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FAQs for faculty & Principal Investigators

When will I be billed?

Shop fees are charged to UW budgets monthly.

Where can I see detailed invoices for shop fees?

Go to the CORAL web interface, and use the tabs to navigate My Profile > Invoices, or visit the CORAL invoicing site directly.

What do I do if my billing needs correction?

If the time billed is correct and but the wrong account was used, contact your PI to have their fiscal staff transfer the charges to the correct budget number.

If the time billed is incorrect, email the details to

UW policies require all requests for correction be made no later than 60 days after billing.

Who do I contact for billing questions?

E-mail for billing questions.

What are the ME Shops Rates?

Please refer to the Rates page.

Is everyone paying the same rates?

According to the UW rules for service centers, all internal UW users must be charged the same rates. The ME department is covering the fees for students doing coursework & ME-sponsored teamwork, and is working with other academic departments and the COE to get support for non-ME undergrad student shop fees. Researchers from all departments, including ME, are charged the same rates. Industry users and non-UW academic users have higher rates.

What are shop fees used for?

Shop fees are based on the actual cost of operating each ME prototype shop.

Shop fees help pay for:

  • Shop staff salaries
  • Consumable tooling such as drill bits and blades
  • Equipment maintenance

Shop fees for UW users are NOT used for:

  • Large equipment purchases
  • Consumables for courses, such as metal stock for ME355 or test specimens for ME354.

My group is doing unfunded research or obtaining preliminary data- is there a way to waive shop fees?

The ME department will sometimes subsidize fees for ME faculty to obtain preliminary data for proposal submission or ME grad students to do unfunded research. To discuss this possibility, please email Prof. Nathan Sniadecki, Associate Chair for Research & Infrastructure. This department subsidy is only available to members of the ME Department.

Does the ME department subsidize shop fees for undergraduate research?

The ME department subsidizes fees for ME undergraduate coursework, including ME495, ME498, and ME499. Undergraduates who are not receiving academic credit for research are subject to shop fees under the same policies as graduate students and PIs should provide them with a budget number for shop work.

How should I budget for shop fees in proposals for federal grants & contracts?

Shop fees are generally allowed for federal grants & contracts as long as they benefit the project and fit the stated scope of work. When preparing budgets for proposals, list shop fees under object code 03 Campus Services.

Will I be charged the “Lab Engineer/Staff consulting” rate?

You will be charged for staff time if the shop staff or lab engineers spend significant time on your project, such as making an instrument for your research or setting aside an entire day to train your lab members. You won’t be charged staff time for most shop use by students, such as if your student is making or testing a part and has a question about how to use a machine.

Do I need to take any action for the students in my lab to use the ME Prototype Shops?

Users from your lab will ask you for a budget number to use for their shop fees. You will then need to sign up for a CORAL account as a PI in order to give your students one-time approval to charge shop fees to your budget.

  1. Sign up for a ME Shops CORAL account.On the User Role page, select “non-user” if you are just creating an account to approve fees (you can change your user role later if necessary). Check the “PI” box at the bottom of the page.
  2. Your students will e-mail you an individualized approval link that you must visit and agree to as their sponsor. This step is to ensure that PIs are aware of shop fees that may be charged to their budgets.

My budget is expiring- how do I switch my students to a new budget number?

  • Instruct your students to change the budget number in their account with these steps:
    1. Visit and log in
    2. Go to the My Profile tab
    3. Press the Budget Numbers button (upper left) and enter the new budget number
  • If your budget has already expired, or you would like to prevent any future charges to your budget, contact and ask to have the account associated with your budget number deactivated.

FAQs for facility users

Shop contacts

Shop access & training requirements

Machine Shop
  • Register for CORAL
  • Must attend a 2 hour machine shop safety session, 4 additional training hours to use mills & lathes
  • Shop safety classes have limited spots and lots of demand
  • Sign-ups for shop safety classes are in person at 9am on the 1st day of each quarter. Show up early for a spot!
Composite Shop
  • Register for CORAL
  • Must attend a 1 hour composite shop safety session
  • Sign up for composite shop safety by e-mailing during the first week of the quarter
Mechanical Test Lab

Where do I create a CORAL account for the ME Prototype Shops?

Go to and create an account for the ME Prototype Shops. You need to create an account for ME Prototype Shops even if you already have a CORAL account for another facility, such as WNF or the CT scanner.

UW Budget, Undergrad, or External Billing?

  • Undergrad students should choose “UW Undergraduate”, unless they are working on a research project that is not associated with coursework. 495/498/499 students working on research should choose this option.
  • Most UW researchers, including students, staff, and faculty will choose UW Budget Number. Undergrads working on research not associated with a class should choose UW Budget number.
  • External Billing is for users outside the UW community, and will be charged higher rates.
  • If you have more than one role (e.g., an undergrad doing both coursework and paid research work in the shops), completely finish the registration process for one role, then go back and hit “Start Over” to register for your other role.

Who is my Principle Investigator (PI)?

For most students, your faculty advisor is your PI, but your PI may be another faculty member who is sponsoring your research. If your PI isn't listed in the drop-down menu, choose My PI is not listed; you'll be given a link for your PI to create an account. Your registration will not be complete until your PI creates an account and agrees to pay your shop fees.

How do I figure out my budget number? What if I have multiple budget numbers?

  • Ask your PI/advisor which budget number you should use for your shop fees.
  • If you are working on multiple projects, you may have more than one budget number. If you have more than one budget number, complete the registration process with the one of your budget numbers. Once your registration has been fully approved, you can add additional budget numbers from the CORAL web interface at, on the My Profile tab.
  • You can choose which budget number to charge when you log in to the shop- ask the shop staff if you need assistance.

Once I create a CORAL account, what else do I need to do to before using the shops?

  1. Visit to verify that you have passed all the required online safety training. EH&S online fire extinguisher training may take 24 hours to be approved.
  2. Attend an in-person training session for EACH shop (machine shop, composite shop, mechanical test lab) you plan to use.
  3. Complete a quiz for each shop you will use and have attended the in-person training for.

What are the shop rates?

Please refer to the Rates page.

I forgot to sign out of the shop- what do I do?

You can sign out remotely by going to the CORAL web interface, use the tabs at the top to go to Lab > Status, and click the link next to your name.

If you forget to sign out for a long time, e-mail regarding corrections to your invoices. You will be automatically signed out of some equipment and locations at the end of each day.