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Department of Chemistry Receives $1.2M for Lab Renovations

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the National Science Foundation granted UC $1.2 million to renovate three chemistry research labs.

Date: 9/14/2010 12:00:00 AM
By: Kim Burdett
Phone: (513) 556-8577

UC ingot   Three chemistry research labs in the University of Cincinnati’s Rieveschl Hall will receive makeovers thanks to a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The funding—part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)—will support the renovation of existing lab space to create:

•    a modern inorganic synthesis and characterization facility,
•    a laser spectroscopy facility and
•    a consolidated computation cluster for theoretical chemists.

Patrick Limbach, professor of chemistry, who coauthored the grant proposal with Greg Robinson, university architect, says that the renovations will allow faculty and graduate students to conduct research that they can’t currently do in the existing space.

“These renovations will modernize chemistry research spaces,” says Limbach. “The upgrades will be long-lasting and will provide us with an infrastructure that matches the talents of our faculty and graduate students.”

Renovations will affect about a quarter of the chemistry department’s 105 graduate students and will directly impact several of the 25 faculty members.

Two of the many projects that will benefit from the renovations include computational modeling of the forces that affect cells and the proteins within its cytoskeleton, led by Ruxandra Dima, assistant professor, and the development of organic magnetic materials, led by Anna Gudmundsdottir, professor.

The renovation project will be funded until August 2013. The NSF proposal was a collaborative effort between chemistry faculty and the university’s planning, design and construction office, with support the from UC’s Office of Research.   

This renovation grant is the third the university has seen since ARRA funding was made available. Other renovation projects include research labs in the Kettering Building—home to the environmental health department on UC’s medical campus—as well as research space in the Medical Sciences Building, also on the medical campus.

Additional renovations within Rieveschl Hall’s 400- , 500-, 600- and 700-level labs have been underway for more than a year. Already complete as part of this project is the renovation of the organic chemistry labs. Biology labs will next be renovated. Renovations consist of ventilation-system upgrades as well as updates to mechanical, electrical, plumbing and lighting systems and lab utilities.

Limbach, an Ohio Eminent Scholar, recently completed a five-year term as head of the chemistry department and will leave in October for a sabbatical at Brown University.

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