Ferris to build research lab

Grant money funds Shimadzu laboratory

The fall semester will mark the grand opening of the Shimadzu Core Laboratory for Academic and Research Excellence, a new research laboratory in the Arts and Sciences Complex that will benefit students from a variety of programs.

The new research center is named for the Shimadzu Corporation, a Japanese‐based international corporation whose corporate philosophy is based on “contributing to society through science and technology.”

“With Shimadzu, we had an opportunity to submit a grant request that, of course, is relevant to what that organization specializes in,” said Rick Kurtz, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “In Shimadzu’s case, they make grant money available every year to basically make grant request packages for equipment.”

After applying for this grant, Ferris State University was awarded $500,000 worth of “cutting edge” scientific testing equipment for their new research center. The seven new pieces of equipment include various high‐sensitivity spectrophotometers, devices used to measure the amount of light absorbed by a medium at a given wavelength. Spectrophotometers are used in many different scientific fields, such as molecular biology, physics, chemistry and biochemistry.

“We did have what we saw as some of the appropriate lab equipment, because what our students have to know when graduating [requires having] a better familiarity with higher‐level equipment,” Kurtz said.

However, the university’s existing resources were not enough to fill students’ needs. Kurtz and administrators from several departments discussed what new resources would be mutually beneficial.

“The whole idea behind a core research lab is that it doesn’t serve any one program. It doesn’t serve any one department or even one college,” said Kurtz.

Though the Shimadzu Research Center is intended to serve the entire campus, it will primarily benefit students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Pharmacy. The Criminal Justice program has also expressed interest in utilizing the space for purposes of forensic science research.

The new laboratory will be beneficial to students who will one day be working in professional laboratory settings. The opportunity for them to become acquainted with this kind of scientific equipment while in college will give them an advantage once they are out in the workforce. Kurtz also hopes that the new research center will also serve as an attraction to prospective students going into scientific or medical fields.

The Shimadzu Research Center will be located on the ground floor of the Arts and Sciences Complex in what was once the Math and Science Center. According to Kurtz, the space has been very underutilized. He is glad the space will once again be used for its original intent as a research laboratory.

The construction of the Shimadzu Research Center should be completed in June and its grand opening will take place some time towards the beginning of the fall semester. Shimadzu representatives will be coming in to provide several hands‐on training sessions for Ferris faculty.

For more information on Shimadzu Corporation, visit ssi.shimadzu.com.