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SEM recommendations; urgent help

Lee Hadden hadden at wingate.edu
Wed Mar 8 20:37:19 EST 2000

Plant edders:

Since my daughter happened to be waiting outside our science building
for me to take her out to eat tonight and confirms that the following
actually happened, I'm  initiating a SEM recommendation search

When I stepped outside of the science building tonight, I ran into,
literally, our university president who said he was just walking over to
try to find me. [I don't know that it impressed him that I was still
working with students until that hour, but I'm glad I had stayed the
extra half hour with them until 6:20 before heading to dinner.]  He
cautioned me about overreacting and then proceeded to tell me to go
ahead and get my best quote on a new SEM and service contract!!!!!!  Of
course I didn't overreact, what with being a full professor and
department chair and showing some gray and figuring I ought to maintain
respectable composure; our president has always considered a two thumbs
up YESSSSS and a hug perfectly normal for an addled bio prof who gets
excited about plants!  Anyway, now that I've got both feet back on the
ground, I need any help you can provide.

We're looking for an SEM that will support undergraduate courses, be a
good training machine for students, support student and faculty research
and have a good track record for reliability and being reasonably user
friendly.  It should be state of the art, but not be so expensive to
operate and keep up that it would limit how much students and faculty
could use it.

I was trained on an Amray in the 80's and ran our TEM until it became
cost ineffective a few years ago.  But I know things have changed
considerably since my pre-computer controlled everything SEM's and would
appreciated the benefit of any experience any of you might have had with
new SEMS.  Anything to recommend?  Models? Features to insist on or
avoid?  Reliability, service costs and frequency?   Companies to go with
or stay away from?

I'd really appreciate any and all insight you can provide.  I'll look
for a SEM user site and post the essentials of this request there too.
But when your president walks to YOUR office and says the equipment
grant proposal HE made to a major foundation was just approved and for
me to get the best quote on an SEM to him ASAP, I want to have something
to go on, and reasons to go along with it based on user input, without

Thanks again.

Lee Hadden
Professor and Chair,
Department of Biology
Wingate University
Wingate, NC  28174

hadden at wingate.edu


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