Helpful Information for Current Graduate Students in Chemistry

Ivan Gitsov, Chair
David J. Kieber, Associate Chair for Undergraduate Laboratories
Theodore S. Dibble, Associate Chair for Graduate and Undergraduate Programs



Chemical Safety/Waste Handling

The Environmental Health and Safety Office is directed by John Wasiel (x6896) with the assistance of Pete Vandemark (x6964). After hours, contact University Police at x6666.

Each laboratory has a Laboratory Safety Manual in a plastic holder by the door. Study it!

Radiation Safety
See web page or contact Mark Driscoll (x6848)
After hours: contact University Police at x6666.

Note the emergency telephones around campus (marked by a blue light).

Computing and Internet

Computers in the lab

Network issue and software and operating system glitches for college-owned PCs are handled by consultants from Computing and Network Services

(CNS). They are also the access point for academic discounts on purchases of hardware and software.  For college-owned computers, they install (at no cost!) office suite and anti-virus software, along with common utilities in college-owned computers.

All communications should go to or x6861, and should be directed there by a faculty or staff member on behalf of the student. The HelpDesk is physically located in room 317 Baker Labs.

Hardware problems are handled by George Battles (x6884).

Personal laptops

The ESF network is accessible to personal laptops after having been checked by Computing and Network Services and with your advisor's signature. For routine use of personal computers, you also have access to computer clusters at ESF and SU, as well as the Chemistry Department cluster.

You should get an SU account through Information and Technology Services or 443-2677.

Read ESF policies regarding use of computers and the internet.


All Chemistry graduate students can edit their entry at the Current Graduate Students page by logging into MyESF; you are welcome to add notes as well as links to any external web site you have (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.). To add a picture of yourself or a graphic illustrating your research, e-mail it to with the note to add it to your section of the web page for Current Graduate Students in Chemistry.

Faculty members may forget to update their web pages! To add content and links to your advisor's web page (with his/her permission), send the information to the department secretary or To get graphics placed properly on a web page, you probably need to work with

If you see the need to edit text or hyperlinks in Chemistry department web pages, inform the department secretary.

Journals and Library Resources


  • You can access electronic journal articles from campus from any link that takes you to the journal article (and to which we have access).
  • For print journals, you will need to search for them in the catalog. This is especially true for older journal volumes and some of the newest (most recent year) issues. You may need to walk to Moon Library or SU libraries (Science and Technology, Bird etc.).
  • Journals and books not available here can be ordered via Inter-Library Loan at the ILLiad site.
  • Ask your research advisor what journals you should be reading!
Sci-finder - a key tool for your literature searches

Other Databases: See

  • The copier in 121 Jahn can be used for photocopying for research and teaching. Course instructors can give you the passcode relevant to any course for which you are a graduate teaching assistant.
  • Moon Library has a photocopier/scanner that allows you to scan documents directly to a thumb or flash drive. One can use the copier to print copies at a cost of $0.10 per page (change required). The SU libraries sell photocopy cards to be used in their libraries that charge 10 cents per copy in addition to having coin operated photocopiers.

Buying Stuff

Chemicals, standard lab equipment, compressed gases

See Marlene Braun (x6869) in the A&TS stockroom on the first floor of Baker first: it will save you time and shipping costs. Order all compressed gases through the stockroom to avoid $200 shipping fees when returning empty cylinders. You will also (usually) get faster results and lower cylinder rental fees this way.

Purchase Requests
  • Always inquire about the availability of an item as well as the cost!
  • Use the State or Research Foundation Purchase Request Forms or get pre-printed forms. Complete the form and have it signed by your research advisor (or whichever faculty member is appropriate). Then bring the form to Purchasing (100 Bray Hall, x 6685) or just drop it in a campus mailbox. Purchasing will generate a Purchase Order, a copy of which will be sent to the signatory on the account
  • If you are in a rush, ask the Purchasing Office to fax the Purchase Order. If you are in a big rush, bypass Purchasing and order direct from the supplier or go to the store. To get reimbursed, fill out a Purchase Request (with you as supplier), and attach the receipt. If the item (plus shipping, if any) is less than $250, your refund is processed by the Cashier's office in Bray Hall (x6630). Larger amounts go through the Purchasing Office
  • Keep a photocopy of the receipt!
  • You cannot be reimbursed for sales tax! At a store you should be able to use tax exempt certificates (available from Purchasing) to avoid the tax.

NOTE: Prior planning and/or the hints above can save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on overnight shipping!

  • Your advisor will get a copy of the Purchase Order once your Purchase Request has been processed. Use it to track the item in case you don't receive the order in a timely way. This could be due to a number of causes, including:
  • the company loses/never receives the order
  • the order is delivered to the wrong institution or lab
  • Take the initiative to find out why the items you ordered (and need for your research) are not yet delivered!
Account numbers

Your research advisor can tell you which account numbers to use to purchase items from the A&TS stockroom, prepare Purchase Requests, or get reimbursed for expenses.

Instrumentation Repair and Fabrication

  • Instrument Repair at Analytical and Technical Services
    Kevin Guerin (x 6868) 125 Baker Lab
    Fee: ONLY $1 per job plus a 10% surcharge on parts he orders

Kevin will also help you specify, design, and build new electronic devices, and find sources for new and replacement electronic components or devices. He also:

  • designs mechanical apparatus
  • welds and machines parts for apparatus he designs (may no longer be true)
  • helps find information (e.g., chemical compatibility) from his many manuals and catalogs
  • gives out surplus electronics, tubing, electrical components, pumps, power supplies, flow meters, et cetera, et cetera, that he has acquired
  • Glassblower at SU: Sally Prasch (443-3665), 0-204 Ctr. for Sci. & Technol.
    Sally charges $50/hour. Parts and labor are billed through A&TS, but you need to provide her an account number upfront. To get a ~40% discount on the cost of commercially available glassware, order it from the A&TS stockroom, as SU no longer passes on its ~40% discount on glass parts to ESF!
  • SU Physics Machine Shop
    443-2221 (SE corner of the sub-basement of Physics Bldg.)
    A 3-4 person staff for mechanical work. They are great at design and construction.

Travel Information

Before you Travel

Complete a Travel Authorization Form, found at the web site of the ESF Business Office. Have your advisor sign it, then take it to the Department Secretary for the Chair's signature; the Secretary will send the signed form up to the Travel Office. If flying, you can use an Airline Request Form to arrange for a grant to pre-pay airfare (save receipts for baggage fees!) Mileage can be reimbursed (50 cents per mile as of 2010, but changes regularly). Renting a college vehicle is much cheaper for long drives.

To get Reimbursed

Fill out and sign a Travel Expense Voucher (State or Research Foundation) and have your advisor sign it.

  • Save and submit receipts for hotels, rental cars, and major parking expenses, also for large taxi bills. Small (< $20) parking and taxi bills seem not to require receipts.
  • Make a photocopy of all receipts before having your advisor sign. Mail or hand-deliver the Travel Expense Voucher with all receipts attached to the Travel Office (102 Bray Hall, x 4827,

See the ESF Business Office website for all forms and guidelines.


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