The Lakehead University Instrumentation Laboratory (or LUIL) is just one laboratory of many at Lakehead University's comprehensive research infrastructure. The Laboratory houses more than two million dollars of centrally used research equipment and much of this equipment is unique to the region. Early in its development, the University made a decision to operate more efficiently by acquiring and maintaining single versions of fundamental research instruments such as nuclear magnetic spectrometers, electron microscopes, and spectrometers. Sharing of equipment is essential to this strategy. This wide range of instrumentation, which is in first-class condition, is accessible to all members of the university community including undergraduate and graduate students under staff supervision.
As a centralized analytical facility, the LUIL is ideal for training graduate students in the latest, marketable technologies. The LUIL provides extensive training programs in the use of spectrometers and research microscopes to students before they begin their research projects. Students can also take a modular training course Advanced Research Methodology, 4710/5251 for credit.
Technicians play a critical role in student training. The expertise required to operate the equipment effectively is transferred from the vendor's specialists to the technicians, who act as repositories of technical knowledge, provide continuity of care, and pass this knowledge to the students. They provide the assurance that the equipment is generating accurate data and that it is well cared for while being operated by the student. Over the past decade, LUIL staff members have developed comprehensive training programs that provide the foundation for students to correctly and safely use the multi-million dollar tools in the laboratory.
LUIL constitutes an ideal framework for synergy among researchers, students and industry from a variety of research disciplines.
The facility is supported and used by regional resource and health care industries as well as government agencies for multi-party projects in the fields of mineral exploration, process control, cancer diagnosis and bio-remediation.
Thus, the usage of valuable research facilities are maximized by ensuring that the Laboratory is in constant use by a variety of academic departments, undergraduate projects and labs, graduate training and thesis work, academic research and, when time is available, for external projects.