Welcome to the Molecular Mechatronics Laboratory. To maintain a safe and efficient environment, the following rules, procedures and information has been compiled. Please read this document carefully. You may not use lab facilities without reading and agreeing to these rules.
Points of Emphasis:
- Ensure that you label your experiments and chemicals (see below), and clean up immediately after you are finished. This includes doing your dishes. New chemicals should be inventoried and your name and date should be listed.
- Never disconnect someone else’s experiment.
- Always read the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for chemicals that you are using and consult your supervisor.
- Always wear appropriate safety gear (e.g. safety glasses, gloves, lab coat).
Address and Phone Numbers
University of British Columbia
2355 East Mall
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4
Attn: John Madden
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
University of British Columbia
2332 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4
Please ensure that a speed chart (four letter code) is present on the shipping labels of any packages coming in from other countries. This will enable UBC’s brokers to charge our account and speed up shipping.
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
University of British Columbia
2332 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4
Main Lab: (604) 822-6267
John Madden Office: (604) 827-5306
John Madden Home: (604) 221-9416
Emergency Phone Numbers
See wall by lab entrance.
- All lab users must pass a Chemical and Laboratory Safety course offered by UBC. In order to obtain access to the lab (key and alarm code), all users must also complete the safety data sheet provided by AMPEL (see the AMPEL secretary on the first floor). Every student must sign up for laboratory insurance with Darla in the ECE office. Please confirm with John that you have done so. The lab covers this cost.
- Many sensitive experiments and dangerous machines are located throughout the lab. Be careful and aware of your surroundings when walking around, or working in, the lab.
- Do not use equipment until you have been trained to use it properly.
- Visitors are not permitted to roam about the lab, and should be escorted by the person whom they have come to visit. This applies to everyone not a member of the lab, such as salespeople, delivery personnel, company presidents, professors, and other students. UBC plant operations employees carry identification, and have access to the lab when they are working on a Public-Works project.
- When answering the telephone ask who is calling and for what purpose. Inquire with the person being called if they wish to take the call, or a message is to be taken.
- Never touch another person's experimental apparatus without first getting their permission. Do not remove equipment from someone else's set-up unless you are familiar with the set-up and know that the equipment is no longer being used. If you accidentally disrupt an experiment or set-up, contact the person as soon as possible, or as a last resort, leave a note.
- Tools, instruments, other equipment and books may only leave the lab with John’s or senior lab members' permission. Lab notebooks should generally also be kept in the lab, and are lab property. A sign-out sheet is located on the posting board; leave your name, equipment description, date, and contact information (if you are not a member of the lab).
- Lab areas should be cleaned following the completion of an experiment, or by the end of the day. It is all right to leave equipment set-up overnight if the equipment is to be used early the next morning. However, still return all tools to their proper place.
- Good scientific practice requires that all ideas, calculations, analysis, and experimental and calibration measurements be entered in an appropriate lab notebook. Never remove or obliterate material from notebooks. Sign and date your work. Lab notebooks are available in the lab.
- Food should not be consumed near experimental apparatus, lab equipment, or computers. Drinks should be in containers with a non-spill cover.
- Reorder/order material and components when supplies run low. Commonly used suppliers may be found here. Generally purchasing should be done through David Chu Chong in ECE stores, basement of MacLeod. John’s permission is required (e.g. via email) if you do not have purchasing authority on the account. Receipts MUST be kept and filed in the financial filing cabinet. Otherwise we may be personally liable for the costs incurred.
- Keep the lab clean. Do not leave backpacks on the floor or personal items lying about the lab.
- Smoking is forbidden in the laboratory.
- Tape, scissors, label maker, staples and other office equipments are kept in the first drawer under the laser printer – return them after each use.
- Spare printer toner, inkjet cartridges and label printer cartridges have to be available in the lab. When you replace the old one with the spare, please purchase another spare for the next time. This applies to any commonly used supplies.
Mechanical Workshop (John Madden/ ECE Basement/ AMPEL student lab)
Machining operations are very dangerous. Think. Use common sense. Be careful.
- Safety Glasses: Safety glasses must be worn when using machine tools (mill, lathe, drill etc.) and when using manual tools made of high tensile steel such as taps. High tensile steel can shatter and send chips flying. It is recommended that glasses be worn at all times when performing mechanical work.
