You are here

The Foundry Opens for Student Innovation

Duke University celebrated the grand opening of its brand new “maker space” on September 3, 2015.

Dubbed “The Foundry” after a competitive naming contest, the newly renovated basement of Gross Hall features 7,600 feet of project space for Duke student teams, faculty, and staff focused on engineering, energy, entrepreneurship, and sustainability to build ideas from the ground up.

The modular and flexible workspace enriches the student experience by providing dedicated design and project space for class, co-curricular and entrepreneurial activities.  It’s co-sponsored by the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Duke Energy Initiative, the Information Initiative at Duke, the Innovation Co-lab and the Duke Department of Physics.

As of the grand opening, The Foundry has become residence to nine clubs and organizations, including Duke Electric Vehicles, DukeMakers and the Duke Robotics Club. Below are some photos from the event that shows off just what The Foundry is capable of supporting.

For more information and to apply for space, visit For frequently asked questions about innovation space across Duke's campus, visit

Owen Chung demonstrates IEEE’s robo drink mixer that can combine six different fluids on command from an iPhone app.The cavernous main room of The Foundry provides ample space for student teams to meet. The space originally housed large utilities for the former chemistry building.One of the rooms - fully loaded with a garage door and loading bay - houses the Duke Electric Vehicles club, which placed 2nd in the battery electric prototype category at the Shell Ecomarathon held in Detroit last year, traveling 346 km/KWh, and also won the SEM Americas Off-Track Award for Technical Innovation for the carbon fiber testing done on the car’s body.George Truskey, interim dean of the Pratt School of Engineering, says a few words while dedicating the new “maker space.”No Grand Opening would be complete without a cake! George Truskey cuts into The Foundry’s logo. The name was chosen from nearly 175 submissions in a naming competition for the new space.The DukeMakers club shows off their 3-D printers. The club was busy in 2014-2015, designing and printing prosthetic hands for a young boy and also creating the centerpieces for the Pratt 75th Anniversary Gala.Kyle Imatani, a student in the Masters of Engineering program, draws inspiring words on the windows of his space earmarked for translating ideas conjured in Duke clinics into innovative biomedical devices to treat patients.