Undergraduate demand for Chemistry courses has grown significantly over the years and will continue to grow, especially with the expansion of engineering and the introduction of new areas of engineering, including biomedical engineering. Every UBC science and UBC engineering student’s education includes chemistry courses and this requirement has increased with the introduction of UBC’s Vantage One program. However, the layout, age, condition, and inadequate infrastructure of the existing teaching laboratory facilities restrict pedagogical development and growth in student numbers, and is strained in its ability to support planned international student enrolment. The next generations of scientists, engineers and health personnel must be trained in sophisticated, state of the art techniques that relate to analytical chemistry, nanomaterials, new drug discovery, and industrial catalysis. Existing chemistry research space is also insufficient and the poor infrastructure in the Chemistry Physics Building laboratories both limits the kind of research that can be pursued and is a barrier to recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty. Updated and expanded research space is critical to support the Department’s growth and advancement. The chemistry teaching laboratory of the future calls for designs that support the pedagogical needs of the university while creating high quality lab environments. Facilities built decades ago supported the use of lab benches, a feature prominent in modern teaching labs; however the standards for safety equipment and practices have changed markedly. New facilities will provide modern infrastructure, including electrical systems and fume hoods, which will enable students to work with volatile chemicals and to safely develop competence in synthetic methods.
UBC proposes to build a 23,485 GSM expanded replacement facility for undergraduate Chemistry teaching and Chemistry Physics research activities which will fulfill capacity requirements and provide up to date, flexible space with full infrastructure capability.
This replacement facility will:
- Provide the opportunity for transformative student learning through enhanced laboratory experiences in a facility with appropriate infrastructure to meet today’s and tomorrow’s standards
- Create flexible learning facilities that can adapt to evolving pedagogies
- Provide capacity for increased demand for Chemistry teaching
- Provide opportunities for group work and collaboration through informal learning spaces and innovative classrooms
- Aid in the recruitment and retention of exceptional students and faculty.