Illinois Tech and Trimble Establish Trimble Technology Lab at the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering

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By Simon Morrow

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Illinois Institute of Technology has officially opened the Trimble Technology Laboratory, established with a gift from Trimble, bringing state-of-the-art equipment to the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering (CAEE).

Illinois Tech held a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 16, 2022. 

“With the Trimble Technology Lab, students in our department will have greater access to industry-leading equipment and learn skills that will prepare them for future job success,” said Brent Stephens, CAEE department chair and the Arthur W. Hill Endowed Chair in Sustainability. “We’re grateful for the lasting impact this gift will have on our students.”

Trimble develops innovative technology that is used in industries such as construction, infrastructure, utilities, and more—focusing on providing productivity and sustainable solutions to complex problems.

Illinois Tech’s ongoing collaboration with Trimble helps to pave the path for the university to integrate cutting-edge solutions into its curricula and empowers graduates to enter the workforce with experiences in industry-leading solutions in design and construction.

“Trimble’s relationship with Illinois Tech is so important—we share a mission and vision to equip next-generation professionals with tools and skills that will allow them to transform the way the world works,” said Mike Engh, program lead, Trimble Technology Labs. “We are proud to support Illinois Tech’s students and future professionals as they prepare to make an impact in their careers.”

Trimble’s generosity has allowed the department to outfit the laboratory with the latest Trimble solutions including equipment for surveying, virtual and augmented reality, construction site measurements, and laser scanners.

Students using the lab will also have access to the software that is used by professional engineers for 3D modeling, structural analysis, surveying, construction layout, augmented reality, and more.

Professors have already started to use the lab to facilitate a range of educational and research opportunities including innovative uses of virtual reality and 3D scanning in students’ senior design projects.

Jamie Griggs (CE, M.Eng. STE 5th Year) used Tekla Structural Designer during a senior capstone project to evaluate the structural integrity of a set of building designs. 

“I’m really glad I had the opportunity to use such a powerful program as an undergrad, and I feel as if my experience with such a software has helped prepare me for similar programs I will be using in my career as a structural engineer,” she said. “Through the gift of this newly dedicated Trimble Technology Lab, this type of in-depth learning can become much more common throughout the CAEE program, starting from the surveying course in our first year of study all the way to our senior design courses in our last year.”

Photo: The Trimble Technology Lab