Ordering Parts for ENGR Lab Projects

Students who need to place orders or project parts (for class, senior design, etc.) should follow these guidelines. Read the entire instructions before placing your order.

  1. Check to see if we have it on hand

    • Hardware and electronic parts are available from the tool crib.

    • Resistors, potentiometers, and capacitors are available in both electronics labs.

    • Raw materials are available from the machine shop supply room and/or tool crib.

  2. Shop wisely

    • Check multiple vendors to be sure you find your item/s at good prices with reasonable shipping charges.

    • Pay special attention to the vendor lists (we have amazon prime for free 2-day shipping, Digikey and McMaster offer next-day delivery on most items, etc.).

    • Confirm that your items are in stock and ready to ship.

    • Check here for ideas on where to find electronic parts.

    • Preferred vendors that have quick and easy ordering and shipping are Digikey and Amazon. Preferred hardware/mechanical/electrical vendors are McMaster and Grainger.

    • Amazon is a good option because we have Prime so you can get qualified items with free 2-day shipping or next day for $4 per item.

  3. Assemble the information needed to place the order 

    • Regardless of what method you use, ALWAYS Provide a text list of what you are ordering so we can confirm the products when placing the order. Ideally you should copy/type text into the email, but if that's not possible you can print it to a pdf or take a screenshot (small file sizes only please).

    • Include a hyperlink to each product at the vendor's web site and indicate the quantity desired for each. Be sure to provide instructions for any options that need to be selected in the process of adding it to the cart (drop-down boxes for size, value, etc.).

    • For the select vendors below, you should create a shopping cart online and share it with us. Note that with most web sites you cannot just send a link to your shopping cart page as that info is usually stored in cookies on your computer.

      • Digikey: Enter your class/team number in the "Customer Reference" Box then send me the "Web ID" and "Access ID" from your order.

      • McMaster: Enter your class/team number in the "Purchase Order" box and send me the requisition by clicking "Forward" in the upper right corner link bar.

      • Mouser: Use the "Share this cart with a colleague" link in the shopping cart. Use the instructions from part 4 below to fill in the subject line information (#3 on the share cart page).

      • Amazon: For single-item orders send a link to the item page. For orders with multiple items, create a wish list specifically for this purchase, make sure it is not private, title it with your senior design team number "SD#" and send me a link to it once you have added your items to it. You can reuse this wish list for future purchases, but be sure to delete out old items so they don't get re-ordered. We have a Prime account, so prime-qualifying items get free 2-day shipping.

  4. Email the order request 

    • All order-related communications must include the following info (in addition to anything mentioned above):

      • In the Subject line of the email: Team number and Class name (Senior Design, ENGR331, etc.)

      • Vendor you are ordering from

      • Subject line should look like this (for example, a Digikey order for Senior Design team number X): "SD#X - Digikey order". Keep it simple, do not fill up the subject line with a bunch of other text. If you're ordering for a class project, replace the SD#X with ENGR### and group/project name.

    • In the Email body: Send a separate email for each order. If you are ordering from two vendors, send two emails, one for each vendor order.

      • Your name Team number and Class name (Senior Design, ENGR331, etc.)

      • Brief written summary of your order (description of items you are ordering). Yes this is necessary even if you are including an attachment or shopping cart access code/link.

      • Complete contact info for the vendor if it's not on the EE preferred list.

    • Specify how you would like it to be shipped. Be reasonable. Do not ask for rush processing or delivery unless you truly need it and will follow up promptly. "ASAP" means next day air, early morning delivery. Be specific. Non-urgent deliveries should just say "standard ground shipping."

    • Include any other special instructions or information I would need to place the order.

    • I will confirm by reply email when the order has been placed. If you do not get a confirmation from me then assume it did not get ordered. In this case you should follow up with me after a reasonable time to be sure there wasn't a problem.

  5. Follow up properly when the order arrives 

    • We will contact you when the order arrives if you have followed the instructions in part 3 above. If you were sloppy in part 3 then we may have trouble finding the details and may not be able to contact you easily. Or the order may not have gotten placed.

    • When you receive notice that it has arrived, pick it up promptly or reply to make alternate arrangements.

    • If you need to access the order immediately when it arrives and we have not yet had a chance to check the order in, you must verify that all items on the packing list have arrived in the package, note that on the packing list, and make sure I get the packing list. This should only be done in extreme cases that truly warrant this urgency.

Things to keep in mind:

We place multiple orders for parts for various people every day. We will NOT remember each person's order and details about it between when it is placed and when it arrives, so if you make inquiries be prepared to answer questions about what you ordered and from where. This is especially important if the person who follows up is not the same person who placed the order.

It is important for you to follow the documentation instructions above so that we can get the order in your hands easily and effectively reconcile the billing. We have other duties aside from placing orders -- do not wait until the last minute to place your order because staff may not be available or able to place it for you instantly. It takes time to receive and process an incoming order, so please avoid cutting it so close that your order arrives on the day you must have it.