Computer Lab Policies

The Department of Biomedical Engineering maintains two labs for computer and class use. The Simulation lab in 112 Hallowell offers 25 Windows computers and one Mac computer for graduate and undergraduate use. The Instrumentation lab in 105 Hallowell is reserved for class use and offers 12 workstations with computers and other tools.

For quick answers to common questions, see our Computer Lab FAQs page.

Use Guidelines

Use of the computer lab is simple.

  1. Please take care of the lab.
  2. Do not use food or drink in the lab.
  3. Do not leave the lab without logging off the computer so someone else can use the computer after you.
  4. Do not save your work on the local hard drive. All drives will be cleaned periodically.
  5. If you are the last person leaving the lab, please make sure the doors and windows are closed and the lights are turned off.

Door/Building Access

The Simulation lab (112 Hallowell) can be accessed 24 hours a day using your Penn State student ID. Swipe it like any other card access on campus. If you get a new ID, the new card number must be entered into the database before the card will operate the door. Classes using the Simulation lab have priority over general use.

The Instrumentation lab (105 Hallowell) can only be accessed from 8 AM to 5 PM with permission. Lab classes have priority over general use. Students should use this lab only when the Simulation lab is full.

Hallowell Building is locked after 6 PM daily. Access to the building after 6 PM is via card access using your Penn State student ID. The card access is located on the east side of Hallowell. To be granted access, there must be a legitimate reason, such as class or research.

If your card access does not work for either the computer lab or building, please see Gary Meyers in 111A Hallowell. If you have not had access before, please complete the Facility Authorization Request form with appropriate signatures.

Computer Access

Graduate and undergraduate students are granted access throughout the period they are enrolled in the biomedical engineering department. Non-biomedical engineering students are only given an account for the semester they are enrolled in a BME or BIOE class.

Logging on to computers requires you to be enrolled in a BME or BIOE class and have a valid Penn State access account (xyz5000) and password.

Remember to log off computers when leaving the lab so others can use the computer after you.

Saving Work

Students may connect to their Penn State U-drive or PASS space from the computer lab.

Do not save work on the local computer! Computers may be re-imaged periodically or as needed. This helps computers to continue to operate with a minimum amount of problems.

Do not save work in the BIOCOMM share. This share will be periodically cleared of any extra data.


Both the Simulation Lab and Instrumentation Lab have printers available. Graduate and undergraduate computer accounts have access to these printers. 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. Graudate 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.

This printing allotment is separate from the printing allotment provided by the University for use in University computer labs.


The following software is available in both the Simulation Lab and Instrumentation Lab unless otherwise noted.

  • Microsoft Office 2010 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, Publisher)
  • Matlab 2014a & Simulink
  • COMSOL 4.4 – includes the following modules in the Simulation Lab only:
    Comsol Multiphysics
    AC/DC Module
    CFD Module
    Chemical Reaction Engineering Module
    MEMS Module
    Microfluidics Module
    Nonlinear Stuctural Materials Module
    Particle Tracing Module
    RF Module
    Structural Mechanics Module
    CAD Import Module
  • Solid Works 2013 SP3 (Simulation Lab only)
  • Endnote (Simulation Lab only)
  • Mendeley Reference Manager (Simulation Lab only)
  • BIOPAC – the Instrumentation Lab has access to hardware; the Simulation Lab can only be used to process data
  • ImageJ
  • Futurix Imager
  • Firefox web browser
  • Google Chrome web browser
  • Adobe Reader and Flash Player
  • Apple Quicktime player
  • Java
  • Putty and XMing (simulation lab only)
  • Exceed on Demand (simulation lab only)
  • SSH Client (simulation lab only)
  • WinSCP (simulation lab only)


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