The Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science recently received an assemblage of the latest, top-of-the-line equipment in the chemistry field.
The most notable equipment includes a liquid chromatography mass spectrometer (LCMS), a gas chromatography mass spectrometer (GCMS) and a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide the opportunity for students to work on such state-of-the-art equipment,” said Dr. Evonne Baldauff, chairperson for the Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science and professor of chemistry. “Working as an undergraduate with this equipment at an in-depth degree can give our students an advantage when applying for jobs or professional/graduate degree programs.”
The NMR, which helps the chemist to understand what a molecule “looks like,” is expected to arrive in the summer, while the LCMS and GCMS, which enable the finding of trace amounts of important molecules, have already arrived on campus.
“All three of these instruments are designed to measure the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with molecules,” said Michael Cipoletti, assistant professor of forensic science. “These types of instruments are used routinely in most professional analytical labs, from environmental testing to medicinal research, and pretty much any time you have an organic molecule that needs to be analyzed.”
Waynesburg intends to use the top-of-the-line-equipment to benefit both undergraduate and high school students.
“These instruments will be used to help explain fundamental concepts in chemistry and biochemistry courses, to give the students hands-on experiences in operating professional-grade instrumentation, and to support faculty and undergraduate research projects,” shared Cipoletti.
The new LCMS is first being used as a part of an undergraduate research project to detect the presence of herbicides as a service to local growers of organic produce. Additionally, two undergraduate students will be able to utilize the equipment for research collaboration with the Pennsylvania crime lab to analyze illicit opioid samples.
“This equipment will help our faculty to enhance the excellent education that students are already receiving in STEAM disciplines at Waynesburg University,” added Dr. Baldauff.
In addition to undergraduate research opportunities, Waynesburg intends to use the equipment for high school outreach activities with local schools such as the University’s annual STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Academy.
Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science
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