Technology resources for students

Not all laptops are created equal. We have compiled a list of resources to help you be successful as an engineering and computing student during your time at The University of Akron. 


Software

Students can purchase and download software through MyAkron, the university’s web portal, for free or at reduced costs.

  • The University of Akron’s Virtual Lab provides students with free 24/7 access to computer applications needed for class. Engineering students can access:
    • Abaqus  
    • ANSYS  
    • ANSYS Electromagnetics Suite  
    • ArcGIS Desktop  
    • Autodesk AutoCAD  
    • Autodesk Inventor Professional  
    • CHEMCAD  
    • COMSOL Multiphysics  
    • Google Backup and Sync
    • LTspice 
    • MATLAB  
    • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 
    • Microsoft Project Professional 
    • Microsoft Visio Professional  
    • Microsoft Visual Studio Enterprise  
    • ASCO Capstone  
    • Polymath EDU Site  
    • PTC Creo  
    • PSpice Student 
    • Quartus Prime Lite Edition  
    • SAP2000  
    • SOLIDWORKS  
    • Spartan Student  
    • Wolfram Mathematica  
  • UA has a campus-wide license for access to MATLAB Online through the MathWorks/UA Portal.
  • Full-time students have access to Microsoft 365 which provides access to email, MS Office Suite, and OneDrive for cloud storage.
  • Students may choose to download certain programs directly from publisher websites instead of going to UA’s Virtual Lab. This list, though not comprehensive, includes Abaqus, ANSYS, LabView, CREO, and SpacsGASS.
  • Students may download Microsoft software, desktop and server operating system packages through the Microsoft Dev Tools for Teaching program and a complete library of VMware products through the VMware Academic Software Center.

Hardware

If you purchase a computer, the following are our hardware recommendations for engineering student computers:

  • Operating System: Windows 10 or 11, 64 bit
  • Processor: Intel i5 or Ryzen 5 above 2GHz min (We recommend Intel i9 or Ryzen 7 processor)
  • Memory: 16 GB minimum
  • Hard Drive: 500GB m.2 PCIe SSD minimum (although any solid state drive will be adequate, avoid mechanical hard drives)
  • Wireless: Minimum WiFi 4 or above.
  • Video Card: Discrete video card with 2GB video RAM (DDR4 is fine, DDR5 is better but more expensive). Stay away from products that market themselves as “integrated” as those feature video on the motherboard which negatively impacts performance.
  • Display: 14” minimum
  • Warranty: Extended — students can be hard on their laptops!

Note: We recommend that electrical and computer engineering students have access to a laptop with at least two USB ports.

Note: The College does NOT recommend use of MacBooks in engineering programs as there is software that may be used in classes that is not compatible with macOS. 

Computer Labs

Departments have their own computer labs for students to use. 

Biomedical Engineering 

  • ASEC #272 has 40 computers

Chemical, Biomolecuar, and Corrosion Engineering

  • Whitby #208 has 37 computers

Civil Engineering 

  • ASEC #212 has 40 computers
  • SHS #227 has 21 computers
  • SHS #119 has 22 computers

Computer Science  

  • Polsky #M158 has 27 computers
  • CBAS #241 has 20 computers

Electrical and Computer Engineering 

  • ASEC #560 has 35 computers
  • SHS #228 has 14 computers
  • ASEC #212 has 40 computers

Mechanical Engineering

  • ASEC #124 and ASEC #125 have 82 computers total
  • SHS #132 has 30 computers total

Additional labs: 

  • IDEAs Program computer lab (SHN #353) has 8 computers
  • Engineering technology computer lab (SHS #130) has 30 computers

The Computer Store

Located on campus, the The Computer Store is a great resource for students who need to purchase a laptop or desktop computer. Currently, The Computer Store is closed for in-person shopping, but students can contact staff at compstore@uakron.edu or 330-972-6888 to discuss phone or online purchasing.

Computer Access

All students will need access to a desktop or laptop computer to learn. If you are a student or know a student who is concerned about the ability to continue in a course due to a lack of technology resources (such as internet or computer access), please submit a referral through Help-A-Zip.

Through the fundraising efforts of the Department of Development, and with assistance from the Information Technology Services team, ZipAssist will work with each student referral to discuss available resources.