What is the OEDK?
The Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) provides a space for undergraduate students majoring in bioengineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computational and applied mathematics, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering and material science, and statistics to design, prototype and deploy solutions to real-world engineering challenges. To create the full circle of real-world experience that has societal impact, the George R. Brown School of Engineering plans to extend the opportunity to study design to students in humanities, social sciences, architecture and business.
By working in close proximity to engineers in all disciplines, our students develop multiple perspectives on how to pursue a project. The OEDK is a 12,000-square-foot space, which includes not only the central work area with over 36 work tables, but also conference rooms, a classroom, a wet lab, rapid prototyping equipment, large format printers, designated woodworking area, a machine shop and access to a welding shop. The presence of large engineering firms, such as National Instruments and Texas Instruments allows engineers to become experienced with the products they will be using once they enter the workforce.
The OEDK also has a partnership with National Instruments to provide equipment and technical support, and the experience of faculty and alumni to help guide students.
"National Instruments is committed to investing in innovative engineering education initiativesthat combine practical knowledge and classroom theories with real-world applications," said Ray Almgren, vice president of academic marketing at NI. "We consider the vision of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen at Rice to be a pioneering example of how industry and academia can work to provide a project-based learning experience to better equip our engineers of tomorrow."
The OEDK is part of Rice's School of Engineering's plan to require its students to have a significant design experience as part of their education. In addition to collaborations among the different engineering departments and schools at Rice, the School of Engineering plans to expand the program to include collaborations with institutions in the Texas Medical Center and external businesses.