Responding to COVID-19: Research Operations at Birck

Dear Birck Research Community:

We at the Birck Nanotechnology Center are focused on providing a safe and secure shared user facility. As we return to research operations we have implemented safety protocols that are designed to protect everybody using our labs and cleanroom. Following is a summary of new safe requirements to work in Birck (for additional details see the wiki page link below):

  1. Every lab has an associated Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that describes social distancing, sanitation requirements, and maximum capacity to maintain safe people density. To gain access to any lab requires reviewing that lab’s SOP with the lab owner, and signing the SOP to signify you understand and will comply with all the safety protocols.
  2. The Purdue Appointment Scheduling System (PASS) is being used to schedule all labs, except for the main Scifres cleanroom (BRK 2100A). Here is the link to a listing for the calendars and maximum occupancy of all Birck labs: 
  3. The cleanroom has a separate SOP. Working in the cleanroom requires review of the SOP with R. Reger, engineering manager, and signing a document showing acceptance of the protocols. There are limitations for gowning room loading & air shower loading along with general sanitation protocols.
  4. Equipment training requires additional PPE, called Enhanced PPE, in order to protect the trainer & trainee in close proximity to one another.
  5. All exterior doors remain locked and access is granted to those with a need to work in labs, the cleanroom, or offices in the building. Currently access is through the front (east) door and the SE entrance to the building. Sanitation stations are located inside each of these areas.
  6. Social distancing rules apply throughout the facility, including the hallways, break areas, restrooms, and elevators. Some hallways are too narrow to allow 6’ minimum spacing so they are designated as one-way travel.
  7. Face masks are required throughout the facility.
  8. Conference rooms are closed and locked, except for the larger ones that allow proper social distancing.
  9. Hand sanitation dispensers are located throughout the facility, and building users are encouraged to use these frequently.
  10. The custodial staff continues to provide extra sanitation of common surfaces throughout the building.

As we continue to move forward during this pandemic we encourage comments and suggestions for improving our operation and the safety of Birck community. If you have questions or suggestions please direct them to Ron Reger,

Thank you for your cooperation and support!

Ali Shakouri
Mary Jo and Robert L. Kirk Director
Birck Nanotechnology Center

Useful links and attachments