Technical Note - Laboratory Access and Rules


ECS operates laboratories in the Cotton, Alan MacDiarmid and Laby buildings. This document lists the access restrictions and rules to be adhered to when using these facilities.



Laboratory Facilities Hours Open
CO219, CO238, CO242, CO243 ECS 100-300 level UNIX labs Weekdays, 7AM - 7PM (swipe card access at all other times)
CO236, CO237 ECS Group Project UNIX Lab Swipe card access only
CO246 NWEN UNIX Lab Swipe card access only
CO232, CO228 ECS 400-level UNIX labs Swipe card access only
CO249 ECS 300 level Electronics labs (Windows Systems) Weekdays during term time, 8:30AM - 5:00PM (no a/h access)
LB217 ECS 200 level Electronics lab (Windows Systems) Weekdays during term time, 8:30AM - 5:30PM (no a/h access)
AM219 ECS 400 level Electronics labs (Windows Systems) Swipe card access only
In addition to the above labs, CO242a and CO242b are small group meeting rooms with a capacity of 5/6 people. They each contain a large wall mounted screen connected to a UNIX desktop computer with an additional connection for a laptop. These rooms can be booked by students via the school office (CO358) for course-work related meetings.

Building access

After 7PM on weekdays and on Saturday and Sunday access into the Cotton, Alan MacDiarmid and Laby buildings may require a swipe card.

Access cards

Student ID cards function as swipe cards for access to ECS labs and the buildings they are in. Setting up your access card should happen automatically; if you find that you do not have access to the buildings/labs you believe you should, talk to a member of the ECS technical support team.

ALERT! When leaving a laboratory during after-hours periods, make certain that you have your access card with you. You will need it to re-enter the laboratory. You should also lock your computer screen and take any valuables with you (unless you are able to leave them with a trusted friend).


The laboratories of the School of Engineering and Computer Science are provided to enable students to complete work for their courses. This includes timetabled lab sessions, assigned project work and research in support of your course work.

The following rules are intended to minimise the disruption for students using the ECS labs. The University also has a number of policies and statutes that define appropriate student behaviour such as the Acceptable Use of Information Systems Statute and the Student Conduct Statute. If the ECS lab rules appear to conflict with any University-wide policies or statutes the latter will take precedence.

  1. Lab users must identify themselves when requested to do so by a member of the University’s staff.
  2. All users must currently be enrolled in a course offered by the school or otherwise be authorised by a school staff member to use lab facilities.
  3. Computer users must not use others’ accounts, knowingly allow other users to use their account and must take reasonable precautions to avoid their account being used by others without their knowledge (eg: see our technical note on avoiding phishing).
  4. Lab users with ECS coursework to complete have priority over other lab users. As a privilege, users may also use computers, but not printers, for personal or non-ECS University work activities.
  5. Lab users must not attempt to subvert laboratory security (ie: running password cracking or network snooping programs, unless authorised by a school staff member).
  6. Some labs (ie: the electronics labs) have specific health and safety rules which must be observed while using them. These rules are available in the labs and should be explained to you by a lab tutor or school staff member.
  7. Users must not interfere with computer or instrument hardware except as part of an organised laboratory or experiment.
    • do not unplug cables
    • do not try to clear paper jams in printers yourself. (Send a message to
    • do not switch off any machines
  8. Locking the display of a computer is permitted (and is encouraged) during brief absences from the laboratory. However, lab users are not allowed to lock a machine for a longer period (e.g. a class) as a way of reserving that computer.
  9. Eating or drinking in the labs is not permitted except in designated areas (eg: the couches in CO232 and CO240).
  10. Users may not distract others who are doing coursework. Examples include:
    • Excessive, loud or offensive talking. Collaboration is encouraged but where a conversation may disturb other lab users please move to a social area outside the lab.
    • Playing of audio from computers, iPods, etc. must be through head phones and be at a volume that is not audible to other users.
    • There is to be no playing of games in the labs.
    • On entering a lab please turn your mobile phone to meeting mode (vibrate) and conduct phone conversations outside of the lab.
  11. The Acceptable Use of Information Systems Statute prohibits users from:
    • perpetrating fraud or harassment by email or similar means
    • obtaining offensive material over the network
    • incurring unauthorised network costs.
    • accessing computer accounts belonging to others, or allow others to access your account(s).
  12. The Student Conduct Statute strictly prohibits any offensive behaviour or harassment.

There are social spaces in various parts of the Cotton and Alan Macdiarmid buildings that have wireless network access. These spaces are appropriate for social activities and eating/drinking as well as course work.


If you are unsure about any of these rules, ask an ECS staff member before doing anything that could breach them.

Protect your access to the labs

If someone is violating the rules, not only does it jeopardise their access, but also your own as it may result in lab access times being reduced or other measures taken. Protect your access and report violations to, or contact a member of staff. You may also make a complaint by following the procedures in Sections 4.3 and 4.4 of the university's Student Conduct Statute.