No annual report


Proposal ID 2015-008
Submitted January 13, 2015
Owner norbert
Department Bioengineering, Department of
Category Computer Labs
Funding Status Not Funded
Metric Score 4.00


  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Norbert Berger
  • Computing Systems Manager
  • 206-543-9757
  • 355061
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Ruth Woods
  • Administrator UW Bioengineering
  • 543-2004
  • 355061
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Machael Bragg
  • Dean, College of Engineering
  • 206-543-1829
  • 352180



We propose to replace the aging computers in two labs. The Bioengineering Advanced Computing lab (23 computers) and the
Bioengineering Computing lab (12 computers).

Category Justification

This proposal is for computers in a computer lab.


Bioengineering students need good computers. The software they typically use requires plenty of memory and a fast processor.
Programs like Matlab, Labview and Comsol simply can’t be run on a student’s laptop. The cost of these programs alone prohibits
most students from getting the software for themselves. UW Bioengineering pays the licensing fees for this software and provides it’s students with the computing tools they need in the Bioengineering Advanced Computer lab (23 computers) and the Bioengineering Computer Lab (12 computers).
The Bioengineering Advanced Computer Lab is laid out as a teaching lab. Lab sections of some BIOE courses are taught in the
Advanced Computer Lab, but not more than 20 hours per week. Outside of these lab sessions, the room is available 24/7 for
student use.
The Bioengineering Computer Lab is available 24/7 for student use.
Only Students, instructors and the IT staff are able to log on to the computers. They are a designated student-only resource.
The computers in these labs are managed with imaging software. For imaging to work, all the computers must have the same
The computers in these two labs are 4 year old HP workstations. With the many upgrades to the software and the addition of new
programs on these systems they have become quite slow and a bit cumbersome. They have gone out of warranty,
New computers with a warranty will insure that computers are always available for our students.

Benefits to Students and the University

Because of the expensive, demanding software our students use, computer labs are a necessity. The benefits of replacing the
computers in these two labs will be two-fold:
Students will have better computers in the Advanced Computing Lab and the Bioengineering Computing lab now and well into the
future and;
The old computers will be re imaged and made available to students in research labs that need them. They will remain UW Bioengineering property.
Some monitors will be reused so all the new systems will have two monitors

Departmental Endorsements

Ceci Giachelli - Acting Chair Bioengineering
Ruth Woods - Administrator
Norbert Berger - Computing Services Manager

Installation Timeline

New computers can be purchased and installed as soon as funds become available.

Resources Provided by Department

A full time Computing Systems Manager will manage the systems.
A file server stores student data. (See proposal 2001-026)
Foege N140 houses the Bioengineering Advanced Computer Lab.
Foege N150 houses the Bioengineering Computer Lab.
UW Bioengineering pays the licensing fees for installed software not covered by STF and campus licenses - most notably; Matlab

Access Restrictions (if any)

The Bioengineering computing labs are available to all Bioengineering graduate and undergraduate students, as well as any student
enrolled in a Bioengineering course. Access is available 24 hours a day seven days a week provided that the room is not in use for
labs. Other students can gain access to the lab with the endorsement of a Bioengineering faculty member.
Students logon with a UWNetID.
Physical access to the lab is via proximity card managed by the campus CAAMS system (same card/system as the HSB exterior

Student Endorsements

UW BMES - Bio-Medical Engineering Society


Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal

HP UW Desktop C

$900.00 35 $31,500.00

processor - Core i7 4750/3.6Ghz
ram - 8Gb
HDD - 500Gb
DVD superMulti
Tax included


The desktop C package is the only system with a core i7 processor.

HP EliteDisplay E231i LED Monitor 23"

$200.00 35 $7,000.00

23 inch LED Display
Tax included


These systems will be used for Autocad. A good sized monitor allows students use more programs at once.

Total requested: $38,500.00

Total funded: $0.00


As a bioengineering student, the computer labs are an essential resource. We use them to do our homework, which can often be computationally demanding. They are also essential for personal projects or research, for which we often need advanced software packages. The proposed upgrade to our resources will allow us to continue learning from state of the art software and technology, and allow us to further push the limits of our own projects.

lykinswr — January 14, 2015 @ 12:03 p.m.

The computer labs in Foege have been essential for working on any computational projects not just for coursework, but for research as well. Many of the programs that are required for class and research are expensive, or my computer is not able to run them as fast or as well. Having access to these computers and software has been an invaluable resource that I hope will be provided to students for years to come. It really makes a difference, especially for students who cannot afford an ultra-fast desktop computer, or all of these expensive programs--which most of us can't.

rlucero2 — January 14, 2015 @ 8:42 p.m.

The Foege computer labs have been an excellent resource during the course of my undergraduate education. The availability of software programs that I would otherwise not have easy access to has proven to be extremely beneficial for both classes and research. I've also always been a fan of using the double monitors in the advanced computer lab to work more efficiently. I know that current and future students will benefit greatly from updates to the computer labs.

mcj — January 14, 2015 @ 8:54 p.m.

