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Teaching a graduate level course in automatic chemical analysis

Journal of Automatic Chemistry
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1155/s1463924679000390
  • Research Article
  • Chemistry
  • Design
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Political Science


IIIII Ill Teaching a graduate level course in automatic chemical analysis Richard F. Browner, School of Chemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA. The traditional attitude of the educator in dealing with automatic chemical analysis has been to place the discussion firmly in the context of instrumentation and electronics. However, many analytical chemistry students graduating today will be faced early in their careers with the need to make managerial decisions based on economic as well as technical factors. With a purely technically based course as background the student may be poorly prepared to consider automation in this broader context. One alternative is to offer a course in which a possible framework for later professional decision making is outlined and both the technical and economic factors that must be considered in this context are discussed. Clearly, in a course of this type, automation is approached very differently compared to a course emphasizing electronics and computer interfacing. For *This paper is based in part on material presented at the Symposium on Automatic Chemical Analysis at the lh’ttsburgh Conference, 1978. example, strong emphasis is placed on factors such as cost, reliability and the level of operator skill required to run equipment, rather than on electronic circuit components. Ideally, the educational results of such a course are (1)to alert students to the potential of automatic procedures in analytical chemistry and (2) to motivate them to implement these procedures, whenever appropriate, in their later careers. The impetus to teach such a course comes from the author’s experience in a large government laboratory, prior to entering academic life. In this laboratory one division, the Automation and Computing Division, has the responsibility for advising on the implementation of automatic analytical procedures throughout the laboratory and, where necessary, also for the design, construction and commissioning of specialized automati

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