The University of Connecticut is a top public research institution, with specialized equipment for a variety of academic disciplines to support the University’s researchers. In some cases, the devices and prototypes that UConn researchers need to conduct their cutting-edge projects don’t even exist. Other times commercially available equipment needs complex or expensive repairs to keep running at peak performance.
UConn’s answer to the call for an affordable way to design, manufacture, and repair equipment is the Mechanical/Glass: Design and Fabrication facility, operated by the Center for Open Research Resources and Equipment, also known as COR²E.
The Mechanical/Glass: Design and Fabrication facility provides consulting, manufacturing, design, engineering, and repair services for glass, metal, plastics, and other materials. It is particularly critical for researchers, many of whom rely on the facility to keep their research moving forward.
Before coming to UConn in 2007, facility director Mark Drobney had an extensive background in the manufacturing industry. Now, he utilizes his expertise to advise researchers of the best course of action regarding their equipment.
“I’ve had the opportunity to help faculty doing all types of research, which is really rewarding,” Drobney says. “From helping Etan Markus, professor of psychological sciences, design and manufacture an electrode hyperdrive used in the mapping of neurons in the brains of rats, to building an Air Hockey Reactor used to deposit reactants onto a silicon wafer for Brian Willis from the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, our facility lets faculty design what they need to conduct their research and can save them thousands of dollars in the process.”
The Mechanical facility has a fully equipped manufacturing department that includes CNC and manual lathes and milling machines, a 4’ x 8’ CNC router, vertical and horizontal band saws, manual and hydraulic material shears and presses. The facility also boasts carpentry, sheet metal and welding departments to fulfill the diverse needs of their current and future customers.
“Mark is one of UConn’s behind-the-scenes hidden gems who is not only a true master at his craft, but is also as modest and hard working as they come,” says Dan Schwartz, Ph.D., director of COR²E and associate professor of physiology and neurobiology. “I just wish more faculty knew about him and the services his facility provides.”
Any inquiries about the facility can be directed toward Mark by email at firstname.lastname@example.org