Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to the OEDK?

OEDK is on Rice University's campus, at entrance 21 off of Rice Blvd. The closest parking is in the North Annex Lot. Go to the Visit the OEDK page for more information.

How do I get access to OEDK?

The OEDK will remain locked at all times, with card access granted to those who have been authorized to use the facility. Card access to the OEDK will be limited to students, faculty and staff who meet the criteria for the appropriate use of the facility.

Please go to the OEDK Access page for more information on how to get access.

Individuals, including students, that are involved in a for-profit or non-profit organization, that it is outside the realm of a Rice University course or university-approved student organization/club, MAY NOT use the OEDK resources.

I already took the Safety Quiz for access last year. I should still have access, right?

No. OEDK student access must be renewed every academic year. You will need to follow the procedures and retake the Safety Quiz to regain OEDK access.

There's an emergency in the OEDK. What do I do?

CALL THE CAMPUS EMERGENCY NUMBER: 6000 FROM A CAMPUS PHONE or 713-348-6000 FROM A CELL PHONE. Be familiar with the location of the first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and telephones to be prepared for this situation.

What do I do in case of an accident or near-miss?

ANY and ALL accidents/mishaps MUST be reported to a member of the OEDK staff. You MUST fill out an Accident Report within 24 hours of the incident.

I plan to visit the campus and would like to see the OEDK. Can I visit the OEDK?

Walk-in visits for individuals and groups of 5 or less during normal business hours are permitted without advance notice. Self-guided tour brochures are available in the brochure rack in the OEDK Lobby. Please sign in as a visitor at the reception desk.

Prospective undergraduate students and their families are encouraged to sign up for an Engineering Information Session HERE. You will need to click on the date you wish to attend for the form to appear. These sessions are organized by the Office of Admission and are hosted by the School of Engineering Dean's Office. They are held most Mondays at 2 PM in the OEDK Classroom, unless otherwise stated, with an OEDK tour to follow. Additional sessions are offered on select Fridays during the summer.

Large groups or individuals wanting a tour and meetings with OEDK faculty or staff can request tours HERE. Generally, tours, including open house style tours, are offered Monday-Friday during normal business hours and are based on availability and the activity occurring in the OEDK. 

How do I get a cabinet? How do I get a lock for it?

Locking Cabinets are available to teams. Request and check-out a lock from the OEDK. You should lock up valuable parts prior to leaving the area. DO NOT lock up general use equipment (marked with Red Tape or with M.E. Shop written on it), as others need to use it.

I need to use this tool, but I don't know how. Who do I talk to?

If you need help in the OEDK or need to use tools that you do not know how to use, contact one of the design technicians for help.

I tried to get help from one of the technicians, but they were busy, what do I do?

When you need assistance from a lab technician, scheduling a time is suggested. Walk up help requests will be handled on an "as available" basis. If you really need something done, come in IN THE MORNING, because the technicians are much busier later in the day. Do not come at 3 or 4 to start a 1-2 hour activity. If you do this, you are running the risk of encroaching on their personal time, and they will not help you. Be considerate of the technicians time, and you will find them a very valuable resource.

I need help from a technician or staff member, but they are busy having lunch. What should I do?

When you need assistance from a lab technician or staff member, scheduling a time is suggested. Walk up help requests will be handled on an "as available" basis. If they are having lunch in the lounge or in their offices, please come back later and respect their break time. Be considerate of the technician's and staff's time, and you will find them a very valuable resource.

What are the rules for the student lounge area and coffee bar?

Like any place, please keep it clean, and throw your trash and recyclables in the correct bins. The refrigerators will be cleaned out completely each Monday morning. NO ALCOHOL. Period. If you are caught, you may be BANNED from OEDK.

What are the rules regarding table use?

Please be respectful of other teams and their tools and equipment. Store backpacks under your own worktable and not on other tables or in the walk areas. Keep the walkways around your table clear.

How do I reserve a work table?

Fill out the team profile form on the OEDK website, login with created user email and password, and then fill out the online work table request form.

I want to use one of the conference rooms. How can I reserve one?

You can reserve one of the rooms here, after reading the Policies for Reserving a Room. If no one is using a conference room, you may use it, but you MUST vacate if someone with a reservation shows up to use it.

What do I need to do to use NI equipment available in the OEDK?

Decide what equipment you need and check it out through the OEDK staff.

I need to use a laser cutter. What do I do?

Trained users should first check the laser cutter schedule and then fill out the laser cutter request form.

Is there anything that cannot be disposed of in normal trash cans?

Yes. Disposal of batteries, metal shavings, and hazardous waste CANNOT be made in regular trash cans. Contact one of the technicians for disposal of these materials.

I have a project that I would like to see worked on by Rice undergraduates. How do I do this?

Email with a description of the project idea and your contact information.

Are food and drink allowed in the design space?

So long as you clean up your mess, eating or drinking in the OEDK design space is allowed. There is a refrigerator in the student lounge and the coffee bar that you can use for food or beverages. It is cleaned out weekly so be sure to label and clean up your food when you are done. Don't forget, NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE ALLOWED. Refer to the policies here.

My club would like to hold an event in the OEDK. How do I do this?

Approved users should start by submitting a room reservation request. Check to see that the space is available and submit your room request here. Further approval may be needed from the Director, and an Event Facility Use Contract  may be required.

What are the policies on phone calls in the OEDK?

If they are toll free, you can use the phones in the prototyping area (dial 9 for outside number), any campus extension (last 4 digits), local calls, and toll free numbers. Non-toll free numbers require the use of a Forced Authorization Code. See one of the OEDK staff members to obtain the code to make design project related phone calls. One of the phones in the upstairs prototyping area and both phones in the downstairs prototyping area are portable so you can use it at your work area.

Contact us

Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen
Rice University

6100 Main Street MS 390 | Houston, Texas | 77005

Phone: 713.348.OEDK


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