Todd Wehr Chemistry Building  Todd Wehr Chemistry Building Sergey Lindmann
The Todd Wehr Chemistry building opened in 1966 and has supported the training of thousands of scientists, science teachers, engineers, and health care professionals. The building is also home to thriving faculty research programs, which engage graduate, undergraduate and postdoctoral research associates in exploration of cutting-edge research in a wide range of chemistry-related disciplines.  However, much has changed over the past 40 years in the way chemistry research is done and in the way chemistry is taught.  A multi-stage renovation program is bringing state-of-the-art chemistry research and teaching facilities to Marquette University.

Phase I: Ventilation-intensive research and teaching laboratories – completed

Phase I renovations targeted the ventilation-intensive 6th floor research laboratories and the 3rd floor organic chemistry teaching laboratories. 

Installation of new chases and additions to the roof changed the look of the outside of the building a bit but bigger changes can be found inside!

Undergraduate organic chemistry students are shown here working in one of the new 3rd floor laboratories, featuring see-through hoods.  Between 200 and 260 students are enrolled during each fall and spring semester in organic chemistry courses.

The sixth floor was completely renovated to provide research laboratories for 7 of our faculty working in organic and inorganic synthesis and catalysis, polymer fire retardancy, and biochemistry.

Phase II: General Chemistry Laboratories (completed in 2006)

Our renovation design for the Honorable Sir Cho-Yiu Kwan general chemistry facility focused on optimizing physical space for:

The newly designed layout of the second floor is shown on the left.  In addition to the individual laboratories, the renovation includes a new instrumentation laboratory for use in Quantitative Analysis, a conference room for small-group work, and inviting common areas designed to facilitate student learning through informal discussion with peers, teaching assistants, and faculty. Computer resources are also provided in these common areas. 

The 3rd floor renovation also included a new computer classroom where students get hands-on experience in computational chemistry, data and spectral analysis, and modeling.

Each general chemistry laboratory features four-person work groups and a projection system for demonstrations as well as for class discussion of data analysis and results.

Student common areas feature computer stations and areas for students to work together. Teaching Assistant office hour areas are also found in the common areas.

Phase III (2009)

Renovation of the 4th and 5th floor has begun.  Initial work will be focused on the 4th floor, with construction expected to be completed by August.  In May, part of the 5th floor renovation will begin, with work expected to be completed by December.  Five offices will be created on the 4th floor, with an additional six offices on the 5th floor.  A variety of laboratory spaces will be created, including synthetic and instrumental research labs.  In addition to individual research labs, shared use labs such as a biochemistry prep lab and a departmental instrument lab will be built.  The biochemistry prep lab will have equipment needed for biochemical studies such as protein isolation, as well as a cold room for prep work.  Shared departmental instruments will be housed in an instrument lab, which will also be used by some upper division laboratory courses.  By December 2009, all the undergraduate lab and research floor will be completely renovated, creating a state of the art facility for the department and University.

Additional recent renovations:  Structural Analysis Facility (Basement)

The department has received funding from National Institutes of Health (Dan Sem, PI) and the National Science Foundation (Bill Donaldson, PI) to purchase two nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers (NMRs) for analysis of protein and molecular structure.  With additional support from the University, a single crystal X-ray diffractometer has been purchased.  We now have a state-of-the-art structural analysis facility.  Sem’s NIH grant also involved major uses from Chemistry, Biological Sciences and the Medical College of Wisconsin and the instrument will be a centerpiece of the Chemical Proteomics Facility at Marquette. Both laboratories were renovated by the university to house the new instrumentation.

The new NMR facility includes a 300 MHz NMR with sample changer (left), 400 MHz NMR (center), and 600 MHz instrument (right) with cryoprobe and liquid handler and flow probe for high throughput screening of protein-ligand interactions.  The facility is staffed by NMR laboratory supervisor/staff spectroscopist Dr. Sheng Cai, shown with the 600 MHz NMR.

Support for the Renovation of Todd Wehr Chemistry

We are grateful for contributions toward the renovation via the generous support of Hydrite Corporation and Henry Kwan, MU B.S. 1971,.  An in-kind donation by 3M of projectors for the new general chemistry facility is also gratefully acknowledged.

The X-ray facility houses a Brucker AXS Smart Apex II single crystal diffractometer with CCD area detector and is managed by Dr. Sergey Lindeman, X-ray laboratory supervisor/staff crystallographer.

Renovation of Chemistry Building Complete

The last phase of the Chemistry building renovation was completed this spring.  This completes a decade long renovation of all the laboratory floor of the Todd Wehr Chemistry building.  This initial phase was the renovation of the 3rd floor (undergraduate organic labs) and the 6th floor (organic and inorganic research laboratories).  This was followed by the renovation of the 2nd floor (general chemistry labs), and, finally in 2009, the renovation of the 4th and 5th floor research laboratories.  In addition to individual research laboratories, tailored to specific faculty needs, these floors will contain shared facilities such as a biochemistry prep lab, a department instrument lab, and a conference room for research group meetings.  The 4th and 5th floor will include 11 faculty offices with adjacent research labs.  With this work, all the undergraduate lab and research floor have been completely renovated, creating a state of the art facility for the department and the University.

Renovation pictures

If you are interested in supporting the exciting teaching, research, and facility developments in the Chemistry Department, please contact Ms. Kelley McCaskill, Klingler College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Officer, via e-mail or (414) 288-1590.


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