Successful Re-engagement of Research

Team Michigan Engineering:

Last week, we joined the University in safely re-engaging research and scholarship in accordance with state regulations within the College of Engineering. This effort involved a complicated organization of personnel, training, COVID-19 safety procedures, and new guidelines for entering buildings.

As a pilot, there was plenty of room for confusion and mistakes. However, it was critical that we completed it with few issues. Thanks to the hard work of hundreds of Michigan Engineering faculty members, staff, research fellows, postdocs and graduate students, I am pleased to report that we have made great progress in this endeavor.

As a result, we are now able to begin preparations for Wave 2. Research leadership from across U-M will continue to assess the pilot wave, and will examine important safety metrics. In the meantime, the pilot wave is expected to expand on 4 June, and a second, more expansive wave of research re-engagement will begin 8 June.

Within Engineering, the second wave will include the addition of Lay Auto Lab, IOE, Cooley, NEL, PML, Gerstacker, ERB 1 & 2, CSRB, FXB, NAME, and Rad Sci 1 & 2  to our approved list of buildings that already includes GGB and ECE. A select number of bench labs in those buildings will be allowed to re-open, following all the required safety protocols outlined by the U-M Office of Research. New entry stations are being created to accommodate the increase in personnel. 

I want to thank those faculty and staff members who helped make the pilot wave a success. Countless hours were spent in preparation, and will continue to be spent to help ensure our return to on-campus research is public-health informed, in accordance with state regulations, and is accomplished in a safe and equitable manner. It is through cautious and careful planning – and the diligence of each and every one of you – that we will continue to be successful.