The Department of Chemistry at UPEI is at a major turning point in its history. The summer of 1996 saw the opening of a $5.4 million state-of-the-art teaching and research facility, the K.C. Irving Chemistry Centre. The building not only allows an increased capacity for teaching undergraduates with the most efficient use of resources, but more importantly, students will learn chemistry in an ultra-modern environment that is conducive to learning. Further, the new facility boasts dedicated, modern research laboratories which house externally funded research programmes.
The building has an "L"-shape, with classrooms and freshman laboratory located on the ground floor, and senior labs, offices, and research wing on the second floor. Classrooms are comprised of a 120-seat lecture theatre and a 60-seat lecture room, both fully equipped with multimedia audiovisual aids (these are wheelchair accessible and are equipped for the hearing-impaired); and two seminar rooms (30 seats and 15 seats). The lecture theatre houses freshman, organic, and biochemistry courses. Other second- and third-year courses are held in the 60-seat lecture room, while fourth-year courses are held in the seminar rooms. Adjacent to the student lounge, the department houses a student computer lab, with 12 pentium computers networked to UPEI's system. The freshman laboratory can accommodate up to 60 students per session. The second-floor teaching wing contains a Physical/Analytical/Inorganic lab plus an Organic/Biochemistry lab. Each bench is equipped with local extractor hoods to maintain a high air-quality.
The Research Wing houses the programs of the six faculty in two integrated research labs, with cubicles for up to 18 students. Connected to but separate from these are instrumentation rooms. The department has the following instrumentation: NMR (300 MHz, with VT and broad band probe), FTIR, UV/vis (Cary, HP diode array, stopped flow kinetics), fluorescence, HPLC, GC, mass spec, Atomic Absorption, electrochemistry.