The Elko Engineering Garage was made possible through the generous financial support of Ernie & Cathie Elko.

The purpose of the Elko Engineering Garage is to provide an open, hands-on work space for collaboration and building, with an emphasis on learning through experience in a peer-supported, social, and knowledge sharing environment.

The Elko Engineering Garage stems from the vision that making something must be something experienced first hand through designing, building, iterating and seeing something created from nothing. Not everyone has access to a garage at home, so we’ve built a Garage for everyone! 

The Garage is intended to provide a hands-on workspace for the University of Alberta community. We provide learning resources, introductory training and equipment access to enable our Makers to fabricate their ideas, foster a community of people interested in building things, and learn by exploring possibilities together.


  1. To foster innovation by providing a space to learn and create in the spirit of exploration.
  2. To remove barriers for developing skills.
  3. To help bridge the gap between technical knowledge and practical application. 
  4. To provide a safe and accessible work space for Garage Makers.
  5. To connect and build a community of shared knowledge and invention.

Meet the Staff

Staffing rotates regularly throughout the year. Here is our current roster:

Aaron Zidichouski, BSc., P.Eng.

Applications Engineer (He/Him)

Aaron is a U of A MecE Alumni, and spent his early career with a startup company and heavy equipment design and R&D testing. For him, the best part of working in the Garage is seeing Makers run their first part on tools! It feels great to contribute to the Engineering program by enabling new Makers.


Samantha MacGillivray, MSc.

Applications E.I.T. (She/Her)

Sam is a recent graduate of the U of A MecE department . As someone with a small amount of previous hands-on manufacturing experience, Sam is passionate about helping Makers feel comfortable using equipment they have minimal experience with. She loves the smell of sawdust and strong coffee in the morning.


Kaelyn Nicolson

Engineering Co-op Student (They/She)

Kaelyn is a materials engineering co-op student completing two co-op terms with the Elko Engineering Garage. Kaelyn is interested in 3D printing, textiles and making cool things that combine art and technology. They strive to make every maker feel welcome and safe during their time at the Garage!


Joey Mathieson

Engineering Co-op Student (He/Him)

Joey is a petroleum engineering co-op student completing two co-op terms with the Elko Engineering Garage. Joey is interested in outreach and student engagement – learning what it takes to turn an engineering student into a part-time maker! You will likely find him ogling the Stratasys J750 polyjet printer.