Chemistry deals with really small particles -- things on the scale of about 1 nm - 1000 times smaller than a hair. Because our eyes can't see atoms and molecules directly, we rely on instruments to help us understand what is going on with the atoms and molecules.
The department has many modern instruments that are used across our curriculum and in our research. Key among them is a 400 MHz NMR spectrometer. We are working to maintain and grow our fleet of instruments. During the summer of 2011, we were pleased to receive a new HPLC system and fluorescence spectrometer. In 2012 the department added a much needed GC-MS instrument, and in 2013 we are happy to announce the new ICP-OES which replaces the automic-absorption spectroscopy of yesteryear. These instruments complement our existing instrumentation. We look forward to continuing to work with the university, granting agencies, and alumni to continue to maintain and grow our assortment of instruments.
The university has committed to a multi-year project to upgrade the learning facilities and air handling (HVAC) system in the chemistry building, Halenz Hall. The project commenced in the summer of 2010 with the installation of a higher capacity air handling unit. The summer of 2011 was used to perform a major HVAC infrastructure update. A key improvement, ready in the fall of 2011 and supporting our teaching mission, was a new stockroom facility with acid and flammables storage cabinets, modern stainless and plastic storage shelves, new fume hoods, and updated work areas. We are grateful for generous and timely support from our alumni to support that purchase. During the summer of 2013 the organic chemistry teaching labs are being completely redone from the ground up with all new flooring, benches, sinks, hoods, work stations, and state-of-the-art teaching tools. The HVAC upgrade will also be finished this summer which will mean that every fume hood will now be new and meet modern safety and air quality standards. Another major improvement to greet the students this fall will be a full amphitheater renovation with new carpeting, chairs, demo-bench, projection equipment and "smart" whiteboards for lecturing.