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EWS Labs, EWS Policies

This article details the policies regarding Engineering Workstations (EWS labs) resources.

Account Policy

Students in a degree program in at The Grainger College of Engineering or a program that has a partnership with The Grainger College of Engineering, will automatically be given an EWS account as long as they are enrolled in at least one course for the current term. For more about this policy, please see EWS Labs, Account Policy

Lab Reservation Policy

For the list of reservable EWS labs and details about each location, see Any labs not listed there are not controlled by EWS and you must contact the owning department instead.


Below are the requirements for reserving a lab. Any requests not conforming to these requirements will be denied.

  • You must submit an EWS lab reservation request form.
  • Before submitting the form, you must view the current lab open and reserved hours, using the lab web calendars here:
    • Requests for times that are already reserved will be denied.
    • Open hours are subject to change at any time, due to new and changed reservations.
  • You must submit the request at least 10 business days in advance of the first occurrence of the event.
  • Requests may not be submitted earlier than Reading Day of the previous year's semester.
    • e.g. If you are requesting reservations for Spring 2024, you may not submit requests any earlier than Reading Day of Spring 2023.
  • For RSOs, your reservation must be submitted by your Faculty/Staff sponsor.

Reservation priority

While lab reservation requests are generally approved on a first come first served basis, the primary function of the labs is to support the instructional mission of The Grainger College of Engineering. Therefore, reservation use-cases determine the priority of the request, which may result in existing reservations having to be changed. The same also applies to software requests. The priority list is as follows, with lower numbers taking higher priority:

  1. Lab maintenance.
  2. Recurring formal course lecture and discussion sections.
  3. One-time reservation requests for courses.
  4. Requests for RSOs.
  5. Requests from outside The Grainger College of Engineering (reviewed on a case by case basis).

In the event that an existing reservation will need to be changed to accommodate a request with higher priority, EWS will work with all parties involved to see if alternate arrangements are feasible. The reservation form allows you to select a "backup" lab location to assist with this.

Unsupported use-cases

We are unable to take reservations for:

  • Office Hours
    • Instructors and TAs are welcome to hold office hours in departmental labs (subject to availability, contact your department) or in EWS labs during open hours when the lab is not otherwise reserved, while sharing the lab with students using the lab for other coursework. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we must make sure our labs are available to the largest number of students possible.
  • Reservations that Recur Indefinitely

Lab Use Policy

Violation of any EWS policy can result in account suspension and/or loss of access to EWS resources.

  1. No food is permitted. Drinks with lids are permitted.
  2. No disruptive behavior. Headphones shouldn't be heard by others. Cell phone usage should be kept to a minimum.
  3. No sleeping is permitted.
  4. Your EWS account is not to be shared.
  5. All students are required to vacate the EWS labs at the designated lab closing times.
  6. Educational use of workstations takes priority.
  7. Machines left unattended for more than 30 minutes will be logged out.
  8. Do not turn off or unplug lab equipment.
  9. EWS is not responsible for lost, stolen, or unattended items, and does not maintain a "Lost and Found".
  10. All computing activities must comply with University Policies.

Background Policy

To request a background image, Submit a Request

Policies for advertising on EWS computers:

  1. Events advertised must be sponsored by The Grainger College of Engineering.
  2. Images must be submitted in a graphics format (jpg, png) and be exactly 800x600 pixels in resolution.
  3. Text in images must be properly formatted with no spelling or grammatical errors.
  4. Images are displayed for 1-week (Monday - Sunday) on a first come, first served basis. EWS staff reserve the right to modify requested display dates to fit with preexisting requests.
  5. EWS staff has final say as to whether or not an image is acceptable, and will only post images as workload permits. Display dates are therefore not guaranteed.

Software Request Policy

Instructors and TAs that are responsible for a course may request software be installed at

This request form will capture all of the information that EWS staff need to complete the installation. Software requests must be tied to an academic course with an assigned CRN. EWS Labs are an instructional resource; due to the terms of our software license contracts and instructional funding for EWS resources, EWS computers may not be used for research. The instructor is also responsible for coordinating with their department's business office to purchase the appropriate software licenses, if applicable.

Please keep in mind that EWS staff will need time to automate mass deployment of software packages within the EWS environment, and there is often a queue of requests from across the College. Software requests may take up to 10 business days to process (or more for multiple software titles). We strongly recommend submitting your requests as early as possible. We also recommend testing the software prior to using it in class to ensure that it is working as expected.

Software is only guaranteed to be available for the semester that it is requested for. EWS Staff reserve the right to remove software from managed systems between semesters. This is to ensure an operable working environment for students using the lab computers.

Before submitting a request, make sure it is not part of our core software list: EWS Labs, EWS Lab software

Students requiring software for their courses should contact their instructor or TA to make the request on behalf of the course. 

Maintenance Windows

Daily Maintenance: Daily between 4am and 7am
EWS-supported computers have a maintenance window daily from 4am to 7am to perform preventative maintenance, software upgrades, and operating system patches.

Weekly Maintenance:  Every Monday between midnight and 5am
EWS-supported computers have an additional maintenance window every Monday morning from midnight to 5am to receive the latest patches from Microsoft and other vendors such as Adobe, etc. This stacks with the daily maintenance window to create a window from midnight to 7am.

Reboots during maintenance windows
Computers may reboot upon completing installations/updates if required. Whenever possible, advance warning will be given to logged-in users.

Research Computing Policy

Use of EWS resources for academic research purposes is prohibited. This includes both the physical computer labs and virtual resources, (i.e. Engineering Citrix and FastX services). For more about this policy, please see:

Printing Policy

For more details about printing and best practices, please see EWS Labs, Printing and refund policies.

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KeywordsEWS Lab Account Policies Reservation Printing background research maintenance   Doc ID84207
OwnerKhlaf A.GroupEngineering IT
Shared Services
Created2018-07-23 10:12:49Updated2024-05-06 13:12:49
SitesUniversity of Illinois Engineering IT
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