Departmental Instructional Labs
The majority of instructional computer labs within the Grainger College of Engineering are managed and maintained by Engineering IT User Services: Instructional.
Lab management includes the management and provisioning of hardware, software and printing services. This currently includes more than 1,450 workstations in 109 locations.
Within this area, there are two basic types of labs: the traditional Engineering Workstations (EWS) labs that are open for general use/class instruction; and departmental instructional labs, where use is limited to (a) particular class(s).
The departments, who maintain a significant amount of control over their use, own these.
The following are the primary features of departmental labs:
- Consistent user experience (storage, printing, software) across multiple lab locations.
- Reliable instructional environment ready for teaching.
- Engineering IT is responsible for patching/maintenance of workstations (unless the department opts out).
- Units may purchase replacement workstations from
- Engineering IT’s negotiated vendor options, or receive used workstations at no cost (as available).
- Engineering IT staff will work with instructors to evaluate software and hardware needs.
- Departments are fully in control of lab hours and scheduling.
- Support may be limited during semester breaks and University holidays. If general EWS labs are closed, then support in departmental labs will also be reduced.
- For more information, check the EWS labs schedule.
Login access to instructional labs is restricted to registered students within the Grainger College of Engineering and non-engineering students taking Engineering courses, as well as Engineering faculty and staff.
Labs are supported for undergraduate instruction only; research use of departmental labs is not supported, or permitted by many software licenses.
Requests will receive a response within one business day, Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm, excluding University holidays.
Time Critical Support: 217-333-1313
A per-workstation fee is charged for support. See Service fees for the most up to date prices. Additional costs may also be involved for support of audio-visual or other non-standard equipment.
This fee does NOT cover hardware costs, printing consumables, or specialty software licenses. All new equipment purchases, out-of-warranty repairs, equipment replacement, and other supplies are the responsibility of the department.
Users of this service agree to the following:
- The lab is used only for undergraduate instruction.
- Engineering IT reserves a maintenance window between 5am and 7am DAILY for as needed patching, updates and reboots.
- Engineering IT reserves a WEEKLY major patch window every Monday morning between midnight at 5am for scheduled patching and reboots.
- Departments may opt-out of scheduled maintenance when required, but EWS is not responsible for system issues arising from a lack of patching.
- Departments may request limited administrator privileges for a limited number of lab staff; however, EWS reserves the right to rescind these privileges if necessary. Computers that have non-Engineering IT staff as administrators are limited to hardware troubleshooting and re-imaging as the only methods of resolving issues. Engineering IT will not troubleshoot software issues in a lab where admin access has been delegated to non-Engineering IT staff.
- Workstations are re-imaged annually (or as needed/requested) to install new software or fix bugs.
- There is no minimum or maximum on number of computers to be considered a lab; the only requirement is the use of the space for undergraduate instruction. User Services: Instructional does not support research or administrative computing.
- Departments are responsible for arranging for physical cleaning of the labs. Engineering IT does have an optional service to clean the computers, see related services section below.
- Engineering IT reserves the right to refuse support on hardware or software that is significantly past end-of-life (which is typically 8 years for PCs and past vendor support for software).
- Printing support (consumable restocking, hardware support) is a separate service, and is not covered by the workstation fee. See Related Services below.
- Note additional EWS lab policies.
New Service Requests
Instructors that would like to have software installed in a lab should complete the Software Requests form.
Please note that Engineering IT typically does not fund specific software requests for a given class. For more information, please see the Software Purchase Consultation for details. Software installations (including testing and deployment) require a minimum period of two weeks, but may take more depending on time of year, complexity of the software requested, and workload.
Departments that would like to stand up a new instructional lab, or have EWS take over management of a current space may contact the Assistant Director for Instructional Services listed below.
General Service Inquiries
Assistant Director for Instructional Services
Subscribers to this service may be interested in these additional services:
For a broader view of instructional-related IT support offerings from Engineering IT and on campus, please contact our Instructional Technology Facilitator, Dave Mussulman.