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STEM Scholars Lecture Series

The STEM Scholars lectures are designed for the general public. These lectures bring together area K-12 and community college students, faculty, and administrators; local business and industry leaders; CSUS students, faculty and alumni; and local community members to learn more about Sacramento State faculty research and scholarly efforts in STEM fields. The lectures cover a wide range of STEM topics from artificial intelligence to environmental sustainability issues.

Current Lecture

What is it and how much is there? Chemical measurements in the Miller-Schulze Laboratory


Identification and quantification are two of the tentpoles of analytical chemistry. In the Miller-Schulze Laboratory, we perform both to understand what chemicals are present in a sample and the quantity of those identified chemicals. In this talk, the results of a recent investigation into the volatile organic compounds emitted during vat polymerization (“resin”) 3D printing will be presented. Six volatile organic chemicals in the emissions from the curing of the resin when exposed to UV light were identified. Samples of the four different phases of the printing process were subsequently collected from a custom-designed exposure chamber housing a commercially available 3D printer. In these experiments, the emissions observed by simply having the printer in the enclosure rivaled that of the emissions during the printing process. The implications of these results, including potential mitigation strategies, will be discussed. Future work, including non-targeted analysis of cheese, nectar, bacteria, and fruit fly larvae, will also be described.

Justin Postcard


Professor Justin Miller-Schulze has a B.S., Environmental Chemistry in University of California, San Diego and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Washington, Seattle. Justin has had Postdoctoral appointments in the Environmental Chemistry and Technology Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the Center for Urban Waters at the University of Washington, Tacoma. Justin joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry at Sacramento State in the fall of 2014.

Justin and the Miller-Schulze Research Laboratory are interested in identifying and quantifying chemicals of interest to the environment and human health using techniques like mass spectrometry with gas and liquid chromatography. At Sacramento State, Justin and his students have measured artificial sweeteners in ground water and wastewater, lead in drinking water, volatile organic compounds in cheese emissions, and chemicals emitted from 3D printing, among other things. At Sacramento State, Justin teaches quantitative analysis, chemical instrumentation, graduate courses in chemical separations and mass spectrometry, and research methods.

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