When all that stands between a researcher and her discovery is a piece of lab glassware, resident glassblower Roy Wentz often steps in to help. Wentz runs the glassblowing shop, which has been housed in LSA’s Department of Chemistry since the 1940s. He has been blowing glass here for about 30 years, following a family tradition: His uncle made a career of lab glassware in the same shop shortly after it opened.

Wentz mainly designs custom glass equipment for graduate students and faculty researchers, repairs broken items, and perfects production of the high-demand pieces that researchers need. He loves to give tours of his workspace, sharing a conviction about helping students that has stuck with him for the past three decades. “It’s satisfying to know that I’ve helped these students become successful chemists over the years. A lot of the things I make help make their lives a little easier,” says Wentz.

“I’m just a glassblower, and that’s what I do.”