Conference Goal

Our mission is to offer a professional forum that will bring together managers/directors from a broad array of colleges and universities from across the United States. Topics of discussion will include various educational areas of the Student Shop such as Safety, Training, Procedures, Instrumentation, Use of Design Software, and Simulating Virtual Machining Software. If you’re currently undergoing a review of Student Shop policies, rules, or regulations this conference will assist you in successfully reaching that goal.

Conference Focus

“Managing the changing student shop” This year we will continue to focus on the safety concerns with managing a student machine shop. The student shops are changing as more maker spaces are coming online. We will explore our traditional training methods and evaluate the effectiveness with our changing environment.  We will hear from various groups that will help guide our team to reach our inaugural goals of: “The conference as a whole will formulate directives that will be applied to a master Student Shop safety training handbook. How can we become a supportive community of professionals in educating, preparing, and training students in safe shop practices as well as allowing them creative freedom to independently design, machine, build, and assemble their parts/projects in the Student Shop? This conference will help us start the process in developing a more cohesive safety training platform to build upon.”

Who Will Attend

University leaders that have a common interest in making our fabrication spaces safer, inviting, and successful for students.

What to Expect

Group discussions will be offered in an open forum regarding safety training and the training tools\materials available. In addition, we will take time to better understand who is using our shops and explore how we can better serve them all.  We will have break out group workshops, times to network with others, and much more.


Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute
813 Ferst Drive, NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0560


Tuesday, July 12
8:30 – 9:00 am Continental Breakfast (GTMI Lobby)
9:00 – 9:20 am Welcome – Steven Sheffield, ME Machine Shop Manager, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
9:20 – 9:30 am Introduction – Bert Bras, Associate Chair for Administration, George W. Woodruff Professorship, and Professor
9:30 – 9:50 am Conference Attendees Introductions
9:50 – 10:00 am Quick Break
10:00 – 11:00 am Technology update, where are we going?  – Thomas Kurfess, Professor and HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Chair in Fluid Power and Motion Control
11:00 am – 12:00 Safety recording keeping and managing the masses –  Jason Barnes, Laboratory and Facilities Coordinator
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch – Networking Time
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Panel Discussion: Review current “state of art” as it relates to safety.  Panelist will share and begin a path towards a shared plan.  GT Environmental Health & Safety will facilitate this session
2:00 – 2:45 pm UC Berkeley’s Campus Shop Safety Committee – Semar Prom, Fabrication Shop Manager, College of Environmental Design
2:45 – 3:00 pm Break
3:00 – 4:15 pm

Small Group Discussions

Break up into smaller groups for these Student Shop Topics:

1) Safety, Safety Enforcement & Security
2) Equipment education (Manual verses CNC)
3) Student Shop layout (Which machines should be beside each other)

Each small group should discuss these topics and should be ready to make a short presentation about them on Thursday morning during our Best Practices Discussion

4:15 – 4:25 pm

Homework assignment for each small discussion group.

Please make a PDF or Power point for your answers to the small group discussion questions. Be ready! Your small group may be chosen to present first on Thursday morning

4:25 – 4:30 pm Final thoughts for today
4:30 pm Closing
Evening Dinner on your own
Wednesday, July 13
8:30 – 9:00 am Continental Breakfast (GTMI Lobby)
9:00 – 10:00 am GT Invention Studio, Managing a Student operated Maker Space –  Amit Jariwala, Director of Design & Innovation
10:00 –  10:15 am Depart for symposium and tour in Mechanical Engineering MRDC Bldg
10:00 –
12:00 pm

Vendor symposium (time to learn).  Vendors representing all types of cool stuff. Demos and one on one sessions

Tour GT Invention Studio and Machining Mall

12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 pm 3D Printing technologies—including SLA, SLA and Metal printing – Chris Harris, 3D Printing Specialist, MLC CAD Systems
2:00 –
2:45 pm
Safety education and machine shop setup – Tackett Austin, Education and Training Manager, Advanced Prototype Engineering (APROE).
2:45 – 3:00 pm Introduction and welcome from Samuel Graham,  Associate Chair for Research and Rae S. and Frank H. Neely Professor.
3:00 –
3:30 pm
Invention Studio Presentation – Thomas Spencer, GT Invention Studio Student Leader
Evening Dinner on your own
Thursday, July 14
8:30 – 9:00 am Continental Breakfast (GTMI Lobby)
9:00 – 10:00 am Best Practices Discussion
10:00 – 10:15 am Break
10:15 – 11:15 am GT Women in Engineering Presentation (Bridging the gender gap in our Maker Spaces) and Panel Discussion – Tonia Knobf, GT Women in Engineering Educational Outreach Manager
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Professional Development for Shop Leaders – LaTrese Ferguson
3:00 pm SSMC 2017 Discussion
4:00 pm Depart