- Clothing: Rotating spindles can catch clothes, hair, gloves and jewelry. When using machines with rotating spindles, wear a short sleeve shirt or roll your sleeves past your elbow, pull back long hair (but do not braid), and remove jewelry (especially rings, watches, necklaces, and bracelets) and anything else that could get caught in the spindle. DO NOT wear gloves. Sandals are not allowed in the machine shop.
- Hearing Protection: Use ear protection if you are using a loud machine.
- Buddy system: Never machine alone. There must always be someone nearby in case you get hurt.
Training / Operations
- Do not operate a machine until you have been trained to use it properly. Training can be given by other qualified users. Become familiar with the machine's Operator Manual and/or Technical manual before operating the machine.
- Use appropriate speeds and feeds. Consult the Machinery's Handbook or other appropriate machining guideline.
- Do not disturb someone while they are using a machine. Wait until they have finished machining. Machining is very dangerous and requires concentration. If you interrupt somebody they could make a mistake that leads to an accident.
- Cutting fluid must be used during all cutting, machining, turning, tapping, and drilling operations to promote proper chip removal and prolong tool life.
- Printed circuit boards (PCB's) should not be cut on the band saw. PCB's are made from fiberglass, and dulls the cutting blade very quickly. PCB dust is toxic. PCB's should be cut with shears or a hacksaw.
- Precision instruments (micrometers, rulers, etc.) should never come into contact with each other or with any surface of equal or greater hardness. i.e. Never put a micrometer on a metal surface such as an optical table. Precision instruments are ground very carefully. Any scratches on their surface make them less accurate and can make them useless.
- Tool and machine damage must be reported to John.
- Clean up! When you finish using a machine, clean the machine thoroughly. Sweep the floor and adjacent workbench surfaces. Coolant should be wiped off and all the chips cleared. If appropriate, lubricate the machine. Leaving machines dirty is inconsiderate and is bad for the machines. Coolant and chips can get into the moving parts of the machine and cause rust and wear.
- Do not use high-pressure air to clean machines. High-pressure air can push chips into the moving parts of the machinery and cause excessive wear.
- Tools must be put away. You are not the only user of the shop. You will waste other people's time if you don't put tools away in the correct place. Return all tools, fasteners, and materials to their proper location when you finish work or at the end of the day. Do no leave tools out overnight.
- Resupply bits, hardware, and stock when levels run low. Everyone is responsible for keeping the machine shop well supplied. If you break or a tap, drill, end mill that belongs to our lab, and few spares (less than three) remain, order more.
- If you are last to leave, check that everything is order. If necessary, sweep the floor and put away anything left out.
Food is not allowed in the shop. Drinks must be in containers with non-spill lids.
- After using electronics, turn off all instruments and return all tools to their appropriate storage area. Verify that soldering irons are off, and are in their protective coils. Clean up your workspace.
- Solder containing lead may not be used. Avoid breathing flux fumes and solder vapor when soldering. Remove fumes by placing an extraction fan near the item being soldered.
- Do not use soldering irons for any purpose other than soldering. Use good quality solder to make an appropriate contact and also keep the soldering iron safe. The tip of the soldering iron has to be cleaned after each use with a wet sponge.
- Used components must be measured before being returned to the component drawers. Used small wattage resistors should never be returned to the component drawers.
- Coaxial and optical cables should be considered calibrated instruments and should be treated with care. Bending or placing objects on cables often damages them. Report damaged cables.
- Wires carrying voltages greater than 20 V must not be left exposed. When working with high voltages use only one hand, and be very careful of shorting through your body to ground planes (preferably use your right hand and put your right foot on the ground). Heavy long sleeve rubber gloves must be used and eye protection worn. Read the manual of high voltage equipment before use and ensure that you are trained in their use. Use high voltage probes when measuring potentials.
- Special attention must be given to Tantalum and Electrolyte capacitors when a circuit is powered up for the first time. They will explode if connected with reverse bias. Wear protective eyeglasses.
- Report any abnormal behavior of electronic instruments to Arash or John. Label any instrument that is defective, and initiate the effort to have the instrument repaired or replaced.
- Exposed, powered, electronic circuits will occasionally be left on the shelves of the electronics shop. People walking through the shop should be cautious and should remain within the corridor indicated by tape on the floor.
- No one should manipulate electronic boards that are not protected against electrostatic discharge.
- Circuits must be switched OFF before plugging or unplugging probes to prevent shorts.
- Before connecting a power supply to a circuit, the voltage must be verified and adjusted within the board's tolerance. Current limiting should also be adjusted to the specifications of the circuit.
