Profile: Keeping it Local: Engineering for the Community

October
,
2019
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A chaotic, sprawling innovation hub called the Maker-Space is the heart of the Tandon School of Engineering, a branch of New York Univ. (NYU). Piles of tools, drills, screwdrivers, chunks of plastic, and metal parts populate the room — what looks like an entire car engine, yanked from its frame, sits casually in a corner. Milling machines and 3D printers are interspersed among clusters of young engineers, collaborating with their heads pressed together and exclaiming as they unveil handmade musical jewelry boxes or laser-cut designs.

A few floors above the pandemonium is a labyrinth of lively, shared lab spaces arranged in an open, fluorescent-lit space. Here, too, a communal atmosphere is fostered by a common love for interactive science, specifically engineering. Jin Kim Montclare’s office is quieter, bare-boned, and sparse, with books lining the shelves and a simple, wooden desk — after all, the chemical and biomolecular engineering professor is barely ever there. Instead, she spends most of her time in the lab, in class, or at the MakerSpace.

Montclare engineers proteins for drug delivery and tissue regeneration to target cancer and other diseases. She studied chemistry as an undergraduate at Fordham Univ., then earned a PhD in chemistry...

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