American University of Beirut

CRSL is on-the-go!


Rania Shatila, M.Sc.​​​
Laboratory Manager
KAS Central Research Science Laboratory
T: 01-350000 x4314

The Core Lab goes paperless!​

The KAS CRSL has set to better serve the AUB community and propel the university to the forefront of the 21st century in teaching and research, and continues to do so by focusing on improving and automating its services.

Re-engineering the CRSL processes was a major focus for 2021 aiming to achieve 100% paperless operations over 2 years.

Throughout that year, we have addressed key areas such as equipment reservations, access and service requests, trainings, and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

It took us 1500+ hours of hard work, 250+ Emails, and​ 50+ trainings to design and propose solutions, oversee implementations, coordinate with all parties involved, test all scenarios, and train all users to make it happen!

New Digitized Solutions

  • Equipment Reservations: CRSL management adopted Clustermarket, a web-based lab management platform to efficiently manage its 30+ equipment reservations, optimize operations, increase equipment uptime, and help users to have a clear oversight of equipment utilization, and manage multiple user schedules.

    We were able to successfully manage 996+ reservation requests, general and maintenance announcements.

    • ​​Advantages:
      • ​​A uniform online equipment reservation system, accessible by registered users.
      • Allows trained users to reserve equipment.
      • Transparent reservations calendar to allow users to view when the different equipment are available.
      • Real-time management of maintenance/service and downtime history for equipment.
      • Manage users' details in one place.
      • Reduce the redundancy of expensive equipment across AUB.
      • On-demand analytics and reporting.
  • ​Access Requests: Design and launch a digitized process for the newcomers access​ (178 requests were received and processed).
  • Online Requests: Create multiple online Microsoft-forms for services requests that cover training, assistance, demonstration, tour/orientation (392 requests were received and processed).
  • QR Codes: Revamping of SOPs for 12 equipment, so far, and facilitate quick access through scanning of QR codes.
  • Digitize Safety Training: Laboratory safety training course and assessment were set and managed on Moodle in collaboration with Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management department to ensure safety protocols implementation and compliance for new researchers (32 newcomers were enrolled).
  • ​​Online Training Videos: CRSL YouTube channel​ was created to upload all training videos. So far 11 videos were uploaded and more are yet to come.

This comprehensive solution has significantly enhanced the users' experience, leveraged the lab efficiency, and helped in establishing a scientific data-driven m​odel.

More innovative solutions and new initiatives are on the horizon. We are currently working on a new digital strategy that covers the electronic logging of instruments, chemical asset tracking, inventory reporting tool, and integrated maintenance schedules. Exciting times are ahead of us and this has been just the tip of the iceberg.

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