- If you wire a circuit on a bread board just to test something, after finishing your job disassemble the circuit or if you like to keep the circuit for later use, please put a note on it that shows the name of the person.
- Don’t use bread boards for wiring high voltage circuits. And also don’t put the power components which have thick leads into the holes of the bread board. It damages the bread board.
- Put labels on the wires which come out from a circuit that you have made.
- Multimeters, power supplies and other instruments are used by most of the people in the lab. If you have used them for a short time, after doing your test please disconnect them from the setup to let the other people use them. Or if you want to use them some time later, not only label the connections but also write down the setting points (like frequency, amplitude, dc voltage and ..) which are important for you. The person who borrows them is not responsible to bring it back with the same setting points. If the test equipment must remain connected, attach a note which includes your name and the date. Never disconnect an instrument from someone else’s circuit while it is in operation.
- If you borrow an instrument temporarily from a setup that is not in use, please put a note on the instrument when you bring it back to warn the user to check the set points of the instrument.
- The knobs and switches of the instruments are the parts that are frequently used. Please don’t touch them, the instrument itself, leads, the counter or other shared surfaces with the gloves that you employ for chemical protection. Should any contamination occur, remove it immediately.
--Arash Takshi 17:03, 18 June 2008 (PDT)
General Safety Guidelines
The following points summarize the most important procedures to be observed by lab members using chemicals; however, such persons must also familiarize themselves with the UBC Chemical Safety Reference Manual.
- Understand the hazards and operating procedures associated with any chemical you use. Study its Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS sheet) and if in doubt, ask. MSDS sheets for all materials must be kept in alphabetically sorted folders in the filing cabinet located next to the AFM. Inform others of hazards.
- Wear protective clothing at all times, even when handling fairly innocuous chemicals. Chemistry work areas such as fume hoods and sink tops could be covered with residues from more hazardous chemicals. At minimum, put on a lab coat, safety glasses and gloves.
- Never work with hazardous chemicals, or perform a chemical reaction when you are alone in the lab.
- Do not eat, drink, smoke or leave food in the chemistry areas.
- Always secure water hoses (such as those attached to cooling jackets) with clamps or copper wire, especially if the apparatus is to be left unattended. Surges in water pressure can cause hoses to come loose and flood the lab.
- Particularly hazardous chemicals must be used exclusively in fume hoods.
- Hydrofluoric acid is extremely dangerous. Do not use it or other strong acids and bases without consulting John Madden.
- No food is allowed in the chemistry area. Similarly, empty mugs for drinkable water or sodas should not be placed in the chemistry sink.
- Clean, dry and store all glassware immediately after use.
- Report all chemical spills and gas releases.
- The coat rack is for lab coats only. Do not hang any of your clothing here as lab coats should be considered contaminated.
- Lab coats go back onto the rack when taken off. Used gloves go immediately either into the trash or to your storage area. Used gloves should never be left lying around the lab.
- The fridge located under the electronics bench is for food and beverages only. NEVER store anything here you would not be willing to ingest.
Chemical Safety Equipment and Resources
- Safety shower and eye wash: Room 341 by the entrance.
- Spill kit and cart in the AMPEL basement.
- First aid kits are above the sink in the chemistry room.
- Fire extinguishers are in room 341 and 343a.
- Fire alarm: in the hallway outside the lab. There is also an emergency horn in 341 and 343a by the entrance.
- UBC emergency info by the entrance to 341.
- Once taken out of a container, unused chemicals must never be put back into the original container. The chemical should be stored in a new labeled container marked "contaminated." Always label containers (including beakers, jars, plastic bottles, etc.) with the contents and your initials, even if they are to be used only for a short while. There must never be any unlabeled chemical containers in the lab.
- Wash glassware and rinse with distilled water before returning to shelves. Tap water contains many contaminants and should never be used except for preliminary cleaning and rinsing. Rewash all glassware immediately before use - never assume that somebody else's cleaning job is good enough for your application. Glassware should be washed, dried and returned immediately and never accumulate in the chemistry sink. General glassware is kept in the metal cabinet at the Western end of the chemistry room.
- Always keep the cupboard doors containing chemicals or glassware closed.
- Many chemicals degrade unless stored properly (i.e., under nitrogen gas, in the dark, or in the refrigerator). Check the label for any such instructions and observe them rigorously. A nitrogen atmosphere can be established by bubbling nitrogen gas through a syringe tip stuck through a rubber septum inserted into the bottle top - a second needle provides the gas outlet.
