The Teaching Labs at SEAS and the related machine shop in the Physics Department support the educational mission of the school by providing students with hands-on experience using state-of-the-art technologies.
SEAS Undergraduate Laboratories
The ground floor of Pierce Hall underwent at $2 million renovation during 2007-2008 to provide dedicated facilities for students to conduct CAD/CAM, mechanics, and photonics research.
The new lab is located alongside the recently built “wet lab,” created primarily to support courses in bioengineering. The wet lab—a beautiful glass and steel fishbowl—has become a haven for hands on experimentation and research.
The teaching labs contain state-of-the-art equipment, including:
- Rapid prototyping – CAD facility for all aspects of mechanical engineering
- Materials’ strength testing lab for hard and soft materials
- Photonics – light emitting and detecting devices
The space also features seating, student meeting areas, and computing resources.
Director of Instructional Laboratories
Dr. Anas Chalah is Director of Instructional Laboratories (undergraduate teaching labs) at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Lecturer on Engineering Sciences at Harvard University. He leads a team of engineers and collaborates with faculty to create an environment that encourages hands-on engineering education. As member of the research and teaching senior executive team, he applies new pedagogical methods in developing experimental and design-based activities as well as supporting SEAS's growing presence in biological and environmental engineering. Chalah serves in Harvard’s Teaching and Learning Consortium that provides policy recommendations for University leadership on substantive issues of teaching and learning as well as academic strategic planning.
He serves as the SEAS/Harvard Environmental Safety Compliance Officer (ESCO), SEAS Safety Committee Chairman, and Director of SEAS Lab Safety Program.
Chalah received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in the Cancer Biology department focused on understanding the switching mechanism between the cellular survival pathway and the programmed death pathway.
Chalah has also served as the Lab Senior Director of the undergraduate Chemistry Department at UMass Amherst, where he directed six labs and supervised several teaching assistants and undergraduate students. He also worked as a manager at OMO/Unilever International.
Biological and Environmental Lab Engineer
Sara is the Biological and Environmental Lab Engineer for SEAS. Managing both the Bio BL2 and Environmental Labs, she works to keep current laboratory experiments running smoothly and works with Professors on designing and implementing new laboratory protocols. Previously, Sara was Lab Manager and Head Technologist for a behavioral neuroscience laboratory at Northeastern University, and Head Technologist for Children's Hospital Boston Pathology Department. With a strong background in biomedical research and imaging, she also assists students working on independent research projects.
Senior Mechanical and Systems Lab Engineer
Pete joined SEAS in 2012 as Senior Mechanical and Systems Lab Engineer. Previously, Peter was a General Engineering Coordinator at Norwich University and the Chair of the Physics and Engineering Department at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN.
He has his M.S. in Multidisciplinary Studies (Physics, Management, and Education), and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Minnesota State University.
Immediately following graduation, Pete entered the engineering field designing generators for Kato Engineering. During his time with this firm, he received one of his two patents for a new dynamo-electric machine design.
While a practicing engineer, Pete worked with program managers from NAVSEA and the Office of Naval Research to design and oversee AC and DC generator installations at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and the Naval Station Norfolk. These projects included FFG (U.S. Frigate) and DDG (U.S. Destroyer) contracts.
Pete is a former captain in the Vermont State Militia.
Pete enjoys spending time with his family as well as maintaining and riding his collection of motorcycles.
Engineering Design Specialist
Jordan is Engineering Design Specialist and works on all things related to mechanical engineering and design. Specializing in design, he focuses on helping students who are engaged in independent or group design projects and competitions.
Associate Director of Instructional Laboratories
Xuan is the Associate Director of Instructional Laboratories with extensive college/university level instructional and laboratory experiences, as well as industrial manufactoring and product development experience, especially in the areas of EECS. Xuan holds a MSCS and BSEE, also has some background in Mechanical, Business Administration and BioMedical areas. Xuan manages and perfoms operations of the the instructional labs with focuses in EECS areas, some project design areas and some BME areas. Works with faculty and course staff in development of lab experiments and course demonstrations. Hiring and supervising casual employees. Performs technical advisory and consultation to teaching assistants in proper lab operations and students engaged in courses related project work, such activities include a wide range of subjects and different levels of sophistication. Instructing small groups on varies subjects, in Electrical & Electronic Engineering design and implementation. Designing and specifying new laboratory infrastructure, lab procedure development, equipment and software acquisition, as well as safety measures. Also performs strategic lab planning, policy making, asset tracking, budgeting when applicable, as well as computer network, systems, services, interfaces, hardware, software and licensing administration in the said areas. Xuan works as a team closely with the Director of the Instructional Labs as well as the members. Xuan also severs as a member of the CGA Technical Advisory
Mechanical Design Engineer
Preceptor in Design Instruction
Christie provides direct administrative support to Dr. Anas Chalah. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and has taught music and performed extensively. After adding a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science, she worked as Librarian at several community colleges. Most recently she worked for Harvard Library, processing African language books for Widener Library and developing a department-wide collaborative wiki.
Physics/SEAS Instructional Instrument Lab
The Machine Shop located in the basement of Lyman Lab is set up to be primarily a teaching Shop. We have a state-of-the-art facility, complete with computerized machine tools and full arc welding capabilities.
Our shop is unique in that it is open 24 hours to those people in both the Physics Department and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences who have either proven competency in a machine shop setting, or have taken and passed our basic machine tool operation class.
In addition to our basic class, we offer classes on advanced machine tool operation, 2 axis cnc programming, 3 axis cnc programming, soldering and brazing, as well as blue print reading and interpretation.
Because we take safety very seriously, we have set many policies for those who use our shop. After the normal working day, only Authorized Shop Users may operate the equipment in the shop. All these Authorized Users must follow our After Hours Usage Policies or lose all access to the Machine Shop. There is also a joint Safety Committee, Chaired by Lenny Solomon, which oversees all aspects of safety within the Physics Department and SEAS.