A collaboration between two faculty members and a student lead to a huge financial savings for Wesley College and the opportunity to be published in an international journal.
“Free Inventory Platform Manages Chemical Risks, Addresses Chemical Accountability, and Measures Cost-Effectiveness,” was researched, implemented and authored by Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary/Collaborative Sponsored Research Dr. Malcolm J. D’Souza, Adjunct Chemistry Professor/ Laboratory Supervisor Kristopher P. Roeske, and student Lily S. Neff.
The paper was selected for publication in the International Journal of Advances in Science, Engineering and Technology (IJASEAT) for the September issue. The journal is a scholarly online, open access, peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, quarterly, and fully refereed journal focusing on theories, methods and applications different field of Engineering, Science and Technology.
The published paper outlines the development of best practices for laboratory safety and for chemical product and supplies management accountability with the freely-available online platform, Quartzy. The free program was integrated within the interdisciplinary science department at Wesley. This was done to ensure the accuracy of purchase records, the appropriate use of storage and handling protocols, and for a continually updated chemical inventory system. Quartzy also facilitated the digital tracking and dispersal of the College’s hazardous waste inventory.
Since the implementation of the platform, the science department achieved significant cost-savings during the procurement of laboratory supplies and equipment, and it developed a sense of ownership towards the common goal of lowering the College’s environmental impact as it relates to its managing of laboratory-generated hazardous wastes.
“The program has saved the College immensely — $22,000 in two years,” said Dr. D’Souza. “In addition, the project also helped us manage inventory (in real time) and account for all of the hazardous wastes that are generated (annually) in the Science and Math building, Cannon Hall.”
The research for the project was also selected as a “Posters on the Hill,” submission which offers undergraduates the opportunity to present research at the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) in Washington, D.C. in April 2017. The poster session held on Capitol Hill, allows Congress members to see the value of a college education firsthand by interacting with students from across the United States. The event, which started in 1996, involves a highly competitive selection process, as only 60 participants are chosen each year out of hundreds of submissions.
Project support is from grants from the State of Delaware, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (P20GM103446) from the National Institutes of Health (INBRE program), and a National Science Foundation (NSF) EPSCoR grant IIA-1301765. Neff also acknowledges tuition scholarship support from Wesley’s Cannon Scholar Program (NSF S-STEM 1355554) and from the NASA Delaware Space Grant program (NNX15AI19H).