- Before ordering chemicals check the chemical inventory to see if it is already in the lab. Order the minimum quantities required.
- Empty bottles made from glass are recycled for chemical. Make sure that you cross out the label of these empty bottles, such that there is no confusion about the content of the bottle.
- If you notice that squirt bottles are empty, please refill these bottles. Similarly, if the purified water tank is empty, obtain more from Dan Bizzotto’s lab across the hall. Generally we should only refill our stocks on Friday afternoons. Consult John.
- Safety masks must be used when employing powerdered chemicals, including carbon nanotubes.
- Ensure own personal safety and that of other personnel in the vicinity of the spill.
- Can the spill be controlled or cleaned up by on-site personnel?
- If NO:EVACUATE and CALL 911
- If YES:
- Control any risk of injuries before taking action
- The “responsible person” (person who had possession, charge or control of a substance immediately before it's spilled ) must act quickly to:
- CLEAN UP the spill
- DECONTAMINATE the spill area
- DETERMINE whether spill is reportable to an external agency
- General Cleanup procedures can be found here or in chapter 10 of the UBC Laboratory Chemical Safety Manual
REMEMBER A SUCCESSFUL SPILL CLEAN-UP IS ONE IN WHICH NO ONE GETS EXPOSED OR INJURED DURING THE CLEAN-UP. DON'T RUSH. DON'T WORK ALONE, AND DON'T CLEAN UP A SPILL UNTIL YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE PROPERTIES OF THE CHEMICAL.
Chemical Check-In Procedure
The person who orders a given chemical is responsible for completing the following:
- When the chemical arrives in the lab, write the date received and your initials somewhere on the label. When the chemical is first opened, this date should also be added.
- Enter the chemical name and information in the chemical inventory list. The list is an excel sheet stored in the Shared folder on the AFM computer.
- Store the chemical in the appropriate location. See chapter 7 of the UBC Laboratory Chemical Safety Manual
- Take a file folder and label it with the name of the chemical. Into this folder place the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) sheet, the standard operating procedure for handling that chemical (if available) and any other relevant information (such as any certificate of purity that may have come with the product). File in MSDS cabinet next to the AFM. If the MSDS sheet did not come with the chemical, look for one at the following websites:
Chemical Waste Disposal
A couple of important points:
- Unwanted chemicals in their original containers may also be picked up by the safety office. They must also be listed on the chemical waste packing list.
- Disposal of unknown chemicals is an expensive and complicated process. Any and all containers you use, including waste, must be labeled.
Liquid Chemical Waste
- Organic Solvents: We have two solvent waste cans: halogenated and non-halogenated. They are labeled, please use the correct one. Don’t forget to mark down what you poured out on the solvent waste log located above the balance. Understand that these are NOT for general chemical waste, only organic solvents. Also, be sure not to include water.
- Other: Use a CLEAN, sealable container which is compatible with your waste (e.g. Hydrofluoric acid will dissolve glass). CLEARLY LABEL the container with its contents and the date. NEVER mix incompatible materials. Arrange for pickup by HSE .
Put solid waste into glass or plastic containers, label them with fluorescent orange hazardous waste tags and store them with the other waste.
Empty gas cylinders should be labelled "EMPTY" and returned to ECE stores where the supplier will collect them.
- All glass waste must first be decontaminated:
- Chemically contaminated: Rinse 3x or neutralize.
- Biological or infectious contamination: Call theHSE.
- Empty solvent bottles: For a volatile solvent, leave the uncapped bottle in a fumehood until the residues have evaporated. Remove or deface the label and add to the bag with the others. If there is no bag, then get two clear plastic bags, place one inside the other and label the outer one with “clean glass waste” as well as the room number and lab telephone.
- Empty intact chemical bottles: Rinse three times. Let them dry, deface or remove the label and add to the bag with the others. If there is no bag, then get two clear plastic bags, place one inside the other and label the outer one with “clean glass waste” as well as the room number and lab telephone.
- Sharps: These include things like razor blades and syringes. Place all sharps in the sharps bin. Make certain that nothing is protruding from the opening. To prevent personal injury, sharp waste must never be discarded into the regular trash.
- Other: CLEAN glass waste such as glassware and microscope slides, both intact and broken, are to be placed in the white plastic pale marked “GLASS WASTE”. Make sure there is a bag lining the pale. Remember, whatever you put in here must be CLEAN. Make sure the pale is no more than 3/4 full.
