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Queen’s opens new, state-of-the-art lab for Pharmaceutical Analysis

Queen's has opened a new laboratory in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, equipped with state-of-the-art instruments from leading analytical instrument manufacture company Agilent.

Developed to maximise students' practical lab experience for the postgraduate course in Pharmaceutical Analysis, the new lab features 18 Agilent instruments from gas and liquid chromatographs and mass spectrometers to infrared, fluorescence and ultraviolet spectroscopy systems.

The hands-on experience gained by current and future students in the new lab will help to address the growing demand for analytical chemists internationally and particularly on the island of Ireland, which is a global player in pharmaceutical production.

Nine out of the 10 biggest global pharmaceutical companies have a base on the island.

Dr Panagiotis Manesiotis, who developed and teaches the Pharmaceutical Analysis programme at Queen's, explains some of the benefits of Queen's partnership with Agilent, whose solutions he has used for more than 15 years:

"As part of the agreement, Agilent engineers and scientists will visit every year and we will deliver joint workshops and seminars where students will be invited to talk to the experts and experience the process of maintaining and operating an instrument."

This will develop students' familiarisation and confidence in handling and maintaining such specialised laboratory instruments, troubleshooting skills which have started to disappear from the market according to industrial partners' feedback.

Further explaining the benefits of Agilent instruments, Dr Manesiotis says:

"You can access key maintenance points of all instruments easily from the front, which often is not the case with other manufacturers. Also, instruments are accompanied by very good training material, both in print and online, including a large library of video demonstrations and troubleshooting guides."

The response from students on the course and using the instruments this year has been impressive, with some students saying that the laboratory classes are the best they have ever had. With this new lab, Queen's is at the cutting edge of training the next generation of analytical scientists.