Chemistry Professor Attends Scientific Glassblowing Workshop

Harakas Glassblowing
Dr. George Harakas working at the glassblowing area in his research area.

Many aspects of Inorganic Chemistry (teaching and research) require a working knowledge of glassblowing (also known as lampworking). During the summer of 2017, Dr. George Harakas attended a weeklong workshop on scientific glassblowing techniques hosted by Salem Community College (SCC) in Salem, New Jersey. SCC is the only school in the US that offers a two year degree in scientific glassblowing. During the week, Dr. Harakas worked at a glassblowing station for about eight hours a day. “I learned many new glassblowing techniques and was able to improve some techniques that I previously knew,” said Dr. Harakas about the experience.

Many Chemistry programs have a glassblower on staff but do not offer any instruction in the subject. “I learned some aspects of glassblowing during my graduate research but not in a formal manner. I am certainly not a Master-Glassblower, however, with the skills I picked up at SCC I am much more capable than before,” said Dr. Harakas. “I have already introduced some aspects of glassblowing into Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 416). It is my intention to use the knowledge I gained at Salem to expand the glassblowing exercises in my course,” said Dr. Harakas.

Hannah Bell Glassblowing

Hanna Bell (Chemistry, class of 2017) flame-sealing a glass ampule under vacuum.

Jul 23, 2017
Department of Chemistry
540-831-5515
langell@radford.edu