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Department of Materials Science and Engineering modifies operations

Ohio State University issued a state of emergency on 3/22/20 (Policy 6.17)

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering Continuity information

Photo of Michael Mills, Chair of DMSE Ohio StateDr. Michael Mills, Chair of the Department of Materials Science and EngineeringThe Materials Science and Engineering and Welding Engineering faculty want to employ all necessary precautions during this coronavirus pandemic to ensure the safety of everyone within and associated with the department. It is for this reason, and after much discussion, that we have transitioned our administrative, technical, and research teams to remote working environments. As a result, we rapidly suspended research personnel in our Watts, MacQuigg, Smith, EJTC, and CEMAS labs, effective March 16, 2020. Supervisors have advised students and researchers on how to proceed with research during this remote working period (e.g. writing, lit review, modeling, designing, planning, etc.). We are currently enacting plans to ensure that we can restart in a safe and efficient manner once the pandemic is under control.

Any person with a justified reason to visit campus at this time is required to perform a health check prior to arriving on campus. A daily health check reports body temperature and health status and is required for all faculty, staff and students each day they intend to be on Ohio State’s campus. This daily check will be reported through the Ohio State mobile app or
We will keep all lines of communication open and will update you as we get new information. Please see the sections below for details.

Local closures and modifications

We did not come by this decision lightly. We did so as a result of the actions currently being taken by our university, the State of Ohio, neighboring states, and neighboring countries. Ohio State has mandated that students move off campus, face-to-face classes cease, all non-essential events be canceled, people meet by teleconference instead of in-person, and work be performed remotely. Collectively, the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering has agreed that all non-essential activities in our research spaces be paused by March 20, 2020.  

Our decision to suspend lab access and temporarily close buildings was done in line with the requests of the university and government to minimize your risk of contracting the virus. Cleaning supplies are being purchased, and enhanced cleaning protocols are being developed in preparation for the re-opening of the labs. Scheduling portals of all major equipment/labs are being developed to ensure social distancing in the lab upon re-opening. 

In addition, the faculty will be severely limiting their mobility. We suggest that all members of the department, including our students, follow the health officials' recommendations on how to take care of yourself and your loved ones during this pandemic.

Building Access (updated July 9)

Access to these facilities must be arranged through the designated contact
EJTC (west campus) - Ed Pfeiffer
CEMAS (west campus) - Amanda Ponomarenko
Watts Hall - Elvin Beach
MacQuigg Lab - Elvin Beach
Smith Lab - Ken Kushner

These closures are temporary, but our materials science and welding engineering community is permanent. Please be assured that we are doing this out of an abundance of caution, and we will reopen the labs when it is safe. Times are uncertain, and this is an adjustment for faculty, staff, and students alike.

Parking garages

Normal access resumed on July 20. 


Libraries (updated July 13)

All libraries on campus, including the 18th Street Library, are operating on a limited basis. 

1. Book returns resume Monday, July 13. Materials can be deposited in the book drops located off Neil Ave in the drive-thru turnaround north of Thompson Library, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. All returned materials will be quarantined before being checked in and made available to other users. If you or a member of your household are ill, we ask that you continue to renew your materials and wait to return them until you have been symptom free for 72 hours.  

2. Contact-free material pickup will become available on the dates listed immediately below. Regardless of storage location, all pickups will take place at the Oval entrance to Thompson Library. Requests for physical materials from Ohio State collections should be made through the online catalog (search for the desired item, click on “Request this item,” and follow prompts). Once your request is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to schedule a time to pick up your materials. 

