Innovation Drivers

Innovation, at its core, leverages knowledge of materials, methods, and technology in order to make our lives better. At OriginLabs, we are delivering design fluency and knowledge of materials science through workshops, trainings, and one-on-one consulting to empower users to employ the tools contained therein to their full capacity and have the technical basis to truly innovate. We believe it’s not enough to provide access to advanced equipment, but rather to people and the knowledge they possess.

We support all startups and entrepreneurs from Penn State University, the State College community, and beyond with their prototyping and product development needs. No limit is too big or idea too small to bring to life at OriginLabs.

Join Our Community
With two pathways to choose from, we have something for everyone
Makerspace (Hands-on)

We’ve got the trainings, certifications, and tools you need to get your hands dirty crafting your next project. Whether you’re developing research or prototyping a commercial project, we’re putting 7,000 sq. ft. of world-class facilities at your fingertips.

Service Bureau (Hands-off)

Have an idea or need but not looking to do the hands-on building? No problem. Our experienced team of experts are here to build it for you, ensuring you get your project completed on time, on budget, and at the specs requested.

Meet the OriginLabs Team
Ryan Mandell
Ryan joined Penn State in 2021 to design, stand-up, and direct OriginLabs. Previously, he acted as director of fabrication labs for Indiana University's school of art, architecture, and design. Additionally, he served as sculpture faculty at various universities, including the University of North Texas, Boise State University, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. When not designing and fabricating furniture, Ryan enjoys hiking with his daughters (with ice cream afterwards).
Jose Nunez
Shop Manager
Jose Nunez is the Shop Manager for OriginLabs. His professional background is in Theater—he previously worked as a Properties Master, helping to build and procure custom properties for shows and musicals. He hails from D.C. and enjoys antiquing, Freddie Mercury, and the Washington Nationals.
Tristan Hess
Service Bureau Manager
Tristan Hess is the Service Bureau Manager for OriginLabs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in interior design and a master’s in education focused on art and design. Before coming to OriginLabs he worked for an independent school in Colorado where he taught architecture, design, and digital fabrication classes.
Bianca Wisekal
Bianca is a rising junior at Penn State pursuing a technical degree with a innovation and entrepreneurship minor. She is currently the vice president of the entrepreneurship club and loves helping facilitate connections. This is not her first time working in a maker space, her journey started in high school. Bianca had the privilege to work in a robotics lab to help build FRC and FTC robots for her school.
Het Sheth
Het is an inquisitive sophomore studying computer science with an entrepreneurship minor at Penn State. His passion for building projects goes back to his childhood and he aspires to use his creative mindset to produce a unique product. He loves reading, meditating and working out.
Nathan McDermitt
Nathan is a junior at Penn State studying supply chain and information systems. In the future, he plans to work in operations management and eventually become a general manager of a warehouse. Alongside his studies in college, Nathan is a back worker for the Berkey Creamery, and an active member in a community service and THON organization called Boulevard. In his free time, he likes to play basketball and volleyball with friends, while also binge watching a good Netflix series.
Rashi Gupta
Rashi is a graduate student at Penn State, pursuing her master's degree in engineering design. She hails from India and holds an undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering. She aims to work as a vehicle designer after her graduation. Outside of work, Rashi enjoys reading, hiking, and playing squash.
Austin Rizer
Austin is currently a junior in mechanical engineering at Penn State. His dream is to one day become a robotics engineer. Outside of school, Austin enjoys hiking, kayaking, and brainstorming new ideas for projects.
Stephen Barton
Stephen is a hardworking and creative individual. He is a local of Happy Valley and enjoys soccer and business. When he's not coming up with new inventions you can find him watching a good action movie or volunteering throughout the community.
Summer Walker
Summer is a third year at Penn State majoring in electrical engineering and minoring in engineering leadership development. On campus she is involved in various organizations and programs such as the National Society of Black Engineers, the Multicultural Engineering Program, and the College of Engineering Diversity Roundtable. Her goals are to continue to further her education within her discipline and to give back to her communities by providing herself as a resource to help others. In her free time, Summer enjoys being with her friends and family, painting, and participating in outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking.
Tyler Cheng
Tyler, a sophomore at Penn State, is pursuing a double major in computer science and economics. He is passionate about blending technology and finance and aspires to pursue a career as a quantitative analyst. When he's not studying, you'll find him coding, analyzing financial data, or exploring AI. Tyler is excited to contribute his skills to the OriginLabs team and collaborate on innovative projects at the intersection of these fields.
Vega Hernandez
Vega is a fourth-year B.F.A. theatre design and technology student at Penn State with emphases in technical direction and scenic design. With Penn State Center Stage, they look forward to opening "BONNETS: (How Women of Good Breeding are Induced to Murder)" Fall 2023 as Scenic Designer, and "Tartuffe" Spring 2024 as Technical Director. Vega has also had the opportunity to work professionally with Barrington Stage Company as an assistant technical director and seasonal carpenter during their past two summer seasons. They are passionate about artistic and technical design and love any and all chances to learn new crafts, skills, software, and technology. If Vega were to be one of OriginLabs' tools or pieces of machinery, they would be the CNC machine.
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