Gym Update 9/13/13

Happy Friday the 13th. I hope that the first 3 weeks of your school year have been great so far. The Innovation Gym is rolling along and we have quite a few things coming up that I am sure you will all be interested in.


  • Commercial Hunter Job Opportunity
    • For the past 3 years SMU has been one of only a few schools to partner with the US Marines, to participate in the commercial hunter program, which is designed to think creatively about possible threats to the marines, through trying to see what is possible with commercially available goods and information. You can read about the program here.
    • We are wrapping up our last program right now and are looking for motivated students who would be interested in being part of our next teams. For this next challenge we are looking to build two teams of 5 students each. The program runs all year with different goals for each semester. The specifics of the project are not given out until you are actually selected for the team.
    • You do not need to have any previous experience with the topic or the military. This program is limited to Undergraduate SMU students who are US Citizens and you must be able to start as soon as next week. The pay is $15 per hour and requires 5-10 hours per week of work with flexible timing.
    • If you are interested please apply through this link and I will be conducting interviews the early part of next week for a goal of a project kickoff of Thursday the 19th.
  •  Fall Immersion Design Experience – October 11-14th
    • This IDE we have partnered with a company called “Wabafun” to have a competition on who can design and build the tallest tower using their toy product “SUPERSTRUCTS,” a plastic version of Tinkertoys. Up to 5 teams of 4 will attempt to build the tallest structure they can with the toys in the time provided. The team that wins will get a trip to Washington, DC in fall of 2014 to oversee the build of another tower which will be going for a Guinness World Record to become the “World’s Tallest Toy”.
    •  If you are interested in being part of this event please apply through this form. Applications are individual, but there is a spot for other people you would like to work with. By filling out the application you commit to being available for the event if selected. This event is limited to 20 students.
  • Machine training – If you are receiving this email it means that you have already completed the access form to the innovation gym and you should have card swipe access. This access grants your access to the gym, but not the cool equipment like the 3D printer, Laser cutter, and power tools. Each one of those tools requires special training before you are allowed to use them. The training calendar has now been posted to We will be holding regular training sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-3pm. As well as Friday afternoons. More training sessions will be added.
    • Machine Safety – All of the training is due to safety for you and everyone else who uses the Innovation Gym. Once you are trained you are encouraged to help others with their projects until they can also be trained. You are also expected to report unsafe or unauthorized activity.
  • Innovator Hours – Each Friday from 12:00-2pm and beyond, people are encouraged to come hang out in the gym. This is a chance to share ideas, try things, learn new skills and explore what is possible. I will also be holding training sessions for the equipment during this time based on attendance and interest.
  • TEDxSMU – Every Tuesday at 12:30pm, We meet in the gym watch a TED talk and have a discussion about the topic. Bring your lunch and get involved in the conversation
  • SEISMIC – Are you interested in Entrepreneurial Endeavors? Come to Seismic meetings. More information available here.

Please encourage your friends to sign up for this list by sending them here As always an updated calendar you can always go to, Like us on facebook, or stop by the Gym.

Until Next time, keep innovating,

Greg Needel
Director of the Innovation Gymnasium
Lyle School of Engineering
Southern Methodist University

Posted in General.

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