Materials from University Libraries collections will become available for request and contact-free pickup as FOD clears buildings for safe and healthy occupancy. The dates (subject to change) are as follows:

  • July 15: Thompson Library
  • July 20: Architecture Library, Biological Sciences/Pharmacy Library, Book Depository, FAES Library & Student Success Center, Geology Library, and Veterinary Medicine Library
  • August 1018th Avenue Library, Fine Arts Library and Music & Dance Library

3. ILLiad scanning of content from our collections is also dependent on building occupancy and is scheduled to resume as follows (ILLiad scanning of non-subscribed journals, as always, is available now):

  • July 20: Thompson Library
  • July 20: Architecture Library, Biological Sciences/Pharmacy Library, Book Depository, FAES Library & Student Success Center, Geology Library, and Veterinary Medicine Library
  • August 1018th Avenue Library, Fine Arts Library and Music & Dance Library

4. HathiTrust and the National Emergency Library:

  • Items available though "Emergency Temporary Access" at HathiTrust will cease to be available when (or shortly after) we gain access to our print collections in mid to late July.  We will retain access to items that are part of our permanent HathiTrust subscription.
  • Due to lawsuits brought by major publishers, as of June 16, items available through the “National Emergency Library,” were restricted to include only items which we held in print in our libraries.  This access will cease when we regain access to our print collections in mid-July to early August.

5. Print course reserve services have been temporarily suspended for AU semester (  

6. Course e-texts:  Although publisher’s often won’t sell e-texts to libraries, if a publisher will sell an e-text to us, we work to ensure access (Engineering e-texts, Chemistry e-texts).  If you are exploring ways to reduce textbook costs and wish to know more about e-texts that can be purchased by the libraries,  let me know and I can help sort through the various options.  Another option for e-texts is CarmenBooks

7.  Streaming media:  If you are looking for streaming media to enhance your AU classes, we hold subscriptions to Films on Demand and Kanopy, both of which contain substantial science and engineering content.  Content in Films on Demand is immediately accessible. Much of the Kanopy content is immediately accessible, however, some titles require a request process.  For those titles or for any streaming media you might need that does not appear in our catalog you can place a request  with the Streaming Media request form.

8. New from library services

Taylor and Frances Read and Publish Agreement. Under this agreement, Ohio State authors can publish their articles in T&F journals with Open Access terms, at no cost to the author. Additionally, we gain full access to T&F’s journal collection, including many science and engineering journals for which we did not previously hold a subscription. FAQs. 

SciFinder(n) (vs. regular SciFinder).  We will be updating to SciFindern as soon as the platform has been evaluated for and properly meets Ohio State’s Digital Accessibility Policy (this could take a while).  When it is rolled out, there should be a short period during which both the old and new products are available.

Cambridge University Press Core Collection of e-books.  As of June 1, we are participating in an agreement via OhioLINK for Cambridge University Press Core e-books. The agreement provides unlimited user access for front-list e-books published from 2015 forward, for a five-year term ending in 2025. FAQs.

Henry Stewart Talks. Our subscription to Henry Stewart Talks which includes The Biomedical and Life Sciences Collection now contains access to a full undergraduate series of lectures on the Principles of Biochemistry.

The following are links to electronic books provided by Ohio State libraries.

Library contact: Belinda Hurley | 614-688-5800


The following information are ways that the CoE, Knowlton, and broader Ohio State University community are responding to the COVID-19 situation in positive, constructive, and value-added ways. This information is not only comparative good news, but is also a window into how each of us can perhaps contribute positively - by playing some offense and leveraging our very real individual empowerment to build positive change - in addition to the many defensive measures we’ve taken to combat this situation. An early window into some of these include:

  • Can’t Stop Columbus, a grassroots and local movement that began approximately a week ago, with the idea to organize a virtual hack-a-thon to solve immediate and local challenges in our community. Today, approximately 200 Ohio State students, faculty, and staff are engaged, on projects that range from design and fabrication of protective face-masks, building a local employment web-site to help advertise jobs from organizations that are hiring amidst the pandemic to help people find viable work more quickly, and helping solve food distribution challenges with the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.
  • The Ohio State Wexner medical supply drop-off center, where you can donate certain unopened (sealed) medical supplies.
  • Specific research activities, and world-class Ohio State expertise, tied directly to understanding and inhibiting the spread of COVID-19, being performed across our Ohio State community.


Marie Mead is the designated point of approval for purchases within the College. If you can delay purchases, please do. Purchases that are approved are prioritized.


It is very important that you work to maintain your physical, emotional, and mental health during these times. Please let us know if you need any support.

On behalf of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, stay safe and use all virtual resources to remain in contact and productive.


Michael Mills