The John Mitchell Center, located on the Gorham campus, is the home of the engineering and technology programs at the University of Southern Maine. The facility is comprised of administrative offices, student study and lounge areas, classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices.
Although part of the building was built in 1964, it was extensively renovated and a 24,500 sq. ft. advanced technology and engineering addition was added in 2001. The following descriptions are of the laboratories and classrooms in the facility.
The main entrance is designed as a common space for students, faculty, and visitors. It is a naturally lit energy efficient design that allows for heat gain and storage in the winter and indirect light in the summer. The exposed structural system, decorative steel ceiling, and wall panels highlight the virtually 100% recycled-content steel used in the construction. The recycled content of the new building components totaled 11%. A 42" plasma video screen on the lobby wall is an educational display of the building's energy use. Electrical power consumption, heating and cooling energy use, CO2 levels, and system graphics are displayed and explained on five screens accessible to students and visitors
The lecture hall is a multimedia tiered-seating classroom that is used for large classes (46 seats) and multimedia events. It is an excellent example of sustainable design with its use of efficient sensor-controlled lighting, second growth (managed forest) cherry wood molding, and paneling made without formaldehyde glues. The wood trim throughout the building comes from sustainable forest practices, meaning that ecologically sensitive old-growth forests are preserved, while 'certified' wood is harvested from forests managed properly for timber production. The paneling goes one step further in that no wood is used at all. The 'Dakota Burl' wall, desk panels, and lectern are made from sunflower seed hulls, which are agricultural fiber waste products.
Wright-Ryan Construction, Inc. Conference Room
This meeting room is set up for a group of 18 and features a conference table and hutch made of recycled materials and second growth cherry. Similar to the lecture hall, the table top surface is sunflower seed 'Dakota Burl' and the table top structure is made from wheat straw. Both these products are annually renewable resources. To reduce the potential contaminants in the indoor environment for the occupants, products such as the carpeting, wall and ceiling paint, door adhesives, and wood panels were installed containing very low volatile organic compounds (VOC's). The room is used for department meetings and presentations.
Fairchild Semiconductor Electrical Engineering Suite
This suite is made up of several laboratories that are dedicated to microelectronics, circuit design, and semiconductor design. Additionally the suite has an open research area where professors and students conduct applied research and prepare senior projects.
Pratt & Whitney Mechanical Engineering Laboratory
This laboratory supports the mechanical engineering degree and is made up of a robotics control cell, materials analysis/characterization cell, thermodynamics/static's cell, and an open research area to conduct experiments.
National Semiconductor Learning Factory
This laboratory is made up of three manufacturing cells: one non-automated, one semi-automated, and one fully automated. Students have the opportunity to produce products using cutting edge manufacturing technologies that are comprised of machine tools, robots, conveyer systems, vision systems, and assembly systems controlled by several software packages. SMART (strategic manufacturing for robust technologies) is a USM copyrighted approach to manufacturing control technologies.
Central Maine Power Company Power & Automation Laboratory
This laboratory supports technology and engineering through the study of fluid and mechanical power systems. Automation devices are designed and built using programmable logic controllers (PLC's) to manage and control automation cells. Team work and technical problem solving techniques are supported by data collection and analytical methods for systems optimization.
This is a student-centered prototyping laboratory that is designed for working with multiple materials and tools that support student innovations and inventions. It is configured to be very flexible so things that need to be "built" can be made using professional-grade technologies and materials. It is staffed by a technician who supports the facility and faculty and is available for student projects.
IDEXX Laboratories Technology Education Laboratory
This is a state-of-the-art technology education laboratory designed to prepare technology education teachers and serve as a model for Maine's public schools. It includes study modules in biotechnology, construction, manufacturing, information technologies, and energy/power/transportation technologies.
Brown Family Classrooms
These two classrooms (Philip Albian & Electa McLain Brown classroom and George Albian Brown classroom) are divided by a removable partition that allows seating for up to 52 students. They are often used for large meetings that require a large seminar-style room. Each classroom is equipped with video projectors and "smart boxes" that facilitate the use of computers in presentations. In addition to numerous wired connections, the entire facility is equipped for wireless computer communication.
Poland Springs ™ Environmental Safety & Health Laboratory
This laboratory supports programs in the Department of Environmental Science and the Department of Technology. Featured in the laboratory are numerous pieces of equipment focused on analyzing workplace conditions, including air quality and the use of ergonomically designed work stations. All Environmental Safety and Health students take classes in this facility and two other laboratories located in Bailey Hall.
Littlefield Student Lounge
The Littlefield student lounge is a common study and visiting area available to students before, between, and after class. It has a refrigerator, sink, and microwave oven and students often use it for lunch and snacks while visiting or studying between classes. Adjacent to the lounge area is the office of the student services administrator and a conference room.
Electrical Engineering Circuits Laboratory
This laboratory is a basic circuits facility that supports 1st and 2nd year students. It also houses the equipment that is used to teach about computer networks.
Product Testing and Metrology Laboratory
Designed to be a test and measurement facility, this laboratory is used to provide destructive and non-destructive techniques to evaluate products and materials. Products are tested and evaluated, and the results are used to prepare a follow-up engineering performance report. The facility features a 15,000 lb. capacity crane and lock down test bed. The lab is used extensively by area companies and product inventors to assess their products and materials.
Stantec Computer Aided Design Laboratory
This laboratory contains state-of-the-art computer workstations used to teach computer aided design, rapid prototyping, and web site development. The rapid prototyping capabilities enable students and faculty to automatically produce prototypes of objects designed on the CAD workstations.
Digital Arts and Technology Laboratory
This laboratory focuses on multimedia and is divided into three areas: one for the design of graphics, one for the production of graphics, and one for the electronic production of audio and video CD's and DVD's. It also contains a digital video studio and video editing rooms. Majors in art and media studies use this laboratory along with students in the Information and Communications Technology program.
Digital Video Studio and editing suite
Adjacent to the digital arts laboratory there is a digital video and audio suite consisting of a video studio and three audio and video editing rooms. This photo is of the video editing and control room that is used during recording.