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Dr. Sharon Brewer

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Bruno Cinel

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Sharon Brewer is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C. where she teaches a range of courses including general, analytical and environmental chemistry.   She obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of New Brunswick, and her Ph.D. from Carleton University.   Her research interests include chemical education with a focus on the use of remote instrumentation as a teaching tool, the development of inquiry based laboratory curriculum, and the use of technology for encouraging laboratory discussion.  Other research areas include analytical method development, water treatment and environmental chemical analysis.  She is a co-investigator with Bruno Cinel on a project working since 2006 on sharing analytical instrumentation for teaching purposes over the internet, collaborating with UBC and WWU on the Integrated Laboratory Network (ILN) and BC-ILN projects.  The BC-ILN became part of the HP Catalyst Multi-Versity Consortium in 2011.  Sharon is also involved in distance laboratory curriculum development, and along with Bruno developed a first year Chemistry distance laboratory course for the Open Learning Division of TRU.

Dr. Bruno Cinel is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) where his current teaching involves first year general chemistry; second year organic chemistry; upper level organic chemistry and chemical biology including advanced organic synthesis, spectroscopy, special topics and directed studies. He obtained his B.Sc. from Simon Fraser University and his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. His research interests include science and chemical education with a focus on the use of remote instrumentation for laboratory and classroom activities and the assessment of laboratory learning outcomes. His other research interests include natural products chemistry involving the isolation, structure elucidation, and chemical ecology of compounds from terrestrial and marine organisms. Since 2006, Bruno has been a co-investigator with Sharon Brewer on the BC-Integrated Laboratory Network (BC-ILN) developing cyber-enabled instrumentation and resources for instructors across British Columbia. In 2011, the BC-ILN was selected to join the HP-Catalyst Multi-versity Consortium in promoting learning opportunities in STEM+ education. He is also involved in distance curriculum development for the Open Learning Division of TRU and the Sloan-C “Moving the Lab Online” annual workshops.


The BC-ILN project involves the sharing of educational resources and providing anytime/anyplace access to cyber-enabled instrumentation for chemical analysis with the goal of providing new opportunities to engage in "mindful" scientific activities. This collaborative research project is currently funded as part of the HP Catalyst Multiversity Consortium and is led by investigators at Thompson Rivers University (TRU). Initial development was made possible by funding from BCcampus.

The HP Catalyst initiative was established in 2010  through HP’s Office of Global Social Innovation. This global network of consortia brought together leading educational institutions and non-governmental organizations to explore new approaches to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The goal was to investigate opportunities, such as collaborative learning and student assessment, to make the most of technology, empower great teaching and create powerful new learning experiences for students.  A case study on the initiative was completed in 2013. 

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) is located in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. The BC-ILN project operates out of the Chemistry Department in the Faculty of Science.  TRU offers Bachelor of Science degrees with a Major in Chemistry and a Major in Environmental Chemistry, both nationally accredited by the Canadian Society for Chemistry.  We were also the first institution in Canada to offer an interdisciplinary Major in Chemical Biology.  Through our Open Learning Division, TRU also offers distance education courses including general chemistry lecture and laboratory courses, as well as organic chemistry courses.


the BC-ILN team

“If you are interested in finding out more about the exciting opportunities available for you and your students to engage in authentic and meaningful chemistry laboratory learning experiences, please don't hesitate to  contact us " 

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