Inside Rensselaer
Volume 6, No. 12, August 31, 2012
   
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Mark Century

Prabat Hajela

Doug Mercer '77 is joined by Kim Boyer, professor and department head, electrical, computer, and systems engineering, and Mona Hella, associate professor, electrical, computer, and systems engineering, as they inspect the space which will become the new laboratory. 
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Mercer Lab Opening Oct. 3

Wednesday, October 3, will mark the grand opening of the Douglas Mercer ’77 Laboratory for Student Exploration and Innovation in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering. The lab, located in the Jonsson Engineering Center, is made possible by Doug Mercer ’77, who was a fellow at Analog Devices Inc. from 1995 to 2009 and is now consulting with the company on university-related projects.

Mercer combined his gift, a portion of which is endowed to assure continued future support of the laboratory, with an expendable gift, enabling the department to begin equipping the laboratory immediately. Analog Devices Inc. has also made a gift for the lab as the Founding Corporate Sponsor.

The Mercer Lab is being designed specifically to restore the “lost art of tinkering” and, beyond that, to promote competitive innovation through student participation in electronics design competitions. The lab will provide an open shop environment for approximately 500 students each year to work on class design projects, using sophisticated hardware. The resulting competitions will provide a rich medium in which to grow the national and global engineering leaders of the future.

Mercer is committed to the promotion of exploratory thinking, understanding that innovation greatly enhances integrative learning and intuition, while providing an exceptional vehicle for understanding the limits of theory versus practice. He is working closely with Kim Boyer, professor and department head, electrical, computer, and systems engineering, to renovate the lab space and determine the equipment requirements.

The Mercer Lab is being designed specifically to restore the “lost art of tinkering” and, beyond that, to promote competitive innovation through student participation in electronics design competitions.

“The active participation and generous support of our alumni and alumnae play an integral role in elevating Rensselaer, and we thank Mr. Mercer for his philanthropy,” said Boyer. “He has provided consistent support to the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering since 2004, and has been a loyal contributor to the Rensselaer Annual Fund for many years.”

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 6, Number 12, August 31, 2012
©2012 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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