Vacuum technology at the University of Strasbourg

VACUUBRAND trains students in synthesis chemistry

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Popular laboratory unit for training courses at universities – the PC 101 NT vacuum pumping unit on the rotary evaporator
Popular laboratory unit for training courses at universities – the PC 101 NT vacuum pumping unit on the rotary evaporator

Knowledge transfer is an important part of VACUUBRAND's corporate culture. Our sales force therefore regularly offers in-depth training courses for our partner companies and customers for different levels of knowledge on the use of vacuum technology. As part of one such training program, we have teamed with the University of Strasbourg to provide training for synthetic chemistry students. Training manager Aline Maisse tells us about this in an interview.

What are your responsibilities at the University of Strasbourg?

Aline Maisse: I am a teacher and researcher at the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Strasbourg. My research focuses on the synthesis of organometallic complexes for various applications – for example, cancer research, catalysis or coordination polymers. In addition, I am dedicated to the organization of training and I share responsibility for the professional degree in synthetic chemistry. Here we offer a training course on vacuum technology.

What does the professional training for synthesis chemistry consist of?

Aline Maisse: The aim of this professional education is to train students to become senior technicians in synthetic chemistry. It completes the training of students who have already completed a BTS* or IUT* short course or have an L2* degree in chemistry. The program lasts 12 months and alternates between on-site phases in companies – often as part of an internship – and classes at the university.

The professional training includes many hours of practical work and, distinctively, involves many external speakers. This strengthens the connection between the university and the company during the year of vocational training. This multifaceted exchange with the external referees enables us to regularly develop the training and adapt it to the requirements of the industry.

* There are various options for vocational training in France: Subject-specific short courses of study are possible immediately after high school graduation and are comparable to an apprenticeship. Technical colleges (IUT), specialized secondary schools and high schools offer these and lead to degrees such as the "Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie" (DUT) or the "Brevet de Technicien Supérieur" (BTS). Universities offer their own short courses, with the "Licence 2" (L2) corresponding to the first two years of a bachelor's degree.

TeilnehmerInnen und Lehrende bei der Schulung für Vakuumtechnik von VACUUBRAND (Bildquelle: Universität Straßburg)
Participants and teachers at the VACUUBRAND vacuum technology training (Source: University of Strasbourg)

What is the purpose of vacuum training in this vocational education?

Aline Maisse: A synthetic chemist must know how to make optimal use of the necessary laboratory equipment. Diaphragm pumps are part of this, in combination with rotary evaporators, or for filtrations. We asked VACUUBRAND to provide training in vacuum technologies when the professional degree in synthetic chemistry was first offered at the University of Strasbourg in 2013. The collaboration has now been in place for eight years.

Why does VACUURBRAND give the vacuum training – and not a professor or a university technician?

Aline Maisse: The laboratories of the Chemistry Department have been equipped with diaphragm pumps from VACUUBRAND since 2004. At that time, it was decided to replace the existing water jet pumps with more environmentally friendly systems for vacuum generation – for reasons of economy and environmental protection. VACUUBRAND's training courses offer the best possible advice on the use and maintenance of diaphragm pumps. Since pumps from VACUUBRAND are widely used, future graduates will probably often work with vacuum technology from VACUUBRAND in their professional lives and the knowledge they acquire will be beneficial.

Are you planning to expand the concept?

Aline Maisse: We are offering a new chemistry degree program. The goal here is to train students who want to enter the world of chemistry at the bachelor's level after three years of study. Here, too, we are considering offering vacuum training with VACUUBRAND as part of this degree program.

We would like to thank Ms. Aline Maisse and the University of Strasbourg for the interview.

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