An Associate Professor in Tagliatela College of Engineering, Luzik specializes in teaching Organic Chemistry lecture and laboratory and Synthetic Chemistry. He has also taught Environmental Chemistry and General Chemistry and Lab, and is the contact person for operating and maintaining much of the departments’ instrumentation. We sat down with Eddie Luzik and learned what he is doing inside and outside of the classroom.
I enjoy the students because they are interesting, fun and friendly here at UNH.
The labs are very exciting. If you do a good job with the labs the students can learn a lot in a relatively short period of time.
I see teaching becoming more multi-media. I would like to see where students could get lectures from well produced multi-media and instructors moving to working on problems one on one instead of lectures.
I use Blackboard and various chemistry software packages. The benefit of Blackboard is that it is a different way of providing content. Blackboard provides easy access for the student to get assignments, there is no excuse for student to not have their assignments.
My field of interest is synthesis, however one of my side interests in alternative energy and in particular biofuels, is hot. It all started as a demo process; I wanted to show this chemistry to our students. We now have a history with biofuel projects here at UNH, which is a good benefit for the students.
I am involved in several research projects with synthetic organic chemistry.
I recommend that students go and talk to their instructor, meet with them outside of the classroom. Stop by after lab or class because you are at a small college and should take advantage of it. Don’t just be a number, be a person to the instructor. If you go to the instructor you will get more for your education because not everything can be conveyed in class or lab.
The greatest challenge is getting students to succeed. I don’t believe in the weed people out theory. I want to help students overall no matter their level of learning.
Yes, for example I use software packages in the smart classroom. Students are more visual in their learning so it helps them see what they are learning and it also breaks up the lecture. Some of the software packages I use are ChemDraw and ChemReaction.
I have been on the old environmental committee, and am currently on the Facilities Advisory committee. I did a lot of the planning for the recent renovation of our chemistry laboratories; that was a ton of work, but not too hard because I come from a family in the construction industry.
High! As individuals and as groups – they chose a private university with UNH and they should get the max of it.
This is intangible. An instructor needs to build on things that work and learn from mistakes in the classroom. For example, if it is the first time you are meeting with your students you need to learn what interests them and how they learn. This is important so you can include real life examples that are geared to the student’s experiences.
In the classroom I explain the relationships of theory to practice with real-life examples.
A new area of research is material science, there are new materials all the time. The approach to medicinal and synthetic chemistry and pharmaceuticals is changing. The way we do synthesis is changing as well as the methods. A hot area of research is biofuel or alternative energy. This area looks at anything that can be used for energy particularly energy for vehicles, and there are a number of reasons why this is important. There is also analytical chemistry or environmental forensic chemistry. This area is always on the cutting edge and recent advances in instrumentation that make it very attractive to students. Scientist’s have the nature to want to analyze the world. There are a lot of instruments available at UNH that students have access to.
Yes, I have had between three to six students working with research projects. These are all undergraduate students and each gets her/his own project. Right now, we don’t have a grad program in chemistry.
In terms of job placement science is very fickle. What was hot when a student started could be saturated when they graduate. Analytical skills are useful. I recommend that students take risks and get involved in niche programs and areas - like biofuel analysis. Biofuel is hitting the consumer market and there is a need for scientists to analyze the product quality. This is a great way to get an entry level job. Forensic science is also considered a niche program although here at UNH we have a large program. The more experience is gained with these specialties the more marketable students will be. With more, different allied sciences that they learn - they may discover that new things will pique their interest or they will find hidden talents.
My style is to work the problems with students, I use the board and a lot of colored markers; I use the computer projector for the reference material for the discussion in progress. I have had a lot of good feedback on this.
Here at UNH there is significant interaction between students and instructors. We have a community atmosphere whereas if we were a larger research university you wouldn’t necessarily be able to meet with an instructor and chat about class and life. Here an instructor is able to talk to students who aren’t in your class. At UNH we have a lot more openness, a family atmosphere.