Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Principles and Industrial Applications of Chemical Metrology

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION - Introduction to data handling: Accuracy vs precision, expression of determinate and indeterminate error, the Gaussian distribution, mean, standard deviation, RSD, confidence limits and intervals; uncertainty of measurement and its application to calibration - Type A and Type B evaluation of uncertainty, and compliance with specifications.

- Tests of significance: Student t-test, F-test, analysis of variance, rejecting outliers - the Q test and Grubb's test, sampling - statistics of sampling, sampling size and number of samples, use of spreadsheets to perform statistical tests;

- Linear relationships: linear regression by linear least squares method, determination of slope, intercept, residual sum of squares, correlation coefficient and coefficient of determination, response factor, calibration curves, propagation of uncertainty in calibration curves, using spreadsheets to plot calibration curves; application of linear regression in standardisation and calibration - external standard calibration, internal standard methods and standard addition methods.

- Validation of analytical methods: selectivity, linearity, accuracy, precision, sensitivity - calibration and analytical sensitivity, range, limit of detection, limit of quantitation - determination by signal-to-noise ratio, standard deviation of the response and the slope, and standard deviation of the blank

- Good Laboratory Practices: quality assurance, laboratory accreditation, experimental design, qualification - difference between qualification and validation, design, installation, operational and performance qualification,control charts - Shewhart, moving average, CUSUM and range charts.

Study-unit Aims:

The objectives of the study-unit are:
- To introduce the principles of metrology in chemical measurements;
- To introduce statistical tests of significance that are used in chemical metrology, and their application in the interpretation of analytical results;
- To introduce the least squares method of determining linear relationships, and its application in the determination of calibration plots;
- To describe the methodologies for the validation of analytical methods;
- To describe principles of confirmation of measurement competence – the use of certified reference materials, comparison of the intra-and inter-laboratory data.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Define basic terms used in chemical metrology;
- Select appropriate statistical tests that are used in chemical metrology;
- Recall the basic principles of sampling;
- Recall the parameters needed to validate a measurement procedure and their definitions, and select the appropriate parameters for a particular validation;
- Recall the main metrological concepts (traceability, measurement uncertainty) and approaches (validation of analysis procedures, reference materials, interlaboratory comparisons) relevant to chemical analysis.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Apply appropriate statistical tests in chemical metrology;
- Interpret correctly and verify the results of analytical measurements on the basis of relevant statistical calculations;
- Validate a measurement procedure;
- Select and apply appropriate methods to ensure proper calibration and validation of the analytical method;
- Check the correctness and reliability of analysis results.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Analytical Chemistry, Gary D. Christian, 7th ed., 2014.
- Quantitative Chemical Analysis, Daniel C. Harris, 8th ed., 2010.
- Skoog and West's Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry, Douglas A. Skoog, Donald M. West, F. James Holler and Stanley R. Crouch, 9th ed., 2014.

Supplementary Readings:

- Applications of Microsoft Excel in Analytical Chemistry, Stanley R. Crouch and F. James Holler, 2nd ed., 2014
- OECD Principles of Good Laboratory Practice, OECD Series on Principles of Good Laboratory Practice and Compliance Monitoring, 1998
- Validation of Analytical Procedures: Text and Methodology Q2(R1), ICH Harmonised Tripartite Guideline, 2005
- Good Laboratory Practice Regulations, Subsidiary Legislation 427.56
- Directive 2004/9/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 11 February 2004 on the inspection and verification of good laboratory practice (GLP)
- Directive 2004/10/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 11 February 2004 on the harmonisation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the application of the principles of good laboratory practice and the verification of their applications for tests on chemical substances.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 No 15%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 85%

LECTURER/S Claude A. Farrugia

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.