The Harpster Engineering Lab at The Point at Otterbein University was dedicated on Monday night, Dec. 4, with more than 50 attendees to see presentations by Otterbein systems engineering students and the unveiling of the room placard.

Dr. Joseph and Marilyn Harpster are staunch supporters of science education in Westerville and are pleased to support Otterbein’s engineering program as it embodies their professional and philanthropic missions. The Harpsters are founders of Intek, a Westerville-based manufacturing company with the goal of integrating advanced technologies to solve complex measurement problems.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for Otterbein and The Point,” said Assistant Professor of Engineering Mike Huduba at the event. “Anyone can teach with a slideshow presentation but this lab helps go beyond that and grow the excitement of the students in a place where they can build, learn and create.”

As part of the dedication ceremony, the top five first-year student design challenge projects were presented by the students themselves. This year’s task, sponsored by the Crimson Cup, was to design a machine that could more efficiently and evenly mix and dry coffee parchment, a process that is currently done by hand by coffee growers. Each group described they machine and why they chose certain design elements.

First-year systems engineering student Maria Herron was excited to see just how invested the community is with The Point and the Harpster Engineering Lab. She thinks this will definitely help the Department of Engineering grow even more than it has already.

“This lab has so many hands-on experiences, especially for first-year students. It’s amazing that that we have those opportunities this early in our coursework. You can’t find that at other schools,” Herron said.

President Kathy Krendl was also on-hand to give a much deserved toast and express the university’s admiration for the Harpsters.

“This lab, much like The Point, is an extraordinary place. It offers experiences unlike anywhere else. It’s a place for visionaries, and it’s been made possible by these two visionaries: Dr. Joseph and Marilyn Harpster.”