26 Jul 2017

Specac FTIR workshop at East Kent College | Specac Education

Specac recently visited science students of East Kent College, at the impressive Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent UK, to run an FTIR workshop. East Kent College set up their new campus at the Discovery Park site, which once exclusively housed Pfizer, back in 2014. The college also has campuses in Dover, Folkestone and Broadstairs. 


The Specac presentation seminar was given to Level 3 Applied Science extended diploma students, who were relatively new to the theory of spectroscopy. The basic tenants of spectroscopy, some further detail on the infrared spectrum and a summary of spectroscopy in scientific careers, were covered, along with some background on Specac as a company. We then moved onto FTIR and sample preparation practical work.

This is part of Specac's Education Business Partnership scheme, a combination of our equipment and expertise with the exciting opportunities within the scientific education sector.

A presentation and workshop on FTIR analysis and KBr pellet pressing

Clive Moss, Specac's resident spectroscopy expert, gave a presentation on the infrared spectrum of light. He then went into detail on its function in scientific analysis and why a knowledge of spectroscopy is useful for a career in science.

The workshop then moved from the conference area into the lab, where Specac Technical Business Developer, Fawzi Abou-Chahine, shared his insight and experience with the students, so they could try:

  • creating a KBr pellet
  • using the Pearl FTIR transmission liquid cell 
  • analyzing samples with Quest ATR spectrometer accessory


FTIR workshop featured on East Kent College's website

We have since been featured in East Kent College's news, with the following quote from Head of Science East Kent College, Maggie Rickerby:

This opportunity is an excellent one for our students, who will get to develop their skills using cutting edge technology. It’ll be a wonderful experience for them, and the fact that they could get their work published will really enhance their CVs. It’s also great that they’ll get to work alongside industry leading staff and develop their professional networks.

Read the full article here.

This workshop was a great step forward for Specac's Education Business Partnership, a drive to engage further with local education and provide opportunities for students to perform research using high-end equipment. A lot of this is useful for CVs and job applications, especially when the student can actually be featured in research used in Specac marketing material.

The legal high and drug analysis research performed by Mia Abbott of Staffordshire University is a great example of this partnership between science education and science business. Mia used a Specac Quest ATR spectrometer accessory on a free loan, in order to analyze unknown drug samples and identify their cutting agents.

If you are interested in collaborating with Specac in this way, email collab@specac.co.uk with a summary of what you would like to do and how we can be involved.

For some more information on various fields on analysis Specac's equipment is used for, visit our Resources page and read some of our application notes. Fields of analysis include milk analysis using FTIR transmission, heated soil analysis using ATR and glass XRF sample preparation. You can also look up #SpectroscopySolutions to learn more about the analytical technique's various applications.

For advice on performing analysis, check out Specac's #SpectroscopyGuides. We recently published a guide to preparing liquids for XRF analysis, a checklist on how to make KBr pellets and a brief guide to what XRF is. If you have any questions about spectroscopy or our equipment, please visit the Contact Us page and send us your query. We will endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible, with an appropriate answer.