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SLAS2018 Short Courses

Microcontrollers, the IoT and our Laboratories (Hands On, Laptop Required) (NEW!)

This course will introduce students to the integration of low cost sensors and microcontrollers to build tools with laboratory applications such as monitoring and control. We’ll also review how we can interconnect laboratory hardware with cloud based systems to create a laboratory or even enterprise wide web for real time data collection and analysis.

The course will provide hands on experience with the popular Arduino microcontroller. We’ll install the basic development environment and walk through labs covering using Arduino to collect, respond and report data.

Please note: It's important to understand how accessible and easy to use microcontrollers are. To demonstrate this the course has hands on exercises where attendees will build useful solutions with the industry standard Arduino platform micro-controller. Participants will receive a kit containing a micro-controller and the hardware to complete these exercises in class. Participants will also need a laptop computer with at least one USB port and the ability to install the Arduino programming environment. The cost of the kit is included with the course fee and you should take the kit home with you to continue exploration and delivering solutions on your own.

Who Should Attend:

This is an introductory course and does not require any programming or electronics experience. Everything needed to build simple systems will be provided.

  • People interested in what the IoT is and how it will impact them.
  • People who want to begin to explore creating their own monitoring/control systems
  • People looking for low cost tools for constructing laboratory instruments.
  • Instrument vendors looking to leverage low cost microcontrollers for system monitoring.

Those interested in the following tracks:

How You Will Benefit From This Course:

  • You will develop a basic understanding of the IoT
  • You will have hands on experience with Arduino
  • You will gain insight into how microcontrollers can be used in the laboratory
  • You will understand how many sensors and microcontrollers can be integrated with each other and the cloud to form complex data gathering and instrument control.

Course Topics:

  • What are microcontrollers, sensors and “smart objects”
  • Using an Arduino to collect and report signals
  • Using Arduino to respond to events and control output
  • General overview of IoT and the cloud
  • Hands on building of basic systems using Arduino


James M. Gill, II

James M. Gill, II
BFL Consulting

Jay Gill has contributed to broad areas of technology in support of drug discovery over 30yrs. Areas of specific contributions include supporting analytics, visualization tools, scientific search and process and system analysis and design. Jay has considerable experience developing scientifically oriented hardware and software solutions in support of high throughput screening and lead optimization in early drug discovery. Jay began his career as a neurobiologist studying signal transduction and coding in the central nervous system, focusing on the sense of taste.

Erik M. Werner

Erik M. Werner
University of California, Irvine

Erik began using open-source electronics to automate his laboratory when he was an undergraduate, and has loathed the thought of manual data entry ever since. He has lead instructional microcontroller workshops through numerous education and outreach programs and is experienced in software and hardware integration, specializing in areas of microfluidic control and automation. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Irvine, where he is developing microfluidic systems with integrated logic controllers to make them easier to use and accessible to a wider audience.

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