Workshop on Web Based Experiments

The Møller Centre, Cambridge, Friday 8 July 2005

Weblabs Workshop Poster © Richard West

Weblabs, internet-accessible experiments, make use of up-to-date technologies for remote operation of a real experiment. They offer students essential training for what they are likely to encounter in their professional life.

Hands-on laboratory experiences have enormous educational value, but traditional teaching laboratories are expensive and have complex logistics. The Internet offers all new possibilities to access real experiments using software for remote operation widely used in industry.

With weblabs, students can get laboratory experience at any time and perform their work from any place with Internet access. The experimental equipment can be easily shared and used around the clock from anywhere in the world. This drastically changes the economics of providing laboratory experiments to students and, potentially, a huge number of experiments can be available for use, including experiments on expensive equipment, rare materials and at remote locations.

At the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge, we run a project sponsored by the Cambridge-MIT Institute exploring the use of Internet accessible laboratory experiments. As part of this we are arranging a workshop on the 8th of July at the Møller Centre in Cambridge.

The talks at the workshop will address:
  • The current state and future of weblabs
  • How the use of weblabs affects the way of teaching
  • How laboratory experiments are made accessible from the Internet
  • The MIT iLabs shared architecture
Who should attend the workshop?
  • If you currently develop weblabs, you will be able to discuss and exchange experiences with other developers
  • If you are interested in building your own weblab, you can learn how it has been done by others, get valuable advice and avoid their mistakes
  • If you are curious about weblabs, or interested to use an existing weblab, you will get an overview of what is available and what kind of experiments are suitable on the Internet.

The event has already taken place. Please visit the pictures section for a report and photos from the event.

<< Programme >> << Directions >> << Accommodation >> << Cambridge >> << Report >>


8.45 - 9.15 Coffee, Registration & Posters on Display
Markus Kraft and Howard Chase, University of Cambridge

9.15 - 9.20 Welcome

9.20 - 10.30 Presentations
  The Impact of Web-based Experiments in Teaching at Tec de Monterrey
Miguel Romero-Ogawa, Tecnológico de Monterrey
  Six Years with the Vernetztes Studium Project
Ralf Moros, University of Leipzig

10.30 - 11.00 Coffee

11.00 - 12.10 Presentations
  The iLabs Shared Architecture and the Future of Web-based Laboratory Experiments
Phil Bailey, MIT
  Weblabs cluster in Chemical and Biochemical Process Engineering
Luiz Valcov Loureiro, University of São Paulo

12.10 - 14.20 Lunch, Poster Session & Demonstrations

14.20 - 16.00 Presentations
  A suite of Web-accessible Experiments for Teaching Heat Transfer: Pedagogical Aspects
Clark Colton, MIT
  Development of remotely controlled experiments at Armfield
Ted Sansom, Armfield Ltd

16.00 - 16.20 Coffee

16.20 - 16.50 Presentation
  Performing Process Control Experiments Across the Atlantic
Anders Selmer, University of Cambridge

16.50 - 17.00 Closing Remarks
Markus Kraft, University of Cambridge


The workshop will be held in the Møller Centre at Churchill College. Cambridge is readily accessible by air, road and rail. Stansted Airport and London is less than an hour away. The Møller Centre is situated less than 1 mile from the M11 motorway. Detailed directions can be found on the Møller Centre website. Free car parking is available.


It is possible to stay at the Møller Centre, contact the reception, phone: 01223 465 500, email: Bed and Breakfast accommodation is also available in Churchill College. Prices are £68.85 for ensuite accommodation and £51.25 for standard accommodation. Call 01223 336233 or email: to make a reservation. Other options can be found on the Visit Cambridge Website.


Cambridge is a town breathing history but kept young and vital by the students. According to the Visit Cambridge Website: “Cambridge is a wonderful fusion of the everyday and the extraordinary, a living city that has shaped history, that today reflects the best of historic and contemporary life and is continuing to make its mark on the future.” Take the opportunity to experience Cambridge for the weekend. Accommodation can be found above.

Students performing web based experiment © Anders Selmer
The Møller Centre © Richard West


The Cambridge-MIT Institute logo
The Cambridge-MIT Institute

Useful Links

A report and photos from the event
Further information on the University of Cambridge activities
The MIT iLabs project
The Vernetztes Studium project