Chemistry

About the department

Inside STEMLab

Let one of our current students take you on a personal tour around our new £17 million investment - STEMLab.

STEMLab

Investing in your future

Opened in 2017, STEMLab acts as a hub for Science and Engineering students, providing a truly student-focused laboratory learning environment.

Today, Loughborough University is one of the UK's leading centres of excellence for teaching STEM subjects - with a proven track record in supplying industry with high-calibre, highly motivated graduates. The demand for STEM skills across sectors is huge, and only expected to grow. STEMLab represents a £17m investment in ensuring Loughborough University can meet the demands of industries and the demand from students for innovative courses in STEM subjects.

Synthesis lab

The synthetic chemistry teaching laboratory, located within the STEMLab building, has 36 fume hoods available for undergraduate teaching.  The students work individually within the fume hoods, learning new practical skills to produce or synthesise new chemical compounds.  The room is divided into bays and there is a maximum of 14 students per bay, with a total room capacity of 62 students, and each bay is supported by a post graduate demonstrator, so help and advice is always available.  The students use a wide variety of equipment to produce their chemistry including stirrer hotplates and the use of a laboratory microwave reactor, then use one of the 17 rotary evaporators to remove the solvent.  Characterisation of the material is carried out by the students in a separate suite, attached to the main lab.  There is a selection of instrumentation available including 2 benchtop NMR spectrometers capable of processing proton, carbon and fluorine nuclei experiments, 4 InfraRed spectrometers and 4 UV/vis spectrophotometers, as well as 2 magnetic susceptibility balances, an HPLC instrument and several conductivity probes.  The lab is run by a technical team who specialise in synthetic chemistry and support the students with their practical work throughout their time in the laboratories.

Bioscience and Bioengineering lab

For biological-related modules within our Chemistry programmes, we have access to state-of-the-art biological laboratories to provide our students with an opportunity to explore several different aspects of biology, such as biochemistry, pharmacology and microbiology.  We also have access to a specialist tissue culture laboratory which has ten Biological Safety Cabinets where cell work can be introduced to our students.

Specialist equipment includes, plate readers which allow us to carry out a range of industry-standard biological assays, such as ELISA and DNA quantification, molecular biology equipment such as thermocyclers and gel electrophoresis equipment, Chemidoc visualiser, microscopes, a flow cytometer and several UV spectrometers. 

Physical/Analytical Lab

The Physical & Analytical Chemistry teaching laboratory is primarily focused on measurement-based experiments concerning either the study of chemical processes or the quantitative/qualitative determination of unknown analytical samples. The room is designed for a maximum capacity of 45 students, is equipped with 7 fume cupboards for the handling of hazardous substances, and also features a room-wide audiovisual system for the delivery of electronic teaching materials. The range of up-to-date scientific instrumentation and apparatus available to students includes the following items:

Fluorescence spectrometers; UV-visible & infra red absorption spectrophotometers; microwave plasma atomic emission spectrometer; electrospray mass spectrometer; quadrupole mass spectrometer with gas chromatograph; liquid chromatographs with UV absorbance and refractive index detectors; gas chromatographs with flame ionisation detectors; precision analytical balances; pH and conductivity meters.

In addition to STEMLab, a projected investment of £6million for Chemistry teaching laboratories in the refurbished Sir David Davies Building will bring expansive teaching space for students in 2018.

For more information about these exciting developments visit: www.lboro.ac.uk/stemlab

Take a virtual tour of some of our labs for chemistry, biochemistry and physics.