Photo of Wilson Center from outside

About the center

Mission Statement

The Wilson Student Team Project Center empowers student teams by providing a facility in which they can experience hands-on development and fabrication, enhance engineering theories, and allow members to use practical application of knowledge. The Wilson Center furnishes groups with a unique opportunity to interact with one another, share ideas, and showcase their projects.

The Center

The practice of engineering is and will continue to be characterized by groups of individuals working in diverse teams to find creative solutions to a variety of problems. One of the best ways for the College of Engineering students to gain critical hands-on design experience as well as important team, organizational, and management skills is through engineering design/build competitions. Student team projects provide practical design fabrication experience that complements classroom instruction in addition to real-life lessons in cooperation.

The Walter E. Wilson Student Team Project Center meets a critical need by providing students with dedicated space and facilities for teams to compete nationally and internationally.

This 20,000-square-foot center, located behind the François-Xavier Bagnoud Building and adjacent to Maya Lin’s Wave Field, represents multiple renovation commitments on the part of the College of Engineering, the University of Michigan, and numerous sponsors and donors. A bequest from Walter E. Wilson to the College provided the financial foundation for the original space in 1999, while Vincent T. and Gloria M. Gorguze made it possible to double the size of the original Center in 2010.

The result is a $10-million facility for design, assembly, machining, electronics, and painting. A design room, a lecture room and a student lounge round out the Wilson Center, which is accessible to students 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Shop Guidelines

These guidelines are meant to give a general idea of how things run at the Wilson Center and are by no means exhaustive – it can still be a rule even if it’s not written here!

Hours

During the fall and winter terms, the Wilson Center’s regularly staffed hours are as follows:

  • 7 days, 8:00 am – 11:00 pm

During the spring and summer terms, the Wilson Center’s regularly staffed hours are as follows:

  • M-Th 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, F 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Sat-Sun, closed

* After hours access is suspended during COVID operations. 

There are two types of individual MCard access**:

  • Regular Access is 8:00 am – 11:00 pm, 7 days
  • 24/7 Access grants access at all times.

Completing the project assigned in Basic II grants you Regular Access with your MCard**.  Additional training is required for 24/7 access.

** MCard access is suspended during COVID operations.  All access is through the main entrance off the Wave Field during staffed hours. 

Dress Code

Any time you are in the shop, including at ALL training sessions:

  • Wear safety glasses at all times in all areas
    • Provided at the shop, or your own if marked Z87
    • Prescription glasses are NOT safety glasses unless marked Z87
  • Wear durable closed-toed shoes
  • Wear long pants 
  • Roll up long sleeves when working with rotating machinery
  • Tie back long hair
  • Remove all loose or dangling jewelry
  • Remove baggy clothing
  • Tuck in hoodie strings (better still remove the hoodie altogether)

Because this dress code is to protect students’ safety, we will send students home to change if they do not dress appropriately. Repeated violations are considered seriously disrespectful of safety and will result in machine or Wilson Center access being revoked.

Accommodations

The Wilson Student Team Project Center empowers student teams by providing a facility in which they can experience hands-on development and fabrication, enhance engineering theories, and allow members to use practical application of knowledge. The Wilson Center furnishes groups with a unique opportunity to interact with one another, share ideas, and showcase their projects.

Signing Machines In & Out

To sign into a machine, find the staff member on duty (they usually wear a black “WSTPC STAFF” t-shirt and carry a set of keys on a lanyard). Regardless of your experience level, you are required to have training from the Wilson Center on any machine you use. Staff will check your training status if they do not know you. You are responsible for finding your own mentor if you are not on the mentor/operator list (see below).

When you are finished machining, clean all shavings/chips, oil, and coolant from the machine (particularly the ways on the lathes), the mat, and the floor (including under the mat). Remove all your materials and put all tools back before finding a staff member to sign you out.

Mentors & Operators for Mills & Lathes

The mills and lathes have separate lists of mentors and operators and users. Mentors are experienced machinists from many of the teams who oversee your work until they feel comfortable enough with your skills to nominate you as an operator. Operators are allowed to use the machines without mentor supervision but may not act as Mentors. If you are neither a Mentor nor an Operator, you are a User and will need to ask a Mentor to keep an eye on you. Mentor lists are kept in a binder in the front office (room 1004). Be honest about your skills and confidence – the Mentors will help you according to your level. Always ask your Mentor if you are unsure whether something is safe!

Student Staff on duty are not allowed to mentor you, as they are expected to be watching the entire shop.

Honor Code

Because the Wilson Center and GFL are facilities in the College of Engineering, the Honor Code must be followed:

The Honor Code outlines certain standards of ethical conduct for persons associated with the College if Engineering at the University of Michigan. The policies of the Honor Code apply to graduate and undergraduate students, faculty members, and administrators. The Honor Code is based on these tenets:

  • Engineers must possess personal integrity both as students and as professionals. They must be honorable people to ensure safety, health, fairness, and the proper use of available resources in their undertakings.

  • Students in the College of Engineering community are honorable and trustworthy persons.

  • The students, faculty members, and administrators of the College of Engineering trust each other to uphold the principles of the Honor Code. They are jointly responsible for precautions against violations of its policies.

  • It is dishonorable for students to receive credit for work that is not the result of their own efforts.

Staff

Full-time staff

Headshot of Chris Gordon

Chris Gordon

Director

gordoncl@umich.edu

734-763-1224

Headshot of Nick Julius

Nick Julius

Manager

njulius@umich.edu

734-615-3404

Headshot of Casey Dixon

Casey Dixon

Lab Technician & Facilities Assistant

kcdixon@umich.edu

734-615-6400

Headshot of Vanessa Korte

Vanessa Korte

Administrative Assistant

vkorte@umich.edu

734-763-0819

Headshot of Bill Fox

Bill Fox

Engineering Technician

 

  

Student staff

Temporary Student Headshot

Student

Position

student@umich.edu

Temporary Student Headshot

Student

Position

student@umich.edu

Temporary Student Headshot

Student

Position

student@umich.edu

Temporary Student Headshot

Student

Position

student@umich.edu

Temporary Student Headshot

Student

Position

student@umich.edu

Temporary Student Headshot

Student

Position

student@umich.edu

Temporary Student Headshot

Student

Position

student@umich.edu

Temporary Student Headshot

Student

Position

student@umich.edu

Visitors

The Wilson Student Team Project Center is located in the Gorguze Family Laboratory, 2603 Draper, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2101. It is on the Eastern side of University of Michigan’s North Campus.

To schedule a tour of the Wilson Center, call (734) 615-6400 or email wilsoncenter@umich.edu

Parking

Click on the map above for a larger view of the parking lots on North Campus.  There is a Visitor Parking Lot (NC26) to the East of the Wilson Center.

Our main entrance is off the Wave Field between FXB and the Gorguze Family Laboratory.