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. 

Computer Access

All students will need access to a desktop or laptop computer to keep learning. 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.


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 2019
    • ANSYS 19.2
    • ANSYS Electromagnetics Suite 19.2
    • ArcGIS Desktop 10.7
    • Autodesk AutoCAD 2020
    • Autodesk Inventor Professional 2020
    • CHEMCAD Suite 7
    • COMSOL Multiphysics 5.0
    • Google Backup and Sync
    • LTspice XVII
    • MATLAB R2019a
    • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2019
    • Microsoft Project Professional 2019
    • Microsoft Visio Professional 2019
    • Microsoft Visual Studio Enterprise 2019
    • ASCO Capstone
    • Polymath EDU Site 6.2 2019-20
    • PTC Creo 5
    • PSpice Student 9.1
    • Quartus Prime Lite Edition
    • SAP2000 19 64-bit
    • SOLIDWORKS 2019 SP03
    • Spartan Student v7.2.7
    • Wolfram Mathematica 11.3
  • 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.


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

  • Operating System: Windows 10, 64 bit
  • Processor: Intel i5 processor above 2GHz min. Recommended: i7 processor.
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM minimum
  • Hard Drive: 500GB SSD. If students purchase a computer with a mechanical hard drive, choose one with 7200rpm or better. Also, an SSD is preferable because it is much faster.
  • Wireless: Minimum WiFi 4 or above
  • Video Card: Discrete video card with 2GB video RAM (DDR3 or 4 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.

Engineering Computer Labs

Departments have their own computer labs for students to use. 

Biomedical Engineering 

  • ASEC 272 has 40 computers

Chemical 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 and Computer Information Systems 

  • 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 84 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 or 330-972-6888 to discuss phone or online purchasing.

Keep Learning

UA created a webpage called Keep Learning to help students continue their learning in the weeks ahead. If you are new to online learning or need some tips for using BrightSpace, make sure you check it out.