Grant funds new technology at University of South Dakota

Grant funds new technology at University of South Dakota One of the oldest buildings on The University of South Dakota will soon house one of the newest pieces of technology to arrive on campus.

A grant from the National Science Foundation allowed the Department of Chemistry to purchase a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer at a cost of $176,853.

NMR spectrometry is one of the most powerful tools available to the chemist for determining the structure of chemical substances and plays an increasingly critical role in solving problems in the biological sciences, said Mary Berry, chair of the department of chemistry.

"We have an older instrument but it is largely dedicated to faculty research," Berry said, "and we want to use NMR spectrometry in our undergraduate curriculum. We'll begin with an introduction to NMR in the general and organic laboratories and go on to more sophisticated applications in upper division labs."

Students will learn techniques required to determine structures of complex molecules, evaluate molecular interactions, analyze mixtures and monitor the course of chemical reactions. The department will develop a new course for students on the theory and applications of NMR spectroscopy.

By learning these techniques and exposing students to modern instrumentation, such as the NMR, Berry believes students will be better prepared to become independent researchers.

The department also plans to conduct weeklong workshops in NMR techniques for faculty from the U and other regional institutes.

In order to house the new instrument, renovations to Pardee Hall were necessary.

Although the NMR is about the size of an office desk, it is extremely heavy and a new elevator is being constructed to carry the heavy piece of equipment. Also, a room in the old building is being remodeled to accommodate it.

Berry is looking forward to the installation of the NMR in December.

"This is a unique opportunity for us to teach from different perspectives and at different levels."

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