Chemical Inventory Management Systems and Chemistry Themed Mascots? UNHCEMS® at the 2012 American Chemical Society Meeting

Chemical Inventory Management Systems and Chemistry Themed Mascots? UNHCEMS® at the 2012 American Chemical Society Meeting

Sep 06, 2012

UNHCEMS® is UNH’s self-developed barcode-based software system to record and manage information about the quantity, location and properties of chemicals, biological agents, radioactive materials, and hazardous wastes throughout campus. 

After a recent survey of UNHCEMS® software users at other institutions and the overwhelmingly positive feedback received, UNH hit the road to encourage other colleges and universities to implement our system.   

UNHCEMS® was developed in the fall of 2001 by software engineers at the UNH Research Computing & Instrumentation Center in conjunction with campus Environmental Health & Safety and the Durham Fire Department.  UNHCEMS has been endorsed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency as a ‘Best Management Practice’ and is currently licensed by UNH to nearly 20 different higher education institutions across the United States. 

A team from UNH recently attended the Annual Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia to promote UNHCEMS®. Phil Collins, primary developer of UNHCMES, and Andy Glode, Laboratory Safety Officer at UNH Environmental Health & Safety to showcase UNHCEMS® and what it has accomplished at UNH as well as at other institutions.

Prepared with promotional materials, portable barcode scanners, UNHCEMS’® new mobile friendly environment allowing for iPad demonstrations, and the always popular exhibitor candy dish, the UNH team spoke with industry and academic attendees from across the globe not only about why we were the only university Exhibitor at the conference, but about the management, safety, and compliance improvements that UNHCEMS® could bring to their home campus.  Most attendees professed to using spreadsheets to manage their chemical inventory and all were genuinely impressed with the possibilities that UNHCEMS® could provide.  Features garnering the most attention were the ability to know exact quantities of a specific chemical in a given lab and the ability to mark and search for surplus chemicals.  These features can result in less waste and reduced costs – using UNH as an example, internal estimates are that UNHCEMS® saved the Durham campus close to $80,000 the first year it was used in reduced waste fees and more efficient ordering of materials.

Over the course of the three day conference, the team had the chance to speak with a number of recent UNH Chemistry students that stopped by the booth – some being very frustrated with the lack off accessibility to chemical inventory information at their current institutions.  There was universal agreement among UNH students, past and current, as well as UNH faculty in attendance that UNHCEMS® was and continues to be a very useful tool.   This highlights another significant feature of the software – it is consistently optimized for usage and meeting regulatory reporting requirements since UNH uses it for these very purposes. And it’s always great to see how well-respected the UNH

We will continue to promote UNHCEMS® and licensing opportunities when we exhibit at the American Biological Safety Conference in Orlando, Florida, this October.  More information about UNHCEMS® can be found at http://www.cems-info.sr.unh.edu/. For licensing opportunities or further questions about UNHCEMS®, please contact Tristan Carrier at tristan.carrier@unh.edu.

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