Computing

The Department of Aeronautics is well known for its intensive use of computing facilities at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The following subsections provide general information about IT services at Imperial College and also specific IT information from the Department of Aeronautics.

Visit the ICT website for further resources for new students.

Getting help

  • For all enquiries about Windows, accounts, login problems, MS Outlook Calendar or email contact ICT (Ext. 49000, service.desk@imperial.ac.uk, 4th floor of Sherfield Building).
  • For queries with access to courses or content on Blackboard please contact the Undergraduate Office on ae.office@imperial.ac.uk.
  • For any software/hardware issues or queries in Aeronautics computer rooms then please contact Dr Omar Bacarreza on o.bacarreza-nogales@imperial.ac.uk.

Printing

Whatever else you do at college, you will at some time or other need to print a document or make a photocopy or scan an image or document, ICT provides ICTprintservice where the functions of printing, scanning and copying are available on a multi-function printer (“MFP”).

The ICTprintservice is available on most campuses, with MFPs located in libraries, departments and PC clusters. MFPs may be mono or colour with respect to the output printed. All MFPs will scan in colour. Some MFPs are capable of producing output in A3 size. All will print in A4.

The ICTprintservice MFPs provide a "pay-for-print" service using your College ID card for authentication and payment. All College ID cards should automatically be registered with the ICTprintservice within an hour or two of issue by College security. Go to any convenient ICTprintservice MFP and swipe your College ID card (slowly and firmly) in the slot to see if you can access the service. Most students are normally set-up as "pay" users.

Credit needs to be added to a card before it can be used for printing or copying. There are money loaders, which accept both coins and notes, at the central and main medical campus libraries. However, the easiest way to add credit is by using your credit or debit card online (ePay). To find the location of money loaders or printers, departmental charges or to make a card payment, please visit the ICT Print Service

Look after your College ID card - it is money!

Software

List of software offered by Aeronautics under Windows:

  • Abaqus
  • Anaconda Python
  • CES Edupack
  • Comsol
  • EndNote
  • Inksape
  • Intel Parallel Studio
  • Lab View
  • Laminate Analysis Program
  • Maple
  • Matlab
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • MSC.Analysis Manager
  • MSC.Nastran
  • Notepad++
  • OpenFoam
  • ParaView
  • Patran
  • PDF Xchange
  • PDFCreator
  • PTC Creo
  • PuTTY
  • Texmaker
  • Xfoil
  • Xming

Under Linux (Ubuntu):

  • Abaqus
  • Anaconda Python
  • FEniCS
  • Fluidity dev package
  • Gmsh
  • Inksape
  • Intel Fortran compiler
  • LS Dyna
  • Matlab
  • MiKTeX
  • Nektar++
  • Octave
  • OpenFoam
  • Paraview
  • StarCCM
  • StarCD
  • Texmaker

Creo License
Students can to go online and follow this guide to extend their licence.
Note that we have now moved to creo 3, so it may be worth that the students update the software by downloading the latest version so they can open files made at college PCs at home.

Computer rooms

Aeronautics offers the following computer room:

  • Room CAGB 205 - 24 Machines (Dual boot).

Shared rooms:

  • Room SKEM 208 – 70 Machines (Windows Only)
  • Room SKEM 317 – 41 Machines (Windows Only)
  • Room CAGB 203 – 90 Machines (Windows Only)
  • Room CAGB 761 – 42 Machines (Windows Only)
  • Room CAGB 762 – 42 Machines (Windows Only)

To use any of the College computers you must have an active login account. To use the Linux side in Aeronautics you use the same account although your Linux home directory will be stored on a dedicated server within the department which provides you with more file & data storage. Follow the instructions below to set up your account.

In addition to dual boot Windows/Linux computer rooms, Aeronautics also offers Linux compute servers which provide high-performance Linux compute platforms that are permanently running and can be accessed remotely from any Windows, Mac or Linux computer in the department; members of the Aeronautics department can also access these compute servers from outside college via the department’s external gateways.

