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The Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation

Transforming the campus. Improving the world. 

The Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation 
is a state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary
facility opening in fall 2021.

New Vision, New Facilities

Featuring flexible labs, collaboration hubs, an Innovation Zone, and on-site research spaces like the Latimer Energy Lab, the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation is a “living lab” for students.

View from balcony in Innovation Zone
Floor Level View of Innovation Zone
Rendering of students sitting in Innovation Lounge
Illustration of Research Lab in Sobrato Campus
SCU branded Google Cardboard for the Sobrato Campus
Construction Cam

Construction Cam

The exterior of the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation (SCDI) building is nearly complete. Interior construction, mechanical systems, and electrical systems will be installed through fall 2020. 

Watch Live

Why It Matters
Made possible by a $100 million gift by John A. ’60 and Susan Sobrato, the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation represents Santa Clara’s commitment to be a world-class leader in STEM education.
facility stocked with the latest equipment and resources.
square feet, making it one of the largest STEM facilities in the nation
increase in undergraduate STEM enrollment at SCU over the past decade
classroom, teaching lab, and research lab seats
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Innovation happens when different skills and perspectives come together to solve complex problems. The Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation is designed to foster spontaneous interaction. Labs and work spaces are cross-functional, assigned to projects instead of disciplines. Complementary departments are grouped together to encourage organic research opportunities. Each section of the building has informal collaboration spaces with flexible furniture and equipment for a variety of projects.

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This is a place where big ideas are explored and implemented. As one of the first U.S. universities with its own Maker Lab, Santa Clara has a long history of creation, and our new Innovation Zone brings that culture to the center of campus. With 30-foot floor to ceiling windows, the 3,000 square foot Innovation Zone showcases projects and encourages students to inspire each other. Additional research and work spaces like the Latimer Energy Lab, Imaginarium virtual reality lab, WAVE computer lab, and massive garages with oversized entryways allow undergraduate and graduate students to participate in projects big and small—all while receiving direct faculty mentorship. 

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The Sobrato Campus of Discovery and Innovation is a meeting ground for Santa Clara University and Silicon Valley with labs and work spaces supporting thought leadership, entrepreneurship, and global engagement. Undergraduate and graduate students get a head start on their career, gaining job experience and building a professional network through on campus projects and internships facilitated by tech and life science companies and community organizations.

Shoba Krishnan

“You walk into this building and the labs are fully on display. Student work is being showcased and research is right out in the open. It’s designed to inspire, to help people collaborate and create.”

—Shoba Krishnan
   Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering



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Are Computers Creative?

Assistant Professor Maya Ackerman’s app ALYSIA uses Artificial Intelligence to help people—anybody, really—write original music.

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Training Wheels

How Kristi Nguyen ’21 used thousands of pictures (and the right algorithm) to help robots navigate rough terrain.

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Space of Change

Listen to Maker Lab Manager Anne Hunter explain how her team plunged into creating 3D printed components for face shields for local medical personnel.

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Leveling Up

Creating Cell-fie, a virtual reality game that teaches young people about biology, was a game changer for Grace Ling ’19, M.S. ’21

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Perception Defined

An interdisciplinary team of SCU students work with Aromyx to help digitize taste and smell.

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Owning STEM

The De Novo Fellowship affords students summer research opportunities that may lead to publication, and support to attend and present at industry conferences.

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“I want students to feel empowered to make the building theirs. This is a Jesuit university. We’re supposed to do experiential, active, service learning. So I want to tell our students: The world has some problems. How fast can you identify a need in society? Here are the resources, here are the skills, here is the mentorship in the labs so that you can go and tackle these problems.”

—Daniel Press
   Dean, College of Arts and Sciences


Daniel Press
Elaine Scott

“The building design is all about spontaneous interaction. Projects will come up just through students talking to each other, where they had been isolated before. Students will be able to see what everyone else is doing. Once you let the walls down, disciplines grow together.”

—Elaine Scott
    Dean, School of Engineering