Allocation of Instrument Time (Online Scheduling)

Time is allocated to users of the instruments based on a self-scheduling website (for access contact the MCL Manager). Reservations are generally available for the instruments once training is completed. The calorimeters (Nano-ITC, TG-DSC) are most commonly used in extended blocks of instrument time. The guidelines for scheduling instrument time in the MCL are outlined below:


All instruments are available on a 24 hour, 7 day week basis. Scheduling hands-on use of the instruments in the MCL is restricted to trained operators who are able to function safely and effectively without supervision particularly during the evening and weekend periods. Currently the MCL is staffed during the day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday for training, to assist users when needed, and respond to questions regarding instrument use.


Web-based Schedule

Peak Times: Weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Off-Peak Times: Evenings after 4:30 p.m. and weekends may be scheduled in extended time blocks for longer experiments.

Operators who have been trained and approved by MCL staff, and can operate unsupervised are generally scheduled in the time slots when staff are not normally available to assist or respond to questions.

Instrument time not previously scheduled either by sign-up or approved advance request, will be available for use on a first-come, first-served basis provided the limitations of scheduling short-term and long-term use are observed.



User Training and Approval of Instrument Operators

Users are encouraged to operate the instruments on their own after suitable training. It is expected that each person who is approved to be an operator will have at the minimum hands-on training at the MCL. Those not meeting this criterion are asked to attend a training course on the operation of the appropriate instrument. Training sessions for small groups and individuals are scheduled according to demand. The hands-on part of the training will preferably be associated with experiments of research interest to the individual, and the instrument time needed will be charged to the project. The extent of training will depend on the complexity of the experiments required for the project. Each person requesting operator status will be required to demonstrate competence on the instrumentation to MCL staff members before being permitted unsupervised access to the MCL.


A financial responsibility statement must be signed by the appropriate researcher and principle investigator or program director before time will be scheduled on a user-operated basis. Charges will be assessed for repair to or replacement of equipment damaged due to negligence on the part of a user.



It is requested that publications containing data obtained in the UNC Charlotte Materials Characterization Laboratory acknowledge use of the MCL and support from the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) for the instrumentation, and the Infrastructure, Design, Environment, and Sustainability (IDEAS) Center for space. It is also important to provide the MCL with two reprints of each publication in which data obtained at the MCL is cited to assist in fulfilling the MCL’s annual reporting requirements.