If you are interested in doing an independent study that may benefit the making community at UW, the Makerspace may be able to advise you (and in some cases fund your hardware). Below is an example project currently being worked on by students.
Smart-shop: Students are adding sensors to many of the machines in the Makerspace to understand when they are used and monitor their use. For example, which equipment is used the most? Can machine-learning be used to determine when equipment is not being used properly? Or when it needs maintenance? When an issue is detected, a notification can be automatically sent to the shop staff. In general the students are creating an Internet of Things (IoT) for the Makerspace.
If you are interested in this project or have another idea, please contact the Shop Manager.