There is a plastic bottle for waste oil in the flammables cabinet. Approved waste oils may all be poured in it:
- automotive lubricating oil
- cutting oil
- fuel oil
- gear oil
- hydraulic oil
- refined petroleum based oil
- synthetic oil
- crude oil
- vacuum-pump oil
No PCB contamination. Shouldn’t be a problem for this lab.
- Empty plastic chemical containers: These should be washed out with water and tossed in the trash can.
- Mystery?:If you don’t know how to dispose of something DO NOT leave it lying around. Place it in a sealed container labeled with your name, the contents, and the date. Immediately research the proper disposal. As noted above, disposal of unknown chemicals is complicated and expensive.
Regulator’s Common Violations:
- Waste label not properly filled out.
- Full container remaining in SAA for more than three days and/or more than one container per waste stream (type of waste).
- Incompatible waste materials.
- No impervious base (secondary container requirement). All waste containers must be stored in a compatible secondary container in order to contain spills. E.g. plastic bins.
- Open waste container or container not properly closed.
- Spillage or leakage of waste (including contamination on the container).
- Failure to determine waste as hazardous. Example, it is clearly waste but there is no waste label.
--Alexandros Dimopoulos 15:27, 25 August 2009 (PDT)
Computers and Software (Tissaphern Mirfakhrai)
Our computer network architecture is designed for enhanced communication and data sharing amongst colleagues. For the safety of our network it is important that all computer's operating system be updated and protected by antivirus software.We used to use Nod32, but we had to pay for it. When UBC bought a campus wide agreement with Sophos we switched to it because it was free. As far as outside free antivirus solutions this one is supposed to be good.
- Firewalls are mandatory on all portable computer devices (Laptops, Tablets, etc… ). They are recommended for desktop computers except where they prevent file sharing.
- Users are responsible to keep all their systems up to date (inc. computers for instrumental setups). Updates for the Microsoft Windows XP operating system are available from the following address. http://v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/en/default.asp. For Windows Vista, use http://www.update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/v6/vistadefault.aspx?ln=en-us. If configured properly, your computer should notify you when a new update is available and download the update automatically. To install from scratch contact help.ece.ubc.ca.
- UBC ECE IT staff strongly recommend that only one "Administrator" account exists on each PC; i.e. we can share the admin password, so that we can install new software, but an account used for regular operation of a PC should not have admin previllages.
- Users are responsible to install anti-virus software on all their systems (inc. computers for instrumental setups). We used to use Nod32, but we had to pay for it. When UBC bought a campus wide agreement with Sophos we switched to it because it was free. As far as outside free antivirus solutions this one is supposed to be good.
The department has a firewall to the outside network, but it is possible to get a virus from an infected machine inside the dept firewall so it is good to have something running. Both Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or later)and Vista have built in firewalls. They work very well and should be all you need. If you are running Windows 2000 you could install comodo firewall, but run one firewall at a time.
- For new systems, each person has to write their name in the computer description section for all their systems. To do so:
- Right click on My Computer and then properties
- Click on the tab Computer Name and set it
- Write your name in the box named computer description
- Assign MM to the name of the Workgroup
- Reboot your system
- A computer without a person responsible for it will be disconnected from the network
- Software Licenses are the property of the lab or the department. No illegal copies of software should be made for personal use.
- P2P software such as Kazaa or Morphius are tolerated. However, the distribution of copyrighted material via P2P networks is strictly forbidden. The file sharing feature of these programs should be disabled (for example the "My Shared Folder" in Kazaa should not be shared).
- Contact Arash or Tissa to obtain keys for the computers. Please lock the machine as soon as you did your job (as the rule of security) and please return the key back to the drawer!!
--Tissaphern Mirfakhrai 10:46, 15 October 2008 (PDT)
ACCEPTANCE OF THESE RULES AND PROCEEDURES IS A PREREQUISITE FOR LABORATORY ACCESS. PLEASE SIGN THE FORM IF YOU HAVE UNDERSTOOD AND AGREE TO ALL THE ABOVE RULES AND PROCEEDURES.
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH LAB RULES AND PROCEEDURES MAY RESULT IN REMOVAL OF LAB ACCESS PRIVILEDGES.
PLEASE REPORT VIOLATIONS TO JOHN MADDEN OR ARASH TAKSHI.