Chemistry Department Flush with New Labs, Offices and Equipment

News Story: November 15, 2014

Sacred Heart University’s Chemistry Department has much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving given the recent completion of Phase I of office and lab renovations and investments in new equipment. Phase II is planned for next summer and will include the addition of a multi-purpose lab, and a new seminar room for graduate students.

Professor Eid A. Alkhatib, chair of SHU’s Chemistry Department and director of the master’s in chemistry program, has been overseeing the upgrades. The Chemistry faculty also had major input regarding the renovations.

Alkhatib described the renovations, which were extensive. “We renovated the organic chemistry lab and research room, built two new labs—one for physics and one for instruments— constructed three new research labs, created 10 new offices for faculty and established a seating area for students to interact with faculty. We also have a new space for adjunct faculty to meet with students during their office hours,” he says.

Equipment purchases were equally comprehensive, including a new gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (GC/MS), an organic compound analysis instrument; a thermogravimetric analyzer, (TGA) used in various analytical applications; a high-pressure liquid chromatograph (HPLC) organic analyzer; a spectrofluorometer for spectroscopy analysis; an ultraviolet/visible spectrometer, (UV/VIS); and an infrared spectrometer.

Renovations began in April 2014 and were completed at the end of August, before the start of the fall semester, according to Alkhatib. Equipment purchases were made over the past two years.

“The upgrades definitely benefit the whole spectrum of our students with regard to education and research,” he said. “And the improvements show the commitment of the university to the science area, providing academics with state-of-the-art equipment.”

During National Chemistry Week in October, the Department held an open house to give staff, faculty and university executives a look at the new spaces, materials and hardware. One of the highlights of their reception was the ACS Student Affiliates representation of the Periodic Table of Elements constructed using cupcakes.