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$50K Challenge for New Academic Equipment at Olin!

$50K Challenge for New Academic Equipment at Olin! Image
Raised toward our $50,000 Goal
85 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on June 30, at 11:59 PM EDT
Project Owners

$50K Challenge for New Academic Equipment at Olin!

Whether you are an Olin alum, parent or friend, you know that tools do not gather dust at Olin College. In the last 14 years, more than 1,000 students have designed and built countless objects in Olin’s machine shop, and run countless experiments and tests in our other labs. Today many of our tools and machines require updating or replacement. Specifically, Olin's biology lab, materials science lab and machine shop are calling for about $200,000 worth of upgrades or new acquisitions for next year alone. It is essential to provide upgraded and new equipment on a regular basis so that Olin’s curriculum can continue to push the frontiers of undergraduate engineering education, engaging students directly in a collaborative, do-learn culture.

Thanks to a recent challenge from a long-time supporter of the college, you have the opportunity to make these equipment upgrades a reality AND to DOUBLE the IMPACT of your gift! This generous donor will match every donation made towards equipment upgrades by June 30, 2016, up to a total of $50,000 – a challenge that will provide half of the $200,000 required for equipment upgrades in the next academic year! 

This is a special opportunity for you to have a visible impact on the student experience and campus culture at Olin. Please give today and become a partner in continuing Olin’s commitment to providing the top-notch facilities required for the project-based learning at the heart of the Olin experience.

Below are some of the tools and equipment that are used most heavily in the machine shop, biology lab, and materials science lab and that are the top priority for renewal or acquisition.


  • Waterjet Machine: the computer numerical control (CNC) waterjet machine is heavily used to cut complex shapes in two dimensions out of steel and aluminum. This machine is frequently used by Olin's student vehicle teams (Baja, REVO Electric Racing, Human Powered Vehicles, and Robotic Sailing), and by students in core engineering courses such as Principles of Engineering, Elecanisms, Mechanical Prototyping, Mechanical Design, and Affordable Design and Entrepreneurship.
  • Richmond Machining Center: this sophisticated 4-axis milling machine is used to fabricate complex 3-dimensional parts of aluminum, steel and plastic. It is used by the advanced mechanical engineering classes as well as many of the student vehicle teams.



  • UV-VIS Spectrophotometer: this quantitates DNA, RNA, proteins and other substances in solution by their absorbance at specific wavelengths and also allows for analysis of solid materials. Students in biology and materials science use the spectrophotometer on a regular basis.
  • Plate Reading Luminometer: This tool detects and measures luminescence and/or fluorescence in a variety of biological assays and it is an essential component of a contemporary university biology lab. Our students are interested and eager to explore topics that require the use of a luminometer.

3 Olin Bio Lab Students










  • X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) System: the XRF system quickly and easily identifies chemical composition for metals and alloys, and is often the first instrument used by all Olin students in their introductory materials science classes.
  • CES Edupack Software Upgrade: this software supports and enhances the teaching and learning of materials, engineering, design and sustainability. It is currently used in materials science courses, and now students and faculty would like to extend its use to other courses, such as SCOPE, and vehicle teams like Human Powered Vehicles and Baja, too.









Please consider a generous donation towards the $50,000 equipment challenge and ensure that Olin's labs will be fully upgraded and refreshed by the time students and faculty return in September. What a great welcome for the Class of 2020! Remember, every dollar counts toward the $50,000 fundraising challenge, and all gifts count toward Olin's giving participation goals as well.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Shannon Paleologos at or 781.292.2293. If you would like to give toward another gift designation, just visit before June 30.

THANK YOU for ensuring that our equipment doesn't look like this!

 old picture of equipment

Choose a giving level



Every gift counts and is doubled!


Early Investor

Your gift immediately turns into $100!


Blue Foam Shaper

Your support is one of many that helps reach our goal!


Copper Collaborator

You support students who need the best equipment to understand what they will be working with in their careers after Olin.


Materials Supporter

You support students who need the best equipment to understand what they will be working with in their careers after Olin.


Aluminum Shining Star

You will help provide innovative new tools that enhance the Olin academic experience.


Steel Transformer

Your impact will enable students to work with multiple materials through new machines and programs.


Advocate (Phoenix Society)

By giving $1,500 you are part of our leadership giving Phoenix Society.


Oval Society (Phoenix Society)

Leadership giving helps ensure all Olin students graduate with the best experience possible.


1997 Society (Phoenix Society)

Your leadership gift will pave the road for student success in Olin labs and the machine shop.


Investor (President's Circle)

Leadership donations at this level enter you as a President's Circle member and move the needle in engineering education in a big way.

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