Imperial College London

Working through a pandemic at the Agilent Measurement Suite


The Agilent Measurement Suite

The Agilent Measurement Suite has introduced new software to help researchers work safely while physical distancing is required.

The Agilent Measurement Suite (AMS), a flagship advanced analytical science facility at Imperial’s White City Campus, has introduced remote laboratory management to help researchers keep performing ground-breaking research in the era of physical distancing.

Remote management of the laboratory ensures that the occupancy rules are respected and enforced, and all users can be traced and contacted promptly if and when necessary.

Researchers are now able to reserve resources and spaces in the facility during times when it is not too busy using a new software scheduling system, ensuring that appropriate physical distancing can be observed. The facility manager is responding to booking requests, carrying out scheduling and monitoring usage of the Suite without face-to-face contact.

Dr Trevor Ferris, AMS Facility Manager, said: “The Suite was not immune to the difficulties we have all faced over the last six months. But thanks to Agilent’s iLab software, work has continued safely despite the current challenges. I’m very pleased that alongside our advanced analysis equipment we now have modern tools for lab management to help us work safely and efficiently”.

Working safely

Safety continues to be Imperial’s top priority as staff and students have been welcomed back onto its campuses for the start of the new academic year. Measures have been put in place to keep campuses COVID-secure whilst ensuring that academic life goes on.

The iLab software has allowed the facility manager to define when and by whom the instruments in the AMS can be used, without the need for face to face contact. This is done via monitoring instrument bookings (time of day) and user type (internal or external, trained or untrained).

This has been central to maintaining social distancing measures and respecting the cohort system in place in the Molecular Sciences Research Hub. Remote management of the laboratory ensures that the occupancy rules are respected and enforced, and all users can be traced and contacted promptly if and when necessary. It has also meant that the facility manager can be off-site, and still remain fully informed and in control of access to the facility at any given time.

As a result, use of the facility has continued, supporting students with their project work, enabling academics to continue with vital research and providing a service to external users, including collaborations with other academic institutions. Demand for the facility’s services and expertise remains high, and the use of iLab has allowed management of user expectations alongside the delivery of safe, appropriate access wherever possible.

Using the Suite

Both Imperial and researchers from outside the College who wish to use the equipment in the Agilent Measurement Suite should should visit the facility webpage for more details on the booking procedure.


Trevor Ferris

Trevor Ferris
Department of Chemistry

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)7789 484 091

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Campus-developments, Enterprise, Coronavirus, White-City-Campus, Molecular-sciences
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