Typical engineering laboratories like our Laboratories support various academic activities including experimental exercises, final year projects, student activities, research project investigations, consultancy and summer trainings for different users, on both full-time and part-time basis. There is a large amount of communication and interaction among these users within the laboratories, and between them and the laboratories every day. The communication and interaction involves loads of information flow, which is prone to long processing time and information loss. Thus, we need to establish a better communication channel and a new Laboratory Information System (LIS) for different users to exchange information. A web-based Laboratory Information System is designed to serve such purpose. It not only provides our users with updated laboratory information, but also allows them to input data, such as inquiries, booking requests, etc. The system is particularly beneficial to part-time students who often find it difficult in communicating with laboratory staff during non-office hours.

The design and implementation of our information and web navigation model is not only restricted for the LAB alone. With slight modifications, it can be applied to other scientific or engineering laboratories readily. One of the major objectives of this project is to serve as a test case to attract more practitioners to enhance the system for a wider range of applications. The web address of this online system is:

Access IntraMEL

The development work of the IntraMEL can be differentiated into four major scopes, which correspond to the following four functionalities:-

  1. Labsheet searching, browsing and download. It is flexible for students to search, browse and download laboratory sheet (labsheet) related to the modules they are undertaking. In order to facilitate the search, module schedules and the labsheets of those courses are recorded on a weekly basis and presented in a form of timetable. Students can view the labsheet contents online. There are also some videos that demonstrate the operations of the equipment.

  2. Technical staff information and timetable. This function is primarily used for students to understand who is responsible for the experiments that they undertake, and check the specialties and availability of the laboratory staff that they would like to discuss with. As the system is not designed for administrative purpose, laboratory staff scheduling issues other than regular experiment support like overtime and research support has not been recorded.

  3. Laboratory Weekday Evening and Saturday Opening Schedule. This function allows students to view which laboratory areas are open in the evening session to support final year projects (FYP).

  4. The Lab Safety Orientation Program. This function acts as an information portal for all new students attending MBE in-house safety briefing session. It includes some in-house developed safety videos, user handbooks and manuals, and a safety assessment test. All new students must attend and pass the tests of this safety orientation programme within the first 2 weeks of the academic year before they are allowed to work in the laboratory.

Last modified on 3 July, 2018