Research Facilities

Engineering & Technology

  • Mechanical Instrument Services
  • Electronic Instrument Services
  • Glass Shop
  • Information Technology Group


    Mechanical Instrument Services


    MIS is a well-equipped machine shop staffed by seven instrument makers is available to researchers in the department. In addition to mechanical lathes and milling machines, three computer-driven (CNC) milling machines are used in the construction of original, unique, or commercially unavailable apparatus for the department. Apparatus design, sheet metal shops, and heliarc welding, as well as high vacuum construction and leak testing facilities, are also available.

    A fully equipped student shop is available, and instruction is given to students who wish to construct their own equipment.

    Electronic Instrument Services


    John Poehlman working on an instrument

    The Electronic Instrument Services (EIS) group provides instrumentation expertise to the Chemistry Department. A wide variety of services are available and include: design, consultation, fabrication, modification, construction, and repair services of chemical and electronic instrumentation. The EIS group consists of two electronics design engineers, and a technician. The EIS group has developed considerable expertise in analog signal systems, chemical transducers, light-path apparatus (IR, VIS, UV), optoelectronic transducers, DC to subnanosecond signal conditioning, high-voltage systems and pulsers, electrochemical instrumentation, temperature control, chromatography detectors, and analog and signal conditioning electronics.

    A vacuum system interlock under construction

    Adjacent to the large room housing most of the construction and test equipment, there is a Student Electronics Shop. Individual instruction and bench space are available to students and researchers who are interested in designing, building, or repairing their own equipment. A comprehensive collection of electronic components and specification sheets are available to aid researchers in their own projects. Short-term loans of test equipment are encouraged to allow researchers investigation of different ideas.

    Glass Shop


    Don Garvin blowing glass

    From the Bloomington Herald-Times:

    Add one part Pyrex glass, one part flame and one part Don Garvin and what do you get? A scientific glass blower who can make you pretty much anything you want from a tube of glass.

    Garvin is a third-generation glass blower in the chemistry department at Indiana University. His workshop is located in the basement of the building where the department is housed.

    A majority of the glassware he makes or repairs is for undergraduate and graduate students performing experiments in chemistry. But, he also does work for several other departments on the Bloomington campus as well as the regional campuses around the state. "I'm the only glass blower in the Indiana University system," Garvin said. "Anything that has to do with glass-blowing needs comes through my doors."

    After more than two decades of making countless columns and manifolds, Garvin still enjoys working in the department. "Yeah ... you may keep doing the same thing in some regards, maybe little variations of it, but you meet new people," he said. "The fun part is working with the professors and the students," he said. "A lot have just invested their whole lives on this opportunity."

    Information Technology Group (ITG)


    Rebecca Hanson checking on a data server

    Information Technology Group (ITG) is just one of our eight technical services in Chemistry, but it is unique in that it serves and assists the whole of Chemistry - faculty, staff, and students - in their academic, administrative, and research-based computing activities

    ITG serves as the technical leader in the development of the Chemistry Department's Computer Assisted Learning Method (CALM) .  CALM is a distant outreach learning tool designed to provide students with enhanced problem-solving skills through directed inquiry. Based upon a Socratic pedagogy, it presents students with individualized, algorithmically-generated questions on a given topic that provide immediate feedback. Currently CALM supports several active Indiana University COAS Courses assisting more than 3200 students in a school year.  Outreach to high school chemistry programs has been emphasized within Indiana, reaching over 200 schools, but CALM can also be found in schools as far away as New Jersey.  With a focus of harnessing the power of the educational community as a whole, CALM is an evolving tool that empowers teachers with the means of accessing the rapidly growing impact of technology to enhance the learning environment, at no cost to the teachers or students that use it.

    ITG also supports specialized clusters of Intel/Windows and Macintosh systems. These systems include not only the extensive software available to students in the public clusters, but specialized Chemistry software as well. ITG also maintains two Shared Resources Centers with peripherals such as scanners, printers, wide bed plotters, laminators, film recorders, and projectors. These resources are used by other departments such as Biology, Math, Life Science, IN Geological Survey, and Physics.