Analytical chemistry plays a role in a variety of practical applications, such as biomedical applications, environmental monitoring, quality control of industrial manufacturing and forensic science (applied science). This book combines both a traditional hardcover book with an electronic version contained in an analytical chemistry toolkit program. The book also includes a companion teaching, reference, and toolkit program called ChemTech. The ChemTech program contains lesson exercises that stress and review topics covered in the book. Also included are useful calculators, an interactive periodic table, and a copy of all of the chapters of the book that can be opened and read on a computer or other electronic devices.
About the authors:
Dr. Bryan Ham has worked in chemistry labs for over 20 years including petrochemical, environmental, foodstuff, and life sciences research, and has a doctorate in analytical chemistry. He has published 17 research papers, encyclopedia chapters, and three books. He is currently working for the Department of Homeland Security at the U.S. Customs New York Laboratory, and a member of the American Society of Mass Spectrometry and the American Chemical Society.
Dr. Aihui MaHam is an expert in the field of inorganic materials chemistry, and their characterization utilizing instruments such as SEM, XRD, XRF, ICP-OES and ICP-MS. Also specializes in nano-materials in synthesis and characterization of chemical and biological nano-sensors. Has published numerous papers including a review in Small cited over 236 times. She is currently working for the Department of Homeland Security at the U.S. Customs New York Laboratory.
GLJ: What is your main focus in research, what is your main scientific interest?
Ham/MaHam: Dr. Ham’s and Dr. MaHam‘s interests include the fundamentals of analytical chemistry and instrumental analyses as applied to modern analytical laboratories.
Dr. Ham has been working on applying advanced methodologies such as mass spectrometry based proteomics to food matrices, and Dr. MaHam on development of advanced techniques for inorganic analyses for a broad array of sample matrices including steel, ores, and building materials which covers various stone products such as granite, marble, etc.
GLJ: What was the reason to write the book?
Ham/MaHam: Technicians and chemists in laboratories today routinely use computers on a daily basis to control instrumentation, record, process, and report data, and to utilize spreadsheets, wordprocessors and databases. The book is an updated version of analytical chemistry as it pertains to the analytical chemistry laboratory. The book covers the main topics of analytical chemistry, but also contains a chemistry program called ChemTech-ToolKit. The ChemTech-ToolKit program is a teaching tool designed to equip the chemist, the laboratory analyst, and the technician for a career in the analytical laboratory whether it is a clinical lab, an industrial, petrochemical, petroleum, environmental, college or university, or contract lab. Because the ChemTech-ToolKit program contains key points of most of the chapters, ChemTech-ToolKit can be used as a reference and toolkit for the chemist and technician throughout his career. ChemTech-ToolKit progresses from the basics of lab fundamentals in safety and glassware through advanced laboratory techniques and analyses. The ChemTech-ToolKit program and the book are a valuable source of reference material also for the industrial or academic researcher in the laboratory. The program and book are in a convenient format for looking up techniques and information in one place for numerous aspects of the lab and of samples whether it’s the analyst, chemist, or researcher using them. The book and program can also be useful as a supplemental learning source for the college student studying the sciences such as the chemistry, biology, or premed student. The combination of this book with the ChemTech-ToolKit program would be a perfect approach for a community college that is designing a program that would teach and prepare laboratory technicians for an associate degree, and an undergraduate analytical chemistry textbook.
GLJ: What is the target audience for the book?
Ham/MaHam: Chemists, lab technicians, and undergraduate students studying the sciences. An undergraduate analytical chemistry class. A graduate analytical chemistry class. The method developer and researcher who are interested in areas of analytical chemistry not familiar with including academic groups, pharmaceutical companies, contract labs, environmental labs, petrochemical and polymer industry, and the health care industry. Graduate student primary text for a graduate level analytical chemistry course. Undergraduates during their studies, post undergraduates working in laboratories, graduate students in studies and research, and post doctorates. Laboratory worker, researchers, teachers, and professionals interested in understanding and learning analytical chemistry.
GLJ: What knowledge is prerequisite for the book?
Ham/MaHam: The book covers the most basic aspects of analytical chemistry and the chemistry lab, and then advances to multiple topics in analytical chemistry also including more challenging and advanced material. The book is designed in a way that only a rudimentary knowledge of math is required to utilize the ChemTech toolkit program, and the chapters. The versatility of the book and the toolkit program is that a high school educated lab technician could also utilize the book and programs. To get the most out of the chapters and programs in the book, freshman level general chemistry would be necessary, as is the case with most college curriculum for the second year analytical chemistry class.
GLJ: What is the structure of the book?
Ham/MaHam: The book is an analytical chemistry book that has two forms, a traditional hardcover book, and an electronic version contained within an analytical chemistry toolkit program. Today’s students, technicians, and chemist are all familiar with and daily use a computer. Many textbooks are being converted to online and electronic versions where students study the electronic books using computers or hand held electronics. The book begins with an introduction to the laboratory including safety, glassware, and lab basics, and then moves through the fundamentals of analytical techniques such as spectroscopy and chromatography, most common lab instrumentation, and examples of laboratory programs such as laboratory information management systems (LIMS). The book also includes a companion teaching, reference, and toolkit program called ChemTech-ToolKit. The ChemTech-ToolKit program contains lesson exercises that stress and review over topics covered in the book, it contains useful calculators, an interactive periodic table, and a copy of all of the chapters of the book that can be opened and read on a computer or hand held electronics.
GLJ: How will IT change the working conditions of the laboratory technician?
Ham/MaHam: We are well into the information age and the typical analytical chemistry laboratory is also involved. It is common now for all data associated with samples to be tracked via Laboratory Information Management Software (LIMS) systems. With the internet it is now much more efficient to share data within companies, universities, etc. This has increased the efficiency and productivity of laboratories and has allowed enhanced optimization of most systems involved. While the laboratory technician continues to perform essential duties in the lab, he also has access to and uses numerous IT systems which have improved and enhanced his or hers working environment.
GLJ: Will the Electronic Lab Notebook help the technician by taking care of the routine tasks like documentation or does it lead to a complete surveillance of all personnel?
Ham/MaHam: The electronic lab notebook is an obvious and essential next step in IT applications to the analytical chemistry laboratory. It allows simple documentation of routinely collected data plus usually also offers the technician a number of tools and applications useful for the job. Transcription errors have always been a problem in the lab. Data is recorded in the notebook then transferred to a sample card, then to a report and/or certificate of analyses (C of A). The electronic lab notebook working in conjunction with LIMS systems reduces errors associated with transcription, and also give a quality level of checking results for in or out of specification problems.