Computer Lab Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains questions that are frequently asked about the Simulation Lab (Room 112) and the Instrumentation Lab (Room 105).

General Questions

How do I get access to the computer lab?

Access to the Simulation lab (Room 112) is available 24 hours a day via swipe card using your Penn State student ID. Just swipe the card through the card reader located at either door to the computer lab. If your card is replaced or is not working, please see Mr. Meyers (Room 111A) to reset your access.

Access to the Instrumentation Lab (Room 105) is only during class hours (8 AM to 5 PM). If Room 112 is full, you may ask to use the computers in Room 105 if there is not a class.

How do I get access to Hallowell Building?

The card reader is located on the east side of the building which is facing Atherton Street. Graduate students are granted access to Hallowell 24 hours a day via card swipe using your Penn State student ID. Undergraduate students may be granted 24 hour access to Hallowell for classes via card swipe using your Penn State student ID. Anyone requesting access via card swipe must complete the Facility Authorization Request form with appropriate signatures and return to Gary Meyers in Room 111A.

What hours are the computer labs available?

The Simulation Lab (Room 112) is open 24 hours a day unless it is in use by a class. Class times are posted on the lab doors.

The Instrumentation Lab (Room 105) is for class use only from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Is there a lost and found? I left something in the computer lab and now can’t find it.

Yes, there is a lost and found. The labs are generally checked each morning for items left. Also, other students may turn in items found when working at a computer. Check in Room 111A or in Room 205 for items that may have been found or returned.

Computer Questions

Why do the computers go to sleep?

The University and the College of Engineering have a green computing initiative to help reduce power used by computers. For this reason, computers go to sleep after being inactive for 15 minutes.

Where should I save my data?

You should save your work on either the U-drive or PASS space. These drives are available as follows:

  • U: Your PSU U drive.
  • W: Your PSU Pass space.

Do not permanently save work on the BIOCOMM (N:) share. This share will be cleared out periodically to make it easy to find stuff. This drive is used by professors to share files with all students or you may use it to share files among students in a group.

Do not save work on the local (C:) drive. The computers will be re-imaged periodically so you will lose anything you save locally.

How do I log on to the computer? What is my password?

The computers in Simulation Lab (Room 112) and the Instrumentation Lab(Room 105) use your Penn State access account (xyz5000) and password.

Why do the monitors power off while I’m working?

The College of Engineering is pushing a green initiative to save power on computers. Part of this is to put the computers to sleep when they are not in use. The timing for computers to go to sleep is:

  • 5 minutes: monitor put to sleep
  • 10 minutes: hard drive put to sleep
  • 15 minutes: computer put on standby

To wake the computer up, simply tap a key on the keyboard.

Printing Problems

I’ve used up all my allotted printing pages. What can I do?

First-year students and sophomores are given 100 pages per semester they are enrolled in a BME class. Juniors and seniors are given 250 pages per semester they are enrolled in a BME class. Graduate students are given 250 pages per semester they are enrolled in a BIOE class. Students may not request additional printing pages once they have used their allotted printing for the semester.

When I print, nothing comes out on the printer.

Your printing account may not be set up or you may be at or near your allotted printing pages. Please see Mr. Meyers to verify your printing account is properly set up.

The printer says low toner.

The printer will generally continue printing with low toner. However, please inform Mr. Meyers that the printer toner is low so he can have a replacement cartridge available.

Software Questions

What software is installed in the labs?

For a list of software available on the computers, see the biomedical engineering computer labs page, which has the most up-to-date list.

I need software X installed. Can I install it, or can I have it installed?

Students do not have access to install software in the computer labs. You may request software X be installed in the computer lab, but depending on the nature and usefulness of the software it may or may not get approved.

May I have a copy of the software installed in the computer lab to install on my own computer?

The answer to this is maybe. Some software is freely available and can be downloaded from the internet (links provided below). Other software is purchased by license and the department purchases enough copies to use in the labs. To install this software on other computers would be a violation of our license agreements.

Currently, Penn State has an agreement for students to upgrade to Windows 8.1 and/or Office 2013 for free on their personal computers. Links for this are below.



The Department of Biomedical Engineering administers the undergraduate major in biomedical engineering, and is a part of the university-wide Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering. Our work combines traditional engineering principles with medicine and technology for the betterment of human health and society. 

Department of Biomedical Engineering

122 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-863-6614