MSE Safety & Equipment Newsletter 

November/December 2022 

Important Upcoming Dates

  • November 23-25: Thanksgiving Break – no classes and, as such, MSE 499 and MSE 430 students are not permitted to work in the lab during this timeframe.
  • December 17: The last day that MSE 499 and MSE 430 students are permitted to work in the labs until spring semester resumes on January 9.
  • December 23 through January 2: Winter Recess – administrative, faculty, and technical staff will not be available. MSE personnel should exercise additional caution and use the buddy system for lab activities that need to take place during this time period.

Safety Best Practices: Wintertime Safety 

With winter approaching, it is good to be aware and prepared for cold temperatures and extreme weather conditions. Make sure that you have a solid set of winter gear. Gloves and a warm hat are a must. Dress in multiple layers, at least three on the coldest days: a base layer, an insulating layer, and an outer shell layer. For working and playing outdoors, avoid 100% cotton clothing as it will absorb water & sweat and remove heat from your body. Opt instead for something with better “wicking” action like synthetic fleece or wool. For footwear, get sturdy shoes or boots that provide traction on ice and snow. And if driving someplace, find out about the driving conditions before leaving home. From the Indiana Dept. of Transportation (INDOT): “Safe drivers know the weather, and their limits. If the weather is bad, remember, Ice and Snow, Take it Slow, or just don’t go.”

And let’s not forget about personal health and safety...

The end of the semester brings excitement for winter recess and the new year mixed with the stress and gloom of less daylight and more deadlines. Here is a collection of links which may be helpful:

Flood Awareness & Campus Reporting

The change in weather brings freeze-thaw cycling and the potential for flooding from broken waterlines. While uncommon, this has happened before in MSE lab and office spaces. To report a major flood on campus, call Purdue Police Dispatch Center at 765-494-8221. This includes floods involving standing water, actively running water, and outdoor water flowing from the ground. For smaller visible floods, contact the laboratory supervisor or MSE staff (contact info. posted on all lab doors). For other flood-related questions or concerns, such as stained ceiling tiles and bubbling paint on walls, contact Ryan Tyson at REM (765-426-7916, 

Prescription Safety Glasses 

With the holidays approaching, perhaps it is time to enhance your PPE and purchase some prescription safety glasses! Prescription eyewear that is impact resistant with side shields is available for you to purchase from a variety of places, including online through Stoggles and from your local eye doctor, including Evans, Piggot, & Finney in the Purdue Memorial Union. 

Staff Changes

Let’s all congratulate Talukder Alam on his new position as a research scientist for new Purdue’s Electron Microscopy Center. While Talukder no longer directly works for MSE, he will continue to manage our Quanta 650 SEM in ARMS B218. Researchers can continue to request equipment training through iLab:

PUMA Updates

Thank you to all who came out to the PUMA Lab Cleaning days this semester! They were a great success, and we’ll be having more in the spring so stay tuned! - Cameron Hillsman

Reminder: ARMS 2130/2132/2136 First Friday Clean-Ups 

The MSE Safety Committee in consultation with REM facilitates monthly clean-up sessions for the Sample Prep / Polishing / Microscopy lab spaces in ARMS (ARMS 2136, 2132, and 2130).  All active lab users of these spaces are required to help with 2 clean-up sessions per year, which take place on the first Friday of every month from 3-4 pm. The next cleaning session will be Friday, December 2. To sign-up for this session or any future session, please click here:

Equipment Reporting Reminder

If you encounter a piece of broken equipment, or have any questions about a specific piece of equipment, you should contact a member of the MSE Technical Staff:

  • For sample prep (i.e., saws, grinding wheels) equipment: Tim VanMeter
  • For mechanical testing equipment and general use equipment checklist suggestions: Jenni Fifer
  • For SEM: Talukder Alam
  • For characterization equipment, scan the QR code.

Important Links and Contact Information






Thanks for reading everyone!


Prof. Erk, Jenni, and the MSE Safety Committee