OC-ALC donates advanced light microscope to OU under education agreement

  • Published
  • By Paul Shirk
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex donated an advanced light microscope to the University of Oklahoma in a ceremony held here Jan. 25, 2023.

Attended by OC-ALC and OU leadership, the microscope was officially signed over to the Samuel Roberts Noble Microscopy Laboratory.

“The Metallurgical lab in the OC-ALC recently upgraded their equipment and it’s great to see this fully functional, research grade microscope be put to good use in research projects and enhancing the educational experience of OU’s students,” said Jeff Laughlin, 76th Maintenance Support Squadron Physical Science Laboratories chief.

The microscope, a Zeiss Discovery 12 metallograph, was originally purchased for $110,000 in 2007, and was slated for replacement and upgrade in 2020. It was offered to OU in lieu of disposal, allowing it to further STEM education efforts by providing students access to advanced research tools.

A metallograph is an optical microscope that aids in the inspection of metals in their heat-treated conditions, offering inspection up to 2500x magnification.

“We used this metallograph to inspect metal microstructures in support of first article testing, failure analyses, and general production material analysis in support of Air Force Readiness,” Laughlin said.

In its new life at OU, the metallograph will be used by students as well as in STEM outreach programs for K-12 students.

“The advanced light microscopes currently in use at SRNML are not specifically tailored to screening metallography samples,” said Dr. Elwood Madden. “A dedicated metallograph will greatly aid in the production of high-quality data at SRNML by allowing for in-time sample quality observations during the sample preparation process.”

The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex continues to be deeply involved in the educational community by encouraging and enhancing study in scientific disciplines at all levels of education.