Imperial College account

As a new member of College you will automatically be provided with a College username and email address. These enable you to:

  • send and receive email;
  • log-on to the College network and Virtual Learning Environment e.g. (Blackboard); and
  • access electronic information services provided by the library.
  • The central computing services, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) create an inactive Imperial College account. You must activate this account online or by following the instructions posted in the public computer rooms by ICT.
  • You will need your CID (College Identifier) number and you will choose a password. Passwords should have three types of character out of: upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters (i.e. + - , /) and they must be at least 8 characters long. Please DO NOT choose dictionary words or proper names as part of the password!
  • After the account is active you login with your own User Name and the password you chose.
  • If the details you have entered are correct your College computer account should be activated within a few seconds and your College username and email address will be displayed. Please write these down so you do not forget them.
  • If you have made a late entry to College or there have been problems with your College registration then it may take a few days before your College computer account can be set up. Please repeat the above again a day or so later before reporting a problem.
  • If you have problems with activating your account, please contact ICT service desk on West Wing, Level 4, Sherfield building, South Kensington Campus.

The central computing services, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) create an inactive Imperial College account. You must activate this account online or by following the instructions posted in the public computer rooms by ICT. Any problems with accessing electronic journals, books and databases access service should be reported to the Central Library Help Desk library@imperial.ac.uk. More information about Electronic Library Services can be found on the Library website.

Departmental account

The Department has its own servers for Linux users and you use the same username and password for both your college and your Aero Linux accounts. A separate home directory with up to 5 GB of storage has been created for you to use when using Linux and additional filespace will be made available if required.

If you need further help or if you missed the start of session talk, please contact Dr Omar Bacarreza.

Computers can be used between the hours of 8:00 and 2359.

  • Eating or drinking is not allowed in computer rooms (except for water).
  • Reboot Dual Boot PCs to use the system of choice (Linux or Windows) but never turn off the computers.
  • NEVER reboot or turn off Linux-only computers, as work might be running remotely.
  • Report any software or hardware faults promptly:  Windows or Linux to ICT service.desk@imperial.ac.uk
  • It is requested that you keep noise levels down, particularly please use mobile phones outside the rooms.
  • Users doing low priority tasks, such as e-mail or web browsing, must let others use the computer when there is a queue of people waiting.

Back up of data

Data may be lost for a number of reasons, e.g. hardware failure, theft, flooding or fire, and the effects on your work may be catastrophic. For this reason you are required to back-up all your data files regularly.

All students are expected to back-up their data files, preferably daily, to avoid any major problems in submitting their coursework. Back-up files and original files should be kept at two separate locations, e.g. on your own computer, CD/DVD, on a college server or on a separate memory stick. A memory stick which is kept attached to your computer or a CD/DVD left in your computer is not a valid back-up!

ICT provides centrally backed up disk space via a ‘Home Directory’. This is commonly referred to as the H: drive. It is good practice to organize your files so that your most important work is kept on the H: drive which is backed up nightly. If you need to regain lost data in the future please contact the ICT Service Desk.

Loss of data due to violation of these guidelines will not be considered as a valid reason for failure to submit coursework!

College wide rules (extracted from ICT rules)

  • Password and Login Names cannot be disclosed to anyone else.
  • Use is restricted to non-commercial college related work.
  • Displaying, handling, or sending offensive, derogatory or pornographic material is strictly forbidden.
  • Users must respect copyright laws and intellectual property rights.

Users must comply with the DATA PROTECTION ACT 1984 regulating the use of data about living persons. Failure to comply with college rules will lead to disciplinary action. Penalties can go from temporary suspension from all use of the computing facilities to in serious cases, expulsion and dismissal from the college.

Home computer and laptops

Specific software requirements vary along the whole range of courses offered and it could change from year to year. Despite this, software like Matlab is now widely used in many branches of science and engineering and forms part of introductory and advanced courses in our Department. For this reason, the Faculty of Engineering currently offers free personal downloads for students.