Included in this document are the most important procedures for day-to-day group operations as well as some useful suggestions regarding the presentation of data in a scientific context.
For information on beginning your time in the Turro Group, visit the 'Welcome to the Group' page.
There is a Safety manual located in
each lab of the 7th floor. Please read this manual carefully. In it you
will find the procedures for the proper handling of Chemicals and
Hazardous Materials at Columbia. On the current assignment list is the
name of the person responsible for the handling of chemicals. There is
also a brochure on regulations for the storage of chemicals, acids
& gases in the Turro Group library.
Every week the New York City Fire Department will come by for an unannounced safety check.
Do not be responsible for the shutdown of our labs !
Never block doors, walkways, or
hallways with solvent bottles, vacuum pumps, or any other type of
equipment. . . . . . .
Proper Disposal Protocol for Tracking Chemical Inventory:
Do NOT throw away any chemical bottles in the glass waste, especially those with bar-codes.
- The bar-coded empty chemical bottles should go in the yellow
bin (by elevator).
- Blue sticker labeled chemical bottles go into waste
hood for pickup.
- Make it a good habit! Update group chemical inventory. Click “delete” once the chemical is done.
- Contact the head of the safety committee if you are unsure of what to do with a chemical.
It is necessary that all old or used chemicals be disposed in the manner proscribed by law! If you do not know the correct method of disposal for a given chemical, consult the person in charge of the safety committee.
What to Do When You Have Used Up a Chemical - If you use up a chemical which is entered
in our chemical inventory please remove from the inventory.
How to Request a Chemical Waste Pickup - If the waste hood is full, please fill out this form to request a chemical waste pickup.
[Back to Top]
We have five different categories of chemicals:
We store the bulk of the non-flammable organic and
non-oxidizing chemicals in plastic trays in the chemical stock room 752
in alphabetical order. Invidual chemicals are also stored throughout the labs. All chemicals can be seached using the online
chemical inventory system.
Nonflammable organic materials which
must be stored at low temperatures are stored in the refrigerator
labeld with "NONFLAMMABLE" in Room 752. All materials in all
refrigerators must be clearly labeled in English. Include the structure
and the date of synthesis. Unsuitably labeled chemicals will be
discarded! Even if you store all of your chemicals in a single box with
your name on it, you must still separately and properly label all
chemicals within that box.
Organic oxidizers and flammable
materials are stored in a refrigerator labeled with "FLAMMABLE" storage cabinet in Room
If you need only 50 mg or so of a
chemical but are unable to find it in this group, check with other
groups before you order it. You can use the ChemTracker System to find it.
If you decide that a chemical in our
stock is not usable, then follow the proper procedure for disposal of
that chemical. Small amounts of chemicals can be combined with the
hazardous waste labeled as nonhalogenated organic, halogenated organic
or aqueous. Large amount should be disposed of by officers from Office
of Environmental, Health and Radiation safety. Do not just
place it back where you found it!
ORDER ONLY THE QUANTITIES YOU NEED. DO
NOT SAVE ON THE 10 KILOGRAM SPECIALS!
Remember, any synthesized chemicals in
and out of the fridge will be discarded during the annual MAMOO unless
clearly marked with identity and your name.
[Back to Top]
There are three ways of buying chemicals and supplies:
Web-Order (Aldrich, Fluka, Fisher, VWR etc...)
Orders through Business Office (more than $500 or not from: Aldrich, Fluka, Fisher, VWR etc...)
Chemstores (only for emergency, 7% service fee)
Ask Judy, Ben or Steffen if you have any questions.
To purchase chemicals, supplies or minor equipment (i.e; GC/HPLC syringes, consumables, filter paper) from an external supplier (Aldrich, Fluka, Fisher, VWR etc...) use the group's online ordering system. This is usually the preferred method.
- Orders through Business Office
To order chemicals, supplies or equipment that is more than $500 or NOT a fast order company (Aldrich, Fluka, Fisher, VWR etc...):
Get a quotation from the company. Contact the company from which you will be ordering and request pricing, availability, shipping charges and a contact name. If possible, get a hard copy of the quotation.
On the group website, go to the "Group" tab, and click on "Inventories".
Click on the button "Business Office Order Form (updated 01/09)" right beneath "Group Orders"
Download this form.
Enter the company name, address, contact name, telephone and fax number.
Enter the part number, quantity, description and price of any items you wish to purchase. Please include the shipping charge.
Enter Your Name in "Person to Contact:", Account number and Date.
Print the form out.
Get Steffen to sign the printout.
Make a photocopy of the signed Purchase Order Form.
Place one hard copy of the order in Carlos Garcia's mailbox that says "Invoices Only".
