$250 000 Investment Gives King’s Chemistry Students a Leg Up
King's investment to upgrade the 17 year old nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) machines computer console gives King's Chemistry students a distinct advantage entering the workforce, or further studies.
In summer 2019, King’s made a $250 000 investment into the Chemistry program that is sure to make a lasting impact. At 17 years old, King's nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer's computer console was at the end of its life. By investing in an upgrade to the NMR, King’s chemists will easily see another 15 years on this instrument.
“[The NMR] is an integral part of the student experience at King’s and sets our program apart. I think it’s one of the reasons that when our top students go off to graduate school they do quite well, they’ve gained a lot of experience in operating equipment,” says Heather Starke, Natural Sciences Instrumentation Coordinator at King’s.
The NMR spectrometer is used extensively in many courses at King’s, particularly senior level Chemistry courses. With the recent upgrades, professors will be able to introduce this instrument to students as early as their second year of study.
“Access to state of the art instrumentation like the NMR gives our students a distinct advantage in their future careers, especially in a province that has been blessed with so much chemical wealth,” says Dr. Kristopher Ooms, Dean of Natural Sciences.
The NMR essentially allows students to investigate the structure of molecules by measuring the chemical environment of atoms, most commonly hydrogen. This, along with data collected from other instruments at King's, allows students to decipher chemical structures.
Many King’s students and alumni have had the opportunity to work with complex equipment, such as the NMR, in King’s labs. One of these students is Theodosia Babej. As a third year chemistry student, Theodosia initially used the NMR in the summer of 2018 while working with Dr. Kristopher Ooms on a summer research project. She has continued to refine her skills with this instrument throughout her courses at King’s.
“The NMR has definitely been a positive contribution to my King’s experience. Being able to use the NMR as an undergrad is definitely something I would not have experienced if I had chosen to pursue a chemistry degree at a larger institution, it has helped me gain valuable skills,” explains Theodosia.