Technology Devised at UC to Receive Governor's Award
Date: Nov. 12, 2002
Story by: Eric Lose
Contact: Mary B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Archive: General News
Cincinnati -- School chemistry labs are "high risk" zones for PCs, printers and computer monitors. Chemicals may spill on or around sensitive equipment, and computer equipment stacked on lab benchtops may be knocked over during active experiments.
In 1998, University of Cincinnati researchers unveiled a novel electronic network to increase equipment safety, improve student education and reduce costs in high school and college chem labs. Their system, called MeasureNet, features only one PC which is controlled by the instructor. That one PC interfaces with vertically mounted monitors with which students collect and view data. Thus, the system, which is marketed nationally and can be found at universities around the country, provides students simple, easy-to-access, high-quality measurements.
This network-based data collection and analysis system will be recognized with a Governor's Award for Excellence in Energy Efficiency on Nov. 12, 2002, in Columbus. On hand will be Robert Voorhees, UC research associate and president of MeasureNet Technology, Ltd., who will receive the award at 1 p.m. in the Statehouse Atrium.
About MeasureNet, Voorhees explained, "The system allows students to do electronic measurement and data collection of voltage, temperature, pressure, pH, spectroscopy, and a number of things that we used to do by hand."
In addition to improving the lab education for students, MeasureNet greatly reduces laboratory equipment expenses and saves considerable space and energy. Other lab data collection systems require one PC per workstation. Voorhees said, "The unique thing about our MeasureNet's patented design is that it's network based: we only need one PC to support up to 12 workstations. PCs take up plenty of lab space and use a lot of electricity, plus you have to replace them every three to five years. The cost savings is significant and the reduction of electricity over the lifespan is big."
MeasureNet was developed at UC by Voorhees, instrumentation specialist Paul McKenzie and Estel Sprague, professor of chemistry, and supported by grants from Procter and Gamble and the National Science Foundation.