Put the other hard copy into the binder located outside of Sandy's office labeled TURRO GROUP ORDERS. Please staple the quotation to the Purchase Order Form if you have one.
Find the lab notebook entitled PURCHASE ORDER COMMAND CENTER next to the TURRO GROUP ORDERS binder. In the notebook, inscribe your name, the date, vendor name, $ amount, account number...
You are responsible for entering the P.O. number in the logbook.
If after a reasonable time (usually 3 days) the order has not been arrived, call Carlos Garcia in the Business Office. Ask for the "P.O. number" and call the vendor.
When the item has been received, note the date in the P.O. Command Center logbook.
If it is an Emergency Order it is your responsibility to follow up on each step to make sure the order was processed by the Business Office and received by the vendor.
If you order from an account which is not handled at the Chemistry Business Office (e.g. Genome Center, Center of Integrated Sciences, ChemE,…) ask Steffen for the procedure.
All orders are subject to Columbia Overhead charges (~ 60%) except orders of "Permanent Equipment" (>$5,000 or >$2,500 for old NSF account) or "Parts for Permanent Equipment". Ask Steffen for details.
Orders > $2500 require a special procedure.
$2,499 - $9,999: 2 written bids, quotations, and/or proposals are required. Oral bids are not accepted.
$10,000+: 3 written bids, quotations and/or proposals are required.
Sole Source Procurement and Justification: All equipment over the amount of $2,499 must be accompanied by a SOLE SOURCE FORM. These forms are available on the group website under the "Group" tab, clicking "Inventories" and right next to the Business Office Order Form. Please fill it out completely. When you are genuinely dealing with a sole source vendor, one additional quote from another vendor is required.
Business Office Contacts: If you have any questions or problems please call Carlos Garcia at 4-8227; Fax: 212-854-7220
Chemstores (only for emergency, 7% service fee)
The chemistry department stockroom (also known as Chemstores) is on the first floor of Chandler. The selection is very limited and a service fee of 7% is added. Chemstores should only be used for emergencies. Chemstores is NOT self-serve anymore.
Standard office supplies, such as printing paper, paper towels, note books, and pens can not be charged to NSF or NIH grants. Therefore, office supplies can be picked up Chemstores. Ask for assistance at chemstores and use the Pink Form.
[Back to Top]
The glassblower no longer has space in the department. For inquiries, see Steffen or Boss.
[Back to Top]
Lab Maintenance Procedures
If any problems arise concerning
electricity, air conditioning units, plumbing or flooding in the labs,
fume hood failures, deal with them immediately.
I. Emergencies (all hours):
Fire explosion, medical emergency,
hazardous chemical spill
CALL 99 (Campus Emergency)
Other building emergency like flood,
fume hood failures, power failures
CALL 44899 (Facilities) and then 44200-Jay Kirschenbaum (Chemistry Building services). Then notify Steffen.
II. Regular services (Mon-Fri,
EMAIL to fixAD@columbia.edu and a copy to
email@example.com (Jay Kirschenbaum, building manager)
III. General issues (chemical
waste disposal, radiation safety, etc...):
CALL 48749, Office of Environmental,
Health and Radiation safety
IV. During Off Hours (Weekends and
weekdays after 5PM):
Call Steffen to notify him of the problem. Then if he instructs you to do so:
Call Maintenace directly at 42275 and
explain to them the problem.
Get a WORK ORDER #.
Get the name of the Maintenace person
who comes to check the problem.
Fill out the blue Maintenace logbook.
A general problem in Chandler are the
clogged sinks. Plumbing requests often take a longtime. After e-mailing
the plumbing request to Jay, try to get a WORK ORDER # from him as
If the requests are not checked after
a week, call Jay Kirschenbaum at 44200 or e-mail him (firstname.lastname@example.org). Tell
him about your request and if you have it, provide him with a WORK
ORDER #. Jay is the building supervisor, which means that he is higher
on the chain of command. Requests sent to Jay get done very rapidly.
Often Maintenance people will arrive
and if they can't get into a room where the repair is to be done,
they'll just leave. It's wise to leave a written message on the door
telling the Maintenace person where they can find you or someone who
will let them in. Do NOT let a maintenance person enter the labs unaccompanied by a member of the group, and without notifying Steffen.
[Back to Top]
The Chemistry Department library was located on the 4th floor of Chandler. The new Science Library will house the Chemistry Library. For Chemistry-related resources, see the Chemistry Library homepage.
The Turro group library is located in Room 754 Chandler.
