Purdue's response to COVID-19; resources for AAE students, faculty, staff

Purdue University is closely monitoring a pandemic of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The University is offering daily updates on a website with the latest guidance and information for the campus community. It includes links to key resources, answers to frequently asked questions and contact information for additional information and direction.


AAE procedures for shared spaces in Neil Armstrong Hall during the Fall 2021 semester

May 27, 2021

The conference rooms, the desks-only graduate student offices and other similar spaces in Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering (ARMS) are shared spaces for the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AAE) and have, for the most part, not been covered by the research space standard operating procedures (SOPs). 

The AAE Safety Committee discussed the shared spaces in ARMS and has developed the following guidelines for Summer 2021.

1. Graduate student offices (e.g., “desk-only” spaces)

Summary: The School will proceed with reopening of graduate student offices for Summer 2021 on a case-by-case basis upon receiving requests from PIs/faculty advisors; adherence to the Building Standard Operating Guidelines (SOG) and maximal office capacity is required.

  • The School will not open all graduate student offices at once. Instead, the School will proceed with reopening of graduate student offices on a case-by-case basis upon receiving requests from PIs/faculty advisors.
  • If PI/faculty advisor wants their graduate student office reopened, they will email request to Audrey Sherwood. PIs/faculty advisors are required to provide confirmation that certain communication/scheduling system will be implemented among the students in that office to ensure adherence to maximal capacity requirements at all times.
  • The School will prepare graduate student offices being reopened in a way to adhere to Protect Purdue/SOG will place sign indicating the maximal capacity on the office door, and will tape off desks (if needed) together with the PIs.
  • The School has allowed administrative and academic staff to take equipment from their office to their home office, if that is necessary to continue the work. The faculty advisor of graduate students who move Purdue computer equipment from campus must track what equipment the students move. If requested, the staff can help with this tracking.

2. Conference Rooms

Summary: Conference rooms are open; no SOP document is needed. Apply same guidelines as in other public areas in ARMS. Approval for all in-person meetings is required to avoid crowded meetings.

  • The School conference rooms are open.
  • NOTE: ARMS 2007 was converted into a social distance compliant space for scheduled in-person meetings of the academic advising staff with students and will remain in this format for Summer 2021.
  • Many conference rooms now have a posted maximum capacity to comply with social distancing requirements. The number of chairs was reduced, tape or other markings on the floor/tables were added to indicate seat location, etc.
  • Conference rooms are similar to other public areas in ARMS. There will be no additional requirements for these rooms above other building-wide requirements.
  • Meeting scheduling via the Resource Allocation Tool (RAT) system will continue. The updated room capacity was added to the RAT.
  • A simple approval procedure for in-person meetings will be implemented. Meeting requester will need to specify a compelling reason and number of attendees at the time of scheduling in RAT and approval / refusal of the meeting request will be communicated via email. All in-person meeting requests with potential for undefined or poorly-controlled attendance will be denied (e.g., no “typical” walk-in TA office hours will be permitted). 
  • Disinfecting supplies should be used by meeting participants for the area they use upon entering the conference room. 

3. Student learning and collaboration spaces (e.g., converted areas in ARMS 3300 and ARMS 3200 suites)

Summary: These areas will remain closed for Summer 2021. Nearly all activities in these spaces can be completed remotely. Enforcing social distancing and regular disinfecting between users is not practical in these areas.

4. Shared computing lab space (ARMS 2106 / 2106A)

Summary: These areas will remain closed during Summer 2021. All PCs in these rooms continue to be available for remote access. These rooms will be re-opened for Fall 2021.

  • ECN reported that there were very few issues with remote desktop access for these PCs during the Spring 2020-Spring 2021 semesters.
  • Several ITaP computing labs on campus will remain open as a resource for students who need computers and printers.
  • ECN is working with students who are not able to run remote desktop, including those who do not have working computers, to create an arrangement to allow students access to AAE software without going into a public lab.
  • Enforcing social distancing and regular disinfecting between users is not practical in these rooms.
  • The Safety Committee will consider possible ways to operate these rooms safely upon re-opening in Fall 2021.

Message from AAE's head

William Crossley, J. William Uhrig and Anastasia Vournas Head of Aeronautics and Astronautics, updated the AAE community on April 1 about how the School is operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • There are some software licensing issues that we need to be careful about. Some software packages used for instruction have ITAR restrictions. At least one is licensed, so that it can only be used within a 50-mile radius of West Lafayette. ECN is looking into these issues, but if you know of such software being used in AAE, please contact Teresa Cadwallader (tlc3764@purdue.edu).
  • Undergraduate and graduate students can access Matlab Student Use Licenses for the semester. ITaP's Contracts and Licensing group posted contents of its press release on the ECN KnowledgeBase pages. Once in the KnowledgeBase link, a link to the Mathworks website and instructions are available on how to install. 
  • The undergraduate advising office has suspended in-person meetings, and remaining scheduled meetings will be conducted via email. That includes registration and check-ins, etc.
  • Information for new AAE international and funded graduate students has been updated.  
  • The University unveiled its "Protect Purdue" plan to promote a safe campus for the fall.


Reading email often is an important step to staying informed.

  • Admissions has answers to a list of frequently asked questions by undergraduates on a website that will be continually updated.
  • The Purdue COVID-19 Information Center (765-496-4636 or toll free 1-833-571-1043) is staffed by university employees from 8-5 p.m. Monday-Friday to answer student, parent, faculty and staff questions. 

If your Internet access is unreliable, please reach out to
The Office of the Dean of Students
to discuss potential options and alternatives:

Student Checklist/References for Remote Learning
Engineering Computer Network
Support Request/Trouble Report

Alternative Delivery of DRC Services
Disability Resource Center


Immigration Changes
International Students and Scholars


CCO Services in Response to COVID-19
Center for Career Opportunities



COVID-19: Resources for working and learning remotely

Any University-wide communications will be sent via email or Purdue Alert text messaging system. 

Teaching and telecommuting resources

WebEx/virtual meetings:

These tips will help in setting up a WebEx account and utilizing WebEx for virtual meetings.

  • If you don’t already have a WebEx account visit https://one.purdue.edu/ and search for “WebEx.” The first time you access the system, WebEx will create an account based on your career account information.
  • Participants should login to WebEx 10 minutes early to go through the technical set up prior to meetings.
  • WebEx training