Facilities & Resources

The MDE program provides access to resources at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). This includes studio space, fabrication labs, libraries, and faculty. Beyond SEAS and the GSD, students have access to a number of resources within the Harvard community.

A group of twelve MDE students working and looking up from their computers to the camera.

“Anything is possible. We just have to make it happen. We have an incredible wealth of resources. The difficult part is prioritizing.”

-Karen Su, MDE ’18-

A woman in protective gear welding in the GSD Fabrication Lab.

GSD Fabrication Lab

The Fabrication Lab features a wide range of equipment, from robotic arms, CNC routers and milling machines, 3D printers, and laser cutters, to a well-equipped shop for wood- and metal-working. The lab is structured as an open environment for material-based learning and research, using a wide range of materials, including foam, wood, metal and plastics, as well as composite and smart materials. Scale models and full-size prototypes are produced by students and faculty.

A student investigating the Ultimaker3 3D printer in the Active Learning Lab.

SEAS Active Learning Labs

SEAS emphasizes the need for hands-on engineering experience and student design projects. The Active Learning Labs and the related machine shops in the Physics Department support students by providing access to and training on state-of-the-art instrumentation and advanced fabrication tools. This includes facilities and labs for mechanical, biomedical, environmental, computer, and electrical engineering.

Nine white and gold tiles showcasing ceramic work by Bakker.

GSD Research, Design Labs, and Centers 

At the GSD, research and teaching go hand in hand. The school’s faculty actively pursue a broad range of research projects, some of which are integrated into research groups such as the Laboratory for Design Technologies. University research centers and programs offer further engagement opportunities for qualified students. In the past, some MDE students have found the metaLAB, a program of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, of particular interest.

A small SEAS robot with dragonfly wings next to a much larger set of tweezers and Duracell battery.

SEAS Research, Centers, and Initiatives

Members of SEAS carry out research in multiple areas (bioengineering, materials, applied physics, etc.), and collaborate with colleagues throughout the university. In addition, SEAS is closely linked with a variety of multidisciplinary and innovative education and research institutes, centers, and initiatives. 

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