Lab planning progress update.
Last week, I met up with one of the MIT staff, Steve Banzaert, who handles a lot of the edgerton center and lab spaces in the campus.
It was definitely an eye-opener because he addressed issues I hadn’t thought about.
One of the things mentioned again was that money and equipment wasn’t the problem. However, instead of effort being in the way, it was logistics, politics, ownership, management and safety.
It turns out, every 2 years or so, a few people from dormitories, fraternities and other living groups come out and propose a laboratory space. So it’s not uncommon that he’s meeting up with me to talk about this kind of idea. haha.
Anyway, he said that most fail because of the planning stages. After reviewing the proposal draft I had, he quickly addressed these issues:
Constitutional Space: Who owns it? Is it a commercial space or an academic space?
Insurance Policy: Depending on the ownership, there are liability issues that needs to be addressed. If it’s MIT, then they have their own protocol. If it’s a commercial or private owned, a 3rd party insurance company needs to get involved.
Other Important Logistics:
- How is access granted?
- Who manages this place? Is there only a single person in charge?
- How is this going to be maintained? Long term is the goal here but once the person managing it graduates, somebody needs to take over.
- What are the safety protocols?
- What is the sustainability plan?
If you notice, there is nothing mentioning money at all. It’s all politics, liability, safety, and management. The Yale accident recently doesn’t help either.
Anyway, the next step is to talk to the EHS (Environmental Health and Safety) in MIT. I also need to meet up with the alumni board again and report about the progress.
But before I meet up, I need to make a compilation of tools, materials, and safety protocols attached with it.