Lab Moves: Controlled Chaos
Early in 2021, after only being with AES a few months, the news trickled down that we were moving to a new home… lab included. The design and functionality of the space were an open book. However, this initial rush of excitement soon turned to thoughts of “Well, how the hell do you design a drilling fluids lab?”
Finally, the lab outline was agreed upon after numerous meetings and trips to the 6th floor. Long gone were the days in the basement where no one knew the lab existed; we would now be home to a glass-walled centerpiece on the 8th floor of an office building. Of course, at this point, I didn’t even know you could put a lab in an office building, what with all the safety regulations and venting required, etc., but we were going to give it the old college try.
Once decisions were made and the space was built came one of the most complex parts… the move. Trying to keep a functioning lab running while moving would always be a challenge, even more so when we decided to move the chemicals and large pieces of analytical equipment ourselves.
I must give my team tremendous credit; some had only recently joined the company and had yet to learn what they had gotten into. However, this was only possible with their hard work and dedication. Whether it was staying late to finish packing crates, supervising the movers after hours, or running mud checks on any piece of equipment, we could unbox and plug in. I would also like to shout out the Midland Lab, as they stepped up whenever needed to help us.
To say this was a challenge is an understatement, and the list of lessons learned along the way is endless, but what we designed and built is something we, as a company, can be proud of. From that initial meeting, this was a considerable undertaking and needed a real team effort which is still ongoing.
Let’s face it, what was I thinking, believing that it would be smooth sailing from here on as soon as we moved in?
Blog Author: Leigh Gray, Support Services Manager