In the Turro group, the program "Endnote"
is used for all applications regarding literature. On the server in the
subdirectory /Group/Databases/Turro Group Library/Turro library/ there
exists the index of the Turro group library. You will find all books
which are property of the Turro group listed there. If you take a book
out, bring it back as soon as you don't need it anymore!
The following procedures regard maintenance of your notebook and the
documentation and presentation of scientific data. The guidelines for
successful writing will help you to avoid some unpleasant experiences
while publishing papers or giving talks. Please review them carefully and see a group
member or Professor Turro if you have any questions.
Labeling of Files (PDF
All files sent to Prof. Turro should have:
|NJT||=||Nicholas J. Turro|
Labeling pdfs of the literature (See the group home page for the list
of journal abbreviations).
"Ion-Molecule Reactions of Tetramethylethylene
Radical Cations in Zeolites,"
Mary V. Barnabas and Alexander D. Trifunac, Chem. Phys. Lett., 1992, 193, 298-304.
Corresponding Label: CPL_193_298_92_ETransZeo.pdf
Note: Use two digit for the year of the journal. If the journal comes
out once a year, the volume number will suffice. In your database to find a pdf you can often just type in underscore page number and
underscore to see if you have an article or not.
Individual Research Reviews (IRVs)
Each month or so, each group member meets
individually with the Boss to discuss accomplished and proposed
research. (Dates are emailed to the group members.)
At IRVs, the basic idea is prioritize your
research program in terms of experiments to be performed, papers to be
written, equipment to be ordered or repaired, etc. The IRV should be
written as an NSF proposal (2-3 pages) and structured as follows:
Motivation: why are you working on
your project and why should NSF support it?
What are the questions that you are
trying to answer with your research?
How is your research plan going to
answer these questions?
What is the context of your research
within the context of published research?
What are the most significant results
likely to come out of your research?
What are the most significant
intellectual problems standing between you and successful results?
What are the most significant
technical problems standing between you and successful results?
This format for the IRVs is to be used so
you can begin to build a literature database and database of other
information that will be useful for this and other reports. The reports
in turn will serve as the basis for publications.
Group Research Reviews
Group meetings usually take place on
Tuesday mornings. Each group member will present a group research
review of accomplished research about every two
months or so. Group meeting talks should be less than
forty-five minutes in length. If your talk exceeds this
length, you are responsible for the lunch of all Turro group members.
Talks should be presented using a presentation software (Authorware
Professional, Multimedia Director, Powerpoint, etc.). Please follow
rules of good public speaking: speak to the audience, not to the board,
do not place too much information on a single overhead, etc. The dates
of your research reviews are posted with the IRV schedule. It
is critical for effective presentation that you put molecular
structures and experimental conditions on all of your spectra.
Presentations should be
placed on the server at: Server>Group
Be sure to properly label
your presentation. For Group Research Reviews, the
proper format is: your
Make sure Prof. Turro gets a print-out of the
presentation just before the actual presentation.
Several times a year, we have "Group
IRVs", during which proposed research for the next several
months is discussed.
Mamoo (Must Appropriately Make Offices
Orderly) is the annual Spring Cleaning, during which we update the
Turro Group Inventory. Do not even think of dodging your Mamoo
responsibilities. The day is miserable for all of us, but is required
to keep entropy from taking over.
When using a group instrument always
sign in and out in the appropriate log-books.
If a problem is detected it should not
only be recorded in the log-book but should also be reported to the
person in charge (verbally) so that they can take
If you use the last of any consumable
item ( such as papers, pens, etc.) please report immediately to the
person in charge.
When making a poster, first consult the guidelines of the conference you plan to attend. Different conferences have different size and formatting constraints.
Several poster templates (.ppt) are included below. They are intended to give you an idea of how you might choose to format your poster. Right click a link to download:
Change the font, colors, size, format, layout, box size, etc. to suit your design aesthetic.
[Back to Top]
1. Get training from the person-in-charge,
include running at least one sample under supervision
2. Always discuss the suitability of the
samples with the person-in-charge.
3. Log in and Log out.
With comments on usage of instrument, sample analysed, time period,
condition of instrument
4. The user is expected to be closely
watching the status of the instrument while in use
5. Report abnormal instrument conditions
immediately to person-in-charge
Contact info will be posted on/near the
instrument. This includes name, email and phone number of the
person-in-charge. Phone numbers are also available in the Chandler 7th
Extras for Non-Group Members.
1. Get Pemission from Prof. Turro. The
person may be asked to sign a contract as an evidence of
understanding their responsibilities.
2. Working hours only for non-group
members (9am to 5pm)
3. The visitors should prepare their
accessories, like syringe for GC injections, if they need the
instrument on a frequent basis.
for Exiting the Group
[Back to Top]