UI Engineering Library Provides Valuable Tools to Students

Jake Slobe

The Lichtenberger Engineering Library offers a wide variety of resources for engineering students. Located on the second floor of Seamans Center, the Engineering Library is a place where students can go to check out tools, attend unique classes, seek funding for projects, study for exams and more. Here are just some of the cool things the Lichtenberger Engineering Library has to offer:



University of Iowa students have a new resource to explore the latest in virtual reality, 3-D scanning and modeling, and wearable technology. The newly renovated room in the library includes stations featuring different technologies and tools as well as collaborative work areas with white boards and computer monitors that can split into as many as four independent screens.


The creative space opened nearly two years ago in September 2016. So far, the space has been very popular, offering unique tools that available for students to checkout says Engineering Librarian Kari Kozak.

“It’s actually pretty hard for us to get the 3D-scanners to be here because so many people check them out and use them,” said Kozak.


The Creative Space is open during the Engineering Library’s regular hours. Visitors can work with library staff to check out different tools in the space.



During the Spring 2018 semester, the engineering library, in collaboration with the Electronics Shop began to offer weekly classes on a variety of topics that are relevant to engineering students. Among the many things taught, students can learn how to print circuit boards, use MATLAB, create video presentations and more!


“The point of the classes is to sort of give students an introduction to a some of the tools we have in the creative space so they know how to use them as well as introduce skills that students might expect to use in classes and projects.”


The engineering library plans on continuing to offer the classes in future semesters.


“Right now, we’re seeing if different student orgs and groups would like to come and teach some of the classes. We want to give students who are interested an opportunity to come and teach,” said Kozak.



The Creative Kickstart Competition is a program developed by the Engineering Library & the Engineering Technology Centers for engineering students to submit a proposal to receive funding that allows them to create their projects using the services offered through the Creative Space, Engineering Electronic Shop & Machine Shop.


Michael Watkins, one of the winners of the 2017 Creative Kickstart Competition, presents his Autonomous Aircraft.


Each year, the program gives out 10 rewards of $500 which must be used in the Electronics or Machine shops. The funds for the project are provided by the Engineering Technology Centers.


“We’ve received a lot of great feedback from students about how they got to do projects they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise,” said Kozak.

Student wearing VR goggles
An engineering student uses an Oculus Rift headset to look around a virtual in the Lichtenberger Library's Creative Space