Computers have become more and more essential over the years, especially in engineering. Bioengineering is no different, and requires advanced computing resources in order to run programs for both course work and research. Unfortunately my lab top does not run many of the programs fast enough, and the required programs are very expensive. It would be a valuable resource to have fast computers already containing these programs and capable of running them efficently

connort — January 14, 2015 @ 9:17 p.m.

I am glad that the Bioengineering Department is looking into getting new computers for our student labs! As a student who has been in the department for almost three years, I can't stress enough how useful having fast and reliable computers in the labs has been. I go to the computer labs in order to use 2D and 3D drawing software such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks, and Inventor; multi-physics simulations and modelling software such as COMSOL and JSim; computational and signals-processing programming in MATLAB; and many more programs necessary for education (including Microsoft Office). With the updates that many of these software packages have released in the last few years, it only makes sense to upgrade the hardware to run these programs as well.

jessiw — January 14, 2015 @ 9:59 p.m.

Through my time in the UW Bioengineering Department, the Foege computer labs have been an indispensable tool in furthering my education. I have spent many hours in these labs because of the software provided on them that I neither have the resources to acquire for my own computer, nor would be able to run on my personal computer in the first place. However, it is clear that the current machines are starting to show their age. In particular, computationally demanding modeling programs such as Chimera and COMSOL can slow to a crawl even when doing routine homework assignments for classes. As a result, I am happy to see that the Department is looking to upgrade these machines in the student labs! I look forward to using these upgraded resources that will enable me to boost my productivity through assignments, as well as enable me to study ever more intricate biological systems and computational models.

iandrews — January 15, 2015 @ 12:19 a.m.

As an undergraduate bioengineering student, some of my most educational class projects were thanks to software on these computers. For example, I was able to try the engineering design process on a real-world problem by designing a heart valve with Solidworks and Comsol, and 3D-printing it. At least once a week I use MatLab for various courses. The computer labs allow me to use all this software for free. However, the computers are sometimes slow, especially when trying to run complex simulations on Chimera or Comsol. Upgrading to faster computers would allow me to learn and accomplish more for my courses.

emilutz — January 26, 2015 @ 10:03 a.m.

As a BioE junior I have finished homework assignments and worked on projects on the Foege computers for about a year now, and they have been instrumental to my success in my core major classes. They are my only access to programs such as Comsol and Inventor, which are too computationally expensive for my computer to run. Newer computers would allow for updated versions of these invaluable programs and even faster running time, which would be fantastic for current and future students.

carolc24 — January 26, 2015 @ 10:08 a.m.

As a student in bioengineering, the computer labs have been essential in my success as a student. It is not uncommon that my classmates will collaborate in the computer lab since it makes it so easy to access the programs we need. One downside of these labs is the speed of these computers. At times, it can take up to 10 minutes to simply log in and access the Internet to print something. Since many of the programs run on these computers require quite a bit of processing power, the slowness of these computers can be a problem. It will be great to upgrade these computers since so many students would benefit academically!

serenity1607 — January 26, 2015 @ 10:11 a.m.

I am a bioengineering graduate student and fully support this proposal. The computer labs are an essential resource. The software required for the BioE classes is expensive and computationally intensive, which prevents most students from having their own copies on their personal computers. The computer lab computers are quite out of date and prevent students from quickly and efficiently completing homework and projects. Even logging in to print something takes a long time. New computers would be extremely helpful.

ladderwalker86 — January 26, 2015 @ 11:59 a.m.

I work almost every night in the bioengineering computer labs and the space has been key to my academic success. In order complete most of my assignments and to make the best use of my time I need to be able to multi-task. The dual screens in the advanced computing lab provide ample screen real estate but the speed and processing power of the computers holds me back. My peers and I need to be able to run many demanding programs at once, including autodesk inventor and photoshop while simultaneously running simulations in matlab. At this time the computers simply do not provide enough speed to allow me to perform the tasks I need to, there have been days where I have been reduced to using 2 workstations! An upgrade to this space would allow for increased student achievement and give students time to understand what they are learning instead of waiting on loading screens.

abbih — January 26, 2015 @ 8:55 p.m.

The bioengineering computer labs are essential to the bioengineering program, both undergraduate and graduate. These allow students to access computers which can simultaneously run multiple, high RAM programs, many of which are expensive and beyond the average student's budget to purchase on their own.

Additionally, these labs are in a key-card protected, 24-hour accessible space, where students can feel safe leaving their program running while they take a restroom break and not worry about coming back to their work or property being compromised.

I have used the bioengineering computer lab resources several times for coursework and research, and the speed of these computers has slowly decayed over time. It is inevitable that hardware needs replacing, and this resource is essential to the success of the students in bioengineering.

aww010 — January 27, 2015 @ 4:55 p.m.

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