want them to become engaged as fast possible and – with someone over their shoulder to help them learn – to begin creating as soon as possible.”
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 recently served as the Deputy Director of Instructional Labs in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Purdue. He 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 2011 at the University of Southampton, U.K.
During his tenure as Deputy Director of Laboratories in ECE, 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 IDC.”
Bechtel Innovation Design Center
1090 3rd Street
West Lafayette, IN