Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Customer Story

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Customer Story

Smarter delivers grade-A student services

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is a college specializing in science, engineering, and mathematics in Terre Haute, Indiana. Founded in 1874, Rose-Hulman has established itself as one of the most consistently top-ranked undergraduate engineering colleges in the United States and a global leader in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The college is home to around 2,000 undergraduate students, 100 graduate students, and 600 faculty and staff.

Equipping students with the right tools
Rose-Hulman’s mission is to provide its students with the world’s best undergraduate science, engineering, and mathematics education in an environment of individual attention and support.

Technology is the backbone of these academic services at the college, and Rose-Hulman has required students to have laptops since 1995.

“Incoming freshmen are equipped with a laptop that they will use throughout their college career to support their studies. Students rely heavily on these laptops not only for research and course work, but also because they learn to use industry-standard software programs that they’ll need in their future jobs.”
Bill Boatman, System Administrator—Technical Lead, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

To train the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology equips each incoming freshman class with powerful Lenovo ThinkPad P1 mobile workstations. High performance and advanced graphics ensure students can learn to use the industry-standard software programs they will need in their future careers. Auto provisioning and easy repairs save the IT team weeks of work each year, so they can dedicate more time to supporting students’ educational needs.

In the past, Rose-Hulman’s IT team would spend several weeks each summer setting up laptops for the incoming freshman class—typically around 600 students. A standard software suite was pre-loaded onto every laptop with the most common programs that students need for their classes.

“We’re a relatively small IT team, so we used to hire student workers to help us unbox and image the laptops so that they were ready to use when the freshmen arrived on campus,” recalls Boatman. “This was a very manual, time-consuming process, and we wanted to reduce the time it took to prepare equipment for the new academic year.”

Finding the right fit
For each incoming freshman class, a committee of faculty, staff, and students selects a laptop model based on the current classroom needs. The 2021-2022 freshman class will be using the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 3 (15”) Mobile Workstation, powered by Intel® Core™ i7 processors.

“Another key deciding factor was repairability,” he adds. “Our technicians provide warranty repairs on campus with a three-hour turnaround time. Compared to other laptop makes and models that we’ve had in the past, the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 is designed to be repaired, is less difficult to open up, and spare parts are readily available.”

Rose-Hulman automated the deployment of the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 3 laptops with a Lenovo Ready to Provision (RTP) custom pre-load and Microsoft Windows Autopilot technology.

With Lenovo RTP, devices are configured to Rose-Hulman’s specifications before they leave the factory. Meanwhile, Microsoft Windows Autopilot eliminates the need for manual imaging by enabling students to self-deploy devices from the cloud in a few clicks. The standard software suite is automatically installed, ensuring that students have everything they need on their device.

Supporting students
With Lenovo ThinkPad P1 mobile workstations and auto-provisioning now the standard for incoming freshman classes, Rose-Hulman has significantly reduced the time required to deploy and distribute 600 devices each year.

Boatman comments: “Getting freshman laptops ready used to be a big summer project. Thanks to Lenovo RTP and Windows Autopilot, it’s no longer a hands-on process. Now, we simply hand over the laptops to students at orientation and everything is installed automatically when they power on the device, ready to use. This saves us three weeks of work—time we can dedicate to more strategic activities.”

As well as eliminating many hours of work in the summer, the IT team is also saving significant time and effort on maintenance activities throughout the academic year.

“On an average day, we used to repair about eight laptops,” says Boatman. “Now that number is more like three or four. The repairs are not typically as big as they were before either and our IT service desk has less maintenance work to do. Previously, if a student had a major problem with Windows on their laptop, we had to re-image the whole system. Thanks to the Windows Autopilot reset button, students can fix the problem themselves at their own convenience.”

It’s not just the IT team who are satisfied with the Lenovo devices: student feedback on the laptop program has been trending up since Rose-Hulman switched to ThinkPad P1 mobile workstations.

“Lenovo laptops are ideally suited to our needs. The Lenovo ThinkPad P1 is powerful, easy to deploy, and simple to repair—helping us to train the next generation of students.”
Bill Boatman, System Administrator—Technical Lead, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Customer Story