Media releases

VU and Shimadzu join forces for brighter science future

3 November 2008

A partnership between Victoria University (VU) and Shimadzu Scientific Instruments has resulted in the donation of high tech scientific equipment to twelve schools in Melbourne's West.

Each school has received a UV-Visible spectrophotometer and printer. The spectrophotometers can be used to conduct detailed analysis and measurement of materials using ultraviolet and visible light. The machines retail for around $7500 and will be available for use by schools within the same local area as the school where the spectrometer is based.

Victoria University (VU) will assist the schools to design experiments that use the spectrophotometer.

The schools are:

  • Footscray City College, Footscray
  • The Grange P12 College, Hoppers Crossing
  • Lara Secondary College, Lara
  • Marian College, Sunshine West
  • Sunshine College, Sunshine
  • Werribee Secondary College, Werribee
  • Thomas Carr Catholic Secondary College, Tarneit
  • St Albans Secondary College, St Albans
  • Laverton College P12, Laverton
  • Keilor Downs Secondary College, Keilor Downs
  • Gilmore College for Girls, Footscray
  • Brimbank Secondary College, St Albans

As part of the partnership agreement, Shimadzu will also assist in providing opportunities for learning in the workplace placements for students drawn from local schools.

Mr John Hewetson, Director of Shimadzu Scientific Instruments in Australia, said the instruments would give students exposure to scientific equipment used at universities and in industry.

Mr Osamu Ando, Director of Shimadzu Corporation Japan, who was visiting Australia for the first time, said: "I hope the students who get to use the spectrophotometers will be enthused to become our next generation of scientists."

VU's Professor Ian Rouse, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science, said the partnership provided the tools and experience opportunities for students to develop hands on skills in the exciting world of science.

He said that Shimdzu's reputation for building extremely robust machines would be put to the test by students learning to use them for the first time.

The donation to schools tied in with the opening of a new laboratory, fitted with Shimadzu equipment, based at the University's Werribee campus. The $1 million laboratory will be used by researchers from VU's Institute of Sustainability and Innovation and by undergraduate science students.

Prof Rouse said the new Shimadzu Analytical Laboratory features state of the art instrumentation that will foster more research ideas and encourage greater collaboration between the University and local schools, which he hoped would encourage future science professionals whose work would ultimately bring benefits to all.

Professor Stephen Gray, who heads the Institute of Sustainability and Innovation, said the Shimadzu Analytical Laboratory would benefit local industry and community by providing the infrastructure to enable the Institute to work more effectively.

He said the new laboratory would enable the Institute to take on more applied research, particularly in the areas of water quality and water treatment that relied on having state of the art organic chemistry facilities, such as those provided by Shimadzu.

Mr Osamu Ando said that the GCMS in the laboratory is the same as that seen in the forensic crime show NCIS, and that the instrument can accurately identify compounds, except using them was a lot more complicated than shown on television.

Shimadzu is a global leader in the manufacture of scientific, industrial, medical, and aircraft equipment. The company's headquarters is based in Kyoto, Japan and worldwide Shimadzu employs over 9,500 staff.

A photo of Mr Osamu Ando, Director of the Shimadzu Corporation and Professor Ian Rouse at the opening of the laboratory is available on request.

Media Contact: Andy Gash, Snr. Media Officer

Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University

Ph: (03) 9919 4950; mobile: 0411 255 900

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