COVID-19 Information and Resources

COVID-19 Information and Resources

This page contains information from across campus, along with ChemE departmental communications, related to COVID-19.

Working in Benson Hall

Please take the following steps before working on site: 

1. Read the department's plan for Covid prevention in the workplace (pdf), and verify that you have done so

2. Complete the EH&S Back to the Workplace training

3. Get supervisor approval and request permission from Kameron Harmon to be placed on the critical employee list

4. Schedule time on the Benson Hall or lab-specific occupancy calendars, as instructed by your PI or supervisor; review your lab's safety plan, if applicable

5. Every day you work on campus, complete the attestation form

Department communications

As a follow-up to the recent concerns surrounding ergonomics during work from home, I wanted to share with you the attached links, which might be helpful to some of your members and their represented groups. These will soon to be added to the website, but please feel free to forward this email to your committees.

Here are some training links I found useful for home-office ergonomics:

And, since no office ergonomics program is effective without frequent, short stretch breaks for the eyes and body, here are some examples of exercises to be performed, including recommendations on time schedules:

In addition, the EHS Ergonomics website provides for a system of requesting an ergonomic evaluation: Interested individuals working on campus(es) can fill out this form, which will then set up an online self-assessment evaluation that the employee can complete themselves. However, during work from home, if anybody needs assistance with reviewing their workstation setup and providing recommendations, as necessary, I would be glad to attempt such evaluations by Zoom or FaceTime. Anyone interested can email me and I will coordinate with them.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions.


Accident Prevention Specialist, Occupational Safety and Health

Environmental Health & Safety Department

The College of Engineering has provided a supply of face masks for groups that will be continuing research. Each group has been allocated masks based on the number of anticipated onsite researchers. The masks can be picked up from Benson 105. Please let me know if you have any questions.


As many of you start to return to in-person research in Benson Hall it is important that we implement the proper strategy to keep ourselves safe. We hope to accomplish this by strictly adhering to some new lab practices / hygiene as well tracking the occupancy of the various labs of Benson Hall. Given the situation, moving forward, if you need to perform any on site research in BNS 121 (bindra lab) or BNS 123, you must complete the following actions.

  1. Ensure that you have been granted access to benson as a “Critical Employee” - Check with your PI on this first
  2. Read, sign and return the SOP for research operations in the shared instrumentation facilities document to:
  3. Fill out the daily attestation in workday if you are a UW employee, and the daily attestation at the Chem E department webpage if you are not a uw employee (use your UW ID) on the day you are performing in-person research. This must be completed each day you come to campus.
  4. Fill out the google occupancy calendars for the time slots you will be performing research in either BNS 121 or BNS 123. You must invite yourself (using your UW ID) to these calendar appointments for us to be able to properly track building occupancy. The instrument specific calendars (DLS, DSC/TGA, ...) should still be used and operated as normal.

For steps 3 and 4, it is critical that this information is accurate. If you reschedule your planned research time, or cannot make an appointment please make sure to delete or update your calendar appointments in the occupancy calendars to reflect reality.

I know it might be a lot of information all at once, but know that I am here to help. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions or reach out with any concerns.


I'd like to draw your attention to the new online COVID-19 attestation form for ChemE department personnel who are not employees but performing on-site work, e.g. MS students now approved to do research on campus.

At the top of the ChemE homepage, the gray bar will lead you to a landing page from which to launch a Google form (purple button). This form is substantively similar to the Workday survey for employees.

At the risk of redundancy, please note the following:

  • This form is for non-employees in the department who are working on campus. (Employees working on campus use the form in Workday)
  • These folks must use their UW NetID email address to fill out the form
  • People should fill out the form on the same day they are scheduled to be on-site — and every day they are on-site. Same requirements as the Workday attestation form. Responses are timestamped.

As discussed in faculty meeting, compliance is critical in ramping up research. Please pass on this information to students or other personnel in your group that it applies to, and support your group members in creating habits, automated reminders, etc, to make this work.

Please direct technical questions to


It's worth emphasizing that critical personnel who come to campus must now complete a survey in Workday to attest they do not have COVID symptoms. This is required for each day you come to campus. To find the survey, log into Workday and look for the red triangle on the home screen.

In Benson Hall, we are also requiring that everyone wear a cloth mask or face covering, except where not appropriate for a research work environment, or in a closed office. Note that this is in addition to social distancing practices already in place. More guidance on masks is available from EH&S.

As a reminder:

  • Only employees deemed critical personnel are permitted into Benson Hall. Please contact Debbie if you want to be added to the critical personnel list.
  • Keep a distance of at least 6 ft from others, staggering work schedules or moving to temporary desk assignments if necessary.
  • Clean workspace and common-area surfaces frequently.

Additional health and safety resources from EH&S are found here. Please contact Debbie with any questions or concerns, and refer to the May 5 email from UW HR here.

Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation during this time. I expect to have more news soon about a phased return to more of our in-person research. Stay safe, everyone!

Though we won't be able to gather for our Awards Day luncheon, we still want to celebrate the ChemE community in a few ways —

Chemical Engineering Staff Award: In 2018, we began recognizing an outstanding ChemE staff member with this award and monetary prize, and we are excited to continue the tradition this year. Nominations are due on Monday, May 4, and details are available here.

Science and Engineering as Art competition: Students and postdocs are invited to submit an artistic image derived from research in a ChemE-faculty-run lab. The top 3 receive prize money and will have their image framed and displayed in Benson Hall. Entries are due on Monday, May 4, and details are available here.

The Chair's Distinguished Lecture, scheduled for later this month, will unfortunately (but not surprisingly) be cancelled. A postponement until Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 looks likely, but we'll revisit this after we return to "normal."

You also may have heard by now that DYSS will take place this summer, albeit entirely virtually. Applications are open now through May 8, so please spread the word to postdocs and grad students who may be good candidates.

  • Virtual Town Hall slide deck (pdf)
  • Virtual Town Hall Q&A (pdf)

University resources

Remote work



Safety and mental health resources

  • The SafeZone app provides you with immediate access to UWPD while on campus, along with a virtual guardian service and access to other safety information.
  • UWPD offers updated information relevant to COVID. They recommend calling 911, not the non-emergency number, if you see unauthorized individuals in closed buildings.
  • For postdocs, faculty, and staff: UW CareLink connects you with experts who help you or your family members navigate life’s challenges. Access to guidance consultants is free and confidential for UW employees.
  • For students: UW Counseling Center offers free counseling and is offering telehealth appointments.