CEID: A Hidden Gem

CEID: A Hidden Gem

When I left Yale in May 2012, the first floor of Becton Engineering Center was home to the engineering library. Upon returning to Yale in fall 2013, an amazing new space had popped up in its place!

When you walk inside, you’ll find that Becton is now home to the Yale Center for Engineering Innovation and Design (CEID), a space for students and faculty to learn, create, and share. According to the CEID website, the CEID is a whole of many parts:

  • A Physical Space: The CEID gives students and faculty tools and resources for classes, design projects, and collaboration.
  • A Bustle of Activity: The CEID hosts engineering design courses, workshops, lectures, networking events, and exhibitions.
  • A Diverse Community: Students, both undergraduate and graduate, are supported by a network of staff, faculty, and external members who serve as mentors, lecturers, speakers, and specialists.
  • A Shared Mission: The CEID aims to empower students to improve human lives through the advancement of technology. Their approach integrates engineering, innovation, and design while embracing their core values of purpose, diversity, creativity, and integrity.


CIED Picture 2

I became acquainted with the CEID through one of FES’s classes, Green Engineering and Sustainable Design. This class, taught by Professors Julie Zimmerman and Paul Anastas, is cross-listed in environmental engineering and engineering and applied sciences. It’s been an incredible introduction to this great new space, and I wanted to share some of my experiences with you!

To use the space at all, you have to become a member of the Center. Word to the wise: It’s super easy. Do it! You won’t regret it. Becoming a member grants you 24/7 swipe access to the center, and all it takes is passing an 11-question Member Quiz on the CEID Classes*v2 page, and then attending a one-hour CEID orientation. The staff members at the Center are incredibly helpful and friendly and are there to help you utilize the space to the fullest extent. Right after my orientation, one of the awesome staff members taught me how to use a sewing machine! (#LifeSkills, anyone?) Another FES student told me about his plans to use the CEID to make a real shower curtain for his apartment. A bit of an improvement from his current solution of using folded cardboard boxes to keep the water in! Another recent CEID member plans to use the 3D printer to create a keychain for his sister’s upcoming birthday.

All of these are completely viable uses of the Center.  It offers state-of-the-art machines and tools for pretty much any engineering, electronics or DIY project you can think of. I got to practice on one of the five (yes five!) 3D printers for a class project. Check it out:

CIED Picture 3

The 3D printer with the highest resolution can produce an intact chain with moving components from without needing to link the pieces together! There are also laser cutters, meeting rooms with whiteboard walls, lockers for storing projects, and the first-of-its-kind open wet lab for projects in chemistry, biology, or biomedical engineering. There is an electronics bench filled with trays of resistors, transistors and wires, and most importantly, a “use-them-as-you-need-and-let-me-know-when-they-run-out” policy. It’s pretty much a dream come true for any Do-It-Yourselfer. Head on over to the CEID to check it out!