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Chemistry Discipline Receives UMN Grant for New Spectrometer

Science building on the UMN Morris campus
Author: 
Jenna Ray
Publication date: 
August 1, 2018
  • OVPR Research Infrastructure Investment Program awards strengthen the University's research infrastructure.
  • This award will help UMN Morris scientists solve grand challenges.
  • The project was  made possible by additional contributions from alumni and from the Office of Academic Affairs.

The University of Minnesota Morris was awarded an Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) Research Infrastructure Investment Program 2018 award. The award will allow the purchase of an NMR spectrometer that will help Morris scientists solve grand challenges.

What

OVPR Research Infrastructure Investment Program awards are designed to facilitate interdisciplinary partnerships and strengthen the University's research infrastructure. The Morris award will bring a 400MHz FT-NMR Spectrometer to campus.

Why

The forerunner of the MRI, NMR helps scientists identify compounds and study matter. For example, chemists at Morris are making new molecules that could lead to better pharmaceuticals or ways of cleaning up water. But that can only happen if researchers know exactly what they're working with.

"When we make a new molecule, we need to know if we made what we set out to make," says Professor Nancy Carpenter, who led the proposal. "This instrument allows us to figure out exactly what atoms are connected together."

NMR is necessary for students and faculty in material sciences. The upgrade to 400 MHz will dramatically improve their ability to conduct leading-edge research—at lower operating costs.

Who

Since one-to-one matching funds are required for funding eligibility, this important work was only made possible by additional contributions from Science and Math alumni and from the Office of Academic Affairs. This added support is vital to the program's success.

"We're excited to collaborate to make a significant investment in support of research on this campus," says Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean Janet Schrunk Ericksen. "This illustrates just what we can accomplish when the dean's office, an academic division, and alumni work together."

"It is important to have the support of the Division of Science and Mathematics and its alumni funds, because our division and campus are committed to undergraduate research, and that can only be done with collaboration," adds Peh Ng, chair, Division of Science and Mathematics.

This activity is made possible by the University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research and the University of Minnesota, Morris Office of Academic Affairs, Division of Science & Mathematics, and Science and Math alumni.

Pictured: The UMN Morris Science building, where the new spectrometer will be housed.