COVID-19 details

Recharge work

Tech Spark will continue to perform recharge work to support research enterprise. Contact Brian Zimmermann for more information.

Other details and links

Facility layout


Room capacity


Detailed plan for Fall 2020 (pdf)


Provide students, faculty, and staff of CMU with access to physical, digital, and intellectual resources that advance the university’s initiatives in education, research, extracurriculars, and entrepreneurship.


Due to the importance of physical distancing, each room of the Tech Spark prototyping facility will have a maximum occupancy with individually designated work stations. Each of these stations will be available for 2-hour long time slots Monday through Sunday. At the end of each time slot, all users must vacate Tech Spark for its employees to conduct cleaning. Exceptions will not be made, even for users with back-to-back time slots. Learn more about the layout of Tech Spark. Learn more about room capacities.


To provide our campus community with a high quality experience, access to Tech Spark will only be granted to those currently enrolled in Tech Spark taught courses, enrolled in courses partnered with Tech Spark, faculty/staff/TAs teaching courses partnered with Tech Spark, and/or active in specific student organizations. This policy will be enforced through an online reservation system. For those interested in having Tech Spark conduct prototyping on their behalf, contact Shop Manager Brian Zimmermann (bzimmerm@andrew.cmu.edu) for a quote with our standard rate. Anyone interested in conducting their own work in TechSpark is encouraged to enroll in 24-210 Maker Series: Inventive Projects (1 to 6 unit mini), which is supportive of access to TechSpark for research, extracurriculars, and other personal projects.


Fall 2020 classes update

  • All enrolled and waitlisted students must be willing and able to come to campus for in-class activities and outside-class homework/projects.
  • Students in Mini 1 must be able to attend in person class starting September 14, 2020 while following the 14-day post travel quarantine.
  • Students in Mini 2 must attend in person and are required to conclude their studies remotely after Thanksgiving break.

CMU community

All policies identified below are consistent with CMU’s most current safety requirements for on-campus activities. See CMU’s website for requirements regarding physical distancing, facial coverings, hygiene, and temperature checks.


  • Anyone experiencing cold or flu like symptoms must stay home. These include but are not limited to:
    fever, cough, sneezing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pressure, stuffy nose, sore throat, loss of taste, loss of smell, headache, body ache, muscle pain, and/or chills.

Physical distancing

Everyone is expected to adhere to 6 foot physical distancing protocols while occupying the Tech Spark prototyping facility. To assist with identifying individual work stations, note the provided floor markings, transparent barriers, and table/chair spacing. Exceptions will not be made, even for people working in groups or cohabitating, they must conduct work at 6 feet apart. Note, transparent barriers contribute to fulfilling the required separation for stations less than 6 feet apart.

Face masks

It is required to wear a face mask that covers the nose and mouth to gain entrance and use of Tech Spark. For anyone who’s mask breaks or has insufficient function, they will be required to leave immediately and may return upon fulfilling this requirement.


Everyone is expected to sanitize their hands at the entrance and exit of Tech Spark using the hand sanitizer stations provided. Everyone is encouraged to clean their hands after coming into contact with high touch surfaces, which can be done using available hand sanitizer stations or sinks with soap and warm water. It is important to recognize that touching your phone, laptop, or other personal objects can be equivalent to touching your face, please be conscientious of this with your hygiene practices as you work in a shared facility.

Temperature checks

Temperature readings will occur if required by the university. Scenarios for temperature screenings include those performed by University Health Services for 14 days following an identified exposure.

Contact tracing

Everyone is required to contribute towards a digital log for contact tracing by checking in at the HH C101 entrance and checking out at the ANSYS C05 or HH C124 exits of TechSpark. Upon entering, users will utilize the CMU ID tap station to display “green light” access to the HelpDesk attendant and confer their online reservation with the HelpDesk attendant. Please note all current signage, which will provide details on our procedures for use and safety.


Tech Spark will have maximum occupancy per room, thus a finite number of time slots for work stations are available each week through an online reservation system. A partnered course may submit reservations to utilize Tech Spark within the maximum room capacity requirements no less than 2 weeks prior to the activity. Students enrolled in Tech Spark taught courses, enrolled in courses partnered with Tech Spark, faculty/staff/TAs teaching courses partnered with Tech Spark, and/or active in specific student organizations have access to Tech Spark to make individual reservations for work stations up to 1 week prior to the activity. Anyone that is 15+ minutes late to their reservation will forfeit that reservation, allowing that work station to be available for a walk-in. A walk-in occurs when an individual with access to Tech Spark initiates use of a non-reserved work station during the currently active time slot, which is available on a first come first serve basis. This will not count as a use of allotted times slots per week for those currently enrolled in Tec hSpark taught courses, enrolled in courses partnered with Tech Spark, faculty/staff/TAs teaching courses partnered with TechSpark, and/or active in specific student organizations. Read more about information and scheduling


Anyone occupying a work station in Tech Spark must follow the posted cleaning requirements for that station. These may include but are not limited to wiping a station clean after use by sanitizing it themselves or placing used tools in designated bins for Tech Spark employees to sanitize. At the end of each time slot, during which all users must exit without exception, additional cleaning will be performed by Tech Spark employees.

Safety glasses

Everyone is responsible for bringing their own safety glasses. Safety glasses will be provided to students enrolled in TechSpark courses during the first meeting of class. Safety glasses will not be available via loan, but new ones may be purchased at the HelpDesk.


All policies will be enforced. Violators will have their access to Tech Spark revoked for 1 week in first offense, 2 weeks in the second offense, and 1 month in the third offense. TechSpark is not responsible for a student’s inability to access resources for required coursework or other activities due to offenses.

24-hour shut down plan

Powered equipment

Tech Spark employees will ensure all necessary equipment is powered down, unplugged, or in standby mode.

Student materials

Tables will be set up in the ANSYS hallway and all partnered course bins and materials will be placed so that people may get access after Tech Spark is locked. Our goal is to ensure access. While Tech Spark will do what we can to assist it will be the responsibility of the instructor to coordinate distribution of project materials.