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IES For Researchers

IIHR researchers, like James Buchholz (above right), can conduct specialized research with the help of ESS’s experienced staff and adaptable facilities.

IIHR researchers, like James Buchholz (above right), can conduct specialized research with the help of IES’ experienced staff and adaptable facilities.

At IIHR, our faculty members, students, and staff work together to understand one of the world’s greatest resources—water. As a researcher and educator, you will be an integral part of IIHR’s comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to education, which includes basic fluid mechanics (including water, air, and blood), laboratory experimentation, and computational approaches.

At the institute, researchers work in close cooperation with IIHR Engineering Services (IES) staff on projects funded by industry, government, and other organizations. IES staff support research and educational activities in the laboratories, as well as in the field. Staff develop, construct, and maintain research apparatus, equipment, models, and facilities to support IIHR’s educational and research mission. Staff strive to achieve these goals in the most responsive, accurate, efficient, and cost-effective means possible.

Key resources in the IES group include IIHR’s Mechanical, Electronics, and Machine Shops, located in the South Campus annexes. IES currently employs 16 full- and part-time staff and 11 undergraduate student employees. For a complete list, description, and interactive map of the facilities, visit:


Mechanical Shop hours are 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. on Friday. IIHR buildings are open during these work hours, but must remain locked at all other times. Doors must not be unlocked or propped open outside stated working hours.


IIHR takes the safety of students, staff, and faculty very seriously. Due to the ongoing construction and research projects in many of our laboratories, safety precautions are paramount. Mandatory training to operate lasers, power equipment, forklifts, scissors lift, trailers, boats, etc., is required for all students, faculty, and staff who will be using the equipment. Due to safetly and liability concerns, much of the equipment cannot be used by students without proper training AND direct supervision of shop staff.  Brandon Barquist should be contacted regarding permission to use equipment and required safety training.

Equipment and Resources

For the convenience of Mechanical Shop personnel, equipment and tools are kept in unlocked, unsecured areas of several IIHR buildings. Although it may appear as if these tools are available for anyone to use, this is not the case. The following is intended to clarify the uses, purposes, and procedures related to IIHR Mechanical Shops resources.

  • Hand and Power Tools: Shop tools and equipment are essential to our daily work. They are also expensive and potentially dangerous. ONLY Mechanical Shop personnel are allowed to use power equipment. Many Mechanical Shop machines can amputate a limb without warning or effort. The hand tools, while much safer to use, are generally not “loaned out.” The shop has hand tools that are dedicated to student and/or researcher use wherever needed in our facilities. If these tools do not seem to be available, or if special tools are required, please talk to Mechanical Shop Supervisor Brandon Barquist.
  • Pumps: Start-up, shut-down, unattended operation, maintenance, high voltage. Many types of pumping equipment are available, each with its own peculiarities. While some pumps can be used unattended, others cannot. Some are simple to operate, and others are complex. Pump operations should be reviewed with Brandon Barquist prior to use.
  • Electrical Power: Building electrical supply, overloading, interruptions, locations, ground fault interrupters.Electricity and water do not mix. Please discuss power usage with Brandon Barquist if it is beyond what is required to light your work area or operate your computer. The fire marshal will cite IIHR for any improper use of electrical power near wet areas — help us avoid this!
  • Vehicles: IIHR maintains a variety of vehicles for the use of faculty, staff, and occasionally students. Requests for vehicle use should generally be directed to Laura Myers (IIHR main office) or Brandon Barquist (Mechanical Shop), depending on which vehicle is requested. IIHR vehicles may be used for authorized IIHR business only.
  • Protocols: Income from research grants and contracts provides funding for the Engineering Services Shops and their personnel and supplies/equipment. The shop receives no state funding. Therefore, an IIHR account number is required for almost any work done in the shop. Time and materials will be charged to this account number.
  • Protocol for Shop Requests:
    • Task requests must be approved by the student’s advisor or the project PI.
    • Task requests should be directed to Brandon Barquist.
    • If possible, shop staff requires drawings and/or sketches, or at minimum written descriptions of the requested work.
    • Shop staff and the work requester must come to an agreement on the maximum charge and completion time frame for the task or project.
    • The requester should clearly communicate any specific or unusual requirements.
  • Use of Shop Materials: The shop has a large inventory of miscellaneous materials, fasteners, widgets, gizmos, and otherwise interesting stuff, which is kept on hand for a wide variety of needs. In many cases, these items can be donated or lent to research efforts. Other items must remain available for shop use. Students and others should talk to Brandon Barquist about use of these items.
  • Boats: IIHR has a variety of boats and instrumentation available for use in field data collection programs. Available boats range from kayaks for small streams and backwater areas to large multi-engine boats suitable for large navigable rives and lakes. Boat and instrumentation reservations should be coordinated through Brandon Barquist. IIHR has strict boat operator requirements and can provide a qualified boat operator with advance notice. Boat operator training can be provided on an as-needed basis for longer term projects. Training should be discussed with and coordinated through Troy Lyons.
  • Recharge Rates: IIHR maintains a wide variety of equipment and instrumentation, including state-of-the-art survey equipment, flow meters, velocity meters, generators, boats, vehicles, trailers, field laptops, and many other items that are available for lease to projects on a first-come first-served basis. The revenue generated from use of this equipment is used to maintain existing equipment in good working order, update equipment as needed, and invest in additional equipment. See Brandon Barquist regarding rates, reservations, and use of the equipment.
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Last modified on August 30th, 2016
Posted on July 1st, 2014

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