COVID-19 Updates

ENGINEERING UPDATES

UT UPDATES

TMI facilities will be open to users starting on Monday, June 1. Given the continued health and safety concerns around COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, we are being trusted to open our labs slowly and at a limited capacity. Only users approved to be on the UT campus and work in their respective labs can access the TMI facilities. TMI is committed to reducing the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of all our users and staff. To this end, TMI will take special care in sanitizing the high touch surfaces in the labs periodically during the day and adopting strict social distancing policies, which include room dividers, lab traffic signs, and well-defined instrument reservation rules.

TMI is here to help students continue their research projects in these difficult times. We recognize that due to the numerous constraints dictated by safety, TMI activities might be slowed down, but our facility managers and staff are devoted in supporting the users in a timely manner. 

TMI labs will be open to users only 6:00 am to 10:00 pm, 7 days a week. However, users can use our facilities only during the assigned cohort time for their respective research labs. To adapt to these changes the facility managers will work in shifts and their schedule will be posted at the entry doors of the labs.

We require students that enter the TMI labs to strictly follow the following procedures for everybody’s health and safety. Be aware that UT and CSE can change TMI’s approved status if our labs do not adhere to the UT Phase 3 Guidelines.

  • Fill in the Sign-In/Out log when entering any lab in case contact tracing becomes necessary.
  • Always wear a CDC approved cloth face covering when entering TMI labs. Remember to wash hands before and after putting on or removing any face covering.
  • Wash hands before entering any TMI lab.
  • Everybody must wear gloves in TMI labs at all times. Once you enter any TMI lab there will safety stations with hand sanitizer, gloves, and isopropanol-soaked wipes. Use the provided hand sanitizer before putting gloves on. Use hand sanitizer periodically if for some specific process you cannot wear gloves. Properly discard gloves after exiting the lab and wash your hands.
  • Wear safety glasses when entering the TMI labs. Disinfect the safety glasses before putting them on using isopropanol-soaked wipes.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
  • Users will not enter the labs without having an instrument reservation. Make a reservation 24 hours in advance in FBS in order to use the TMI facilities. Be aware that settings in FBS are now changed to allow reservations only from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm, and exclusions are set for reservations on instruments that are in close proximity to each other. Walk-ins are no longer allowed. Only one person per instrument is permitted at any time.
  • Users can only enter labs for which they have a reservation and only during the time slots approved. Plan your experiments carefully and do not stay longer than your scheduled time.
  • Data analysis in the labs will not be allowed, only data collection. Data analysis can be done remotely on TMI computers. Please coordinate with the facility managers to get access to remote computers.

Furthermore, facility managers have established additional safety protocols for various lab areas, including other restrictions on instruments reservations. Detailed emails will be sent by each facility manager to inform users of these protocols.  

Per UT’s policy, all users must complete the Online Health Assessment Report daily.

Communication between facility managers and users will be done as much as possible via email, phone, or video chat. Direct interaction will be avoided as much as possible, but rest assured TMI managers are committed to support the research of our users at the highest level possible.