News Center

News from the Reed College public affairs office

Search: or

Press Release


Media Contact

Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Reed College a grant of $279,641 to acquire a 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer for use in chemistry research and chemistry research training. The NSF awarded this grant as part of the "Major Research Instrumentation Program: Instrument Development and Acquisition."

The spectrometer project is directed by Reed professor of chemistry Patrick G. McDougal, Arthur F. Scott professor of chemistry Ronald W. McClard, associate professor of chemistry Arthur Glasfeld, and senior research associate John F. Witte. Glasfeld says, "The NSF provided these funds to support the department's research mission. Our old instrument, while serviceable, was beginning to show its age and was more limited in the experiments it could be used to perform. The new NMR will provide greater sensitivity, ease of use, and breadth of applications."

Reed chemistry students working on the new spectrometer will gain hands-on expertise in modern NMR methodology. It provides students with access to a research-quality instrument at the moment of their first exposure to the technique. The new spectrometer will gain broad use in teaching labs, upper-division classes, and faculty members' personal research. "The NMR spectrometer is an essential tool in determining chemical structures and will be used heavily by thesis students and summer interns in the coming years," said Glasfeld.

Reed's chemistry department is well equipped as a modern research facility. Students regularly work with such modern instrumentation as GC-MS, FT-IR, and FT-NMR spectrometers, a 250-kilowatt nuclear reactor, an x-ray diffractometer, and several Silicon Graphics molecular modeling computer workstations. McClard says, "Reed was in competition with major research universities for funds allocated to purchase instrumentation for scientific research. We were able to demonstrate to the NSF that the faculty and students here are engaged in first-rate science." Graduates of Reed's chemistry department have regularly won distinguished awards and fellowships from agencies that include the NSF. Last year a chemistry graduate, Derek Lyons, won Reed's 31st Rhodes Scholarship.

# # # #