Usage and Policies

Costs and Priority for Using MPCF

MPCF gets partial support for operating costs from the College of Engineering and the Institute of Materials.  This support does not cover the total operating costs of the facility, which includes technical staff time for training users, maintenance, development of new capabilities, and ensuring compliance with EH&S.  Historically, we have asked internal users to voluntarily pay for use of the faculty, mainly in the form of salary support for the MPCF Research Engineer.  This voluntary pay is nominally in an amount commensurate with the degree of usage. Note that this support does not cover any time devoted to particular research projects.

In Fiscal Year 2017 (starting July 1, 2016), the facility part of MPCF, operating under the Institute for Materials, has transitioned from this voluntary cost recapture to an official Institute Cost Center open to all internal users, and under certain conditions, external industry or outside academic users.  The Shared User Management System (SUMS) is used to bill for usage. 

APPROVED RATE SCHEDULE (FY22 per Grants & Contracts Accounting)

Rates charged to grants and contracts administered by GTRC and other users using internal funds (e.g., start-up, GT Foundation, Georgia Research Alliance core facility partnership):

  • Technical Staff Time  $75/hour
  • Test System Rental  $110/day (if less than 3 days) or $275/week
  • Ovens & Furnaces Rental  $22/day (if less than 3 days) or $55/week
  • Metallography Prep Facility  $5/hour

Rates charged to external industry or outside academic users (except those in the Georgia Research Alliance core facility partnership):

To help with budgeting, the typical Technical Staff time for training users on different mechanical test systems without any unusual setup requirements is provided here:

  • Electromechanical test systems (e.g., Instron): 2 hours of staff time + additional time if non-standard setup
  • Low force electromechanical test systems (e.g., DDL): 1 hour of staff time
  • Servohydraulic test systems – simple tensile test:  3 hours of staff time
  • Servohydraulic test systems – intermediate complexity:  6 hours + additional time if non-standard setup
  • Servohydraulic test systems – complex with heating:  8 hours + additional time if non-standard setup

Often, it is necessary to develop fixtures or adaptors to conduct a unique set of experiments. In such cases, it is incumbent upon the party wishing to conduct the experiments to cover materials and supplies costs as well as additional MPCF technical staff time for design and implementation.  These costs can also be bill through SUMS. Since our staff is not large (one full-time Research Engineer and one graduate student at the present time), it is highly preferable to supply your own technical support for such endeavors, interfacing with the MPCF technical staff as necessary. Time spent by MPCF technical staff in support of activities outside of the realm of the MPCF must be requested of the MPCF administration and funded directly.

To allow MPCF staff to plan for meeting maintenance and personnel costs and to consider new major research programs within the lab, faculty must contact the MPCF Director or Associate Director at the time at which a proposal is being considered for submission. Please note that if a proposal will require the use of MPCF in order to meet the deliverables of the proposed project, the internal routing sheet should be signed by either the MPCF Director or Associate Director. In addition, faculty should notify the MPCF Director or Associate Director as soon as possible after notification of funding of any proposal which involves use of MPCF.

Externally sponsored research projects that have met the guidelines stated above for MPCF staff and maintenance support are given highest priority for scheduling. Externally sponsored projects that do not meet these guidelines will have lower priority in scheduling. Internally sponsored projects which seek results for purposes of feasibility studies or proposal development are scheduled at the next highest level of priority. Exploratory research without external support is permitted from time to time, but is not encouraged as a routine matter. For such programs, the test matrix must be defined as minimal in order to achieve objectives; it will receive very low priority in the event of high utilization of requested facilities by sponsored research. No guarantees of machine time can be made.