Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jacob and Esau

27 The two first years grew up, and Esau became a skillful synthetic chemist, a man of the bench, while Jacob was content to stay in the instrument room, manipulating spectra. 28 Professor Isaac, who had a taste for new reactions, loved Esau, but his collaborator Professor Rebekah loved Jacob.

29 Once when Jacob was next in line for the NMR, Esau came into the lab. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me take a quick spectra! I'm in a hurry."

31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your first authorship on your next JACS paper.”

32 “Look, I am about to give group meeting,” Esau said. “What good is my first authorship to me?”

33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his authorship to Jacob.

34 Then Jacob gave Esau his place in the NMR queue. Esau ran his NMR, and then got up and left.

So Esau despised his authorship.

with apologies to Genesis
inspired by this very literate angry person

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Job posting: BS/MS process chemist, Newark, NJ

From the inbox, a position with Firmenich: 
We currently have an immediate opportunity for a Chemist to join our R&D Division at the affiliate chemical production site in Newark, NJ.

Summary: Lab chemist will work in the organic synthesis and/or process safety lab under the direction of Senior Chemist. Primary focus of the job is development and improvement of the industrial processes for manufacturing aroma chemicals, 
Education: B.S. (Chemistry, preferably from ACS-accredited program, or Chemical Engineering) or M.S. (Organic Chemistry or related), or equivalent. For B.S., at least 4 years of experience, for M.S. at least 1 year of experience, but willing to consider exceptionally qualified new graduates.
Link is here. Best wishes to those interested.  

Daily Pump Trap: 7/26/16 edition

A few of the positions posted at C&EN Jobs:

Beerse, Belgium: Janssen is searching for an experienced medicinal chemist to work on early drug discovery - the position is Alzheimer's related. Ph.D. and 2-5 years of industrial experience desired.

(It's funny that whoever input the position into C&EN Jobs hit the "Confidential Employer" button, but the name of the company is in the description itself.)

St. Louis, MO: I feel like it's not common for Monsanto to post positions, but here's 3 of them.

(How to people who live in St. Louis feel about Monsanto/their employees? Better than the rest of the country, I suspect.)

Rolla, MO: Brewer Science, looking for a M.S./Ph.D. scientist. (M.S. + 6 years.)

Albuquerque, NM: Two postdoctoral positions at Sandia.

Ivory Filter Flask: 7/26/16 edition

A few of the academic positions posted at C&EN Jobs: 

Stanford, CA: Stanford University is looking for a senior research safety specialist.

It's that time again: mostly 2017 positions.

Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago is searching for an assistant professor of chemistry. 

Oxford, OH: Miami University has two assistant professor positions open. 

Framingham, MA:  Framingham State University is looking for an assistant professor of analytical or physical chemistry. 

Lausanne, Switzerland: They're searching for assistant professors at Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL); looks like one biologically-oriented position, and one broader search. 

Lookout Mountain, GA: Covenant College is looking for a professor of chemistry. I feel like the desired qualifications are kinda broad?: 
The successful candidate would be expected to teach the analytical chemistry/instrumental analysis sequence and the physical chemistry sequence. A background in inorganic chemistry would best complement the current faculty. 
Looks to be an open rank search.

The List: I'm planning on starting the Chemistry Jobs list very, very soon, but Andrew Spaeth has beat me to it, and has started a list here. It's a good one, with 28 positions so far. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

This week's C&EN

A few of the articles in this week's C&EN:

Friday, July 22, 2016

The View from Your Hood: Zurich, Switzerland

Credit: Anonymous
An anonymous submission from ETH Zurich.

(got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in (with a caption, please) at; runs every other Friday.)

Credit: Anonymous


From here: "Your acceptance into a PhD program puts you in the top 5% of the general populace in terms of academic ability, so don't ever forget that." 

No, I don't believe that at all. 

(The rest of it is fairly anodyne advice.) 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Daily Pump Trap: 7/21/16 edition

A few of the positions posted by C&EN Jobs: 

Summit, NJ: Holy smokes, there are a lot of positions (ten) posted by Celgene for its New Jersey site.

La Crosse, WI: The USGS is looking for a GS-13 research chemist. An interesting note: 
PLEASE NOTE:  This will NOT be a job interview.  This is to advertise the position and to make contact with potential interested candidates.
Dunno what this means, in government-speak. Offered salary: 71k - 117k.

Malvern, PA: Progenra is looking for two experienced B.S./M.S./Ph.D. medicinal chemists (1-10 years experience). 

Zeroes!:  Adesis (New Castle, DE) is looking for a M.S./Ph.D. synthetic organic chemist, 0-5 years experience desired. 

Sudbury, ON: SNOLAB is an unusual place (I understand they have a great big mineshaft?) They're looking for a temporary chemical analyst. 

Stow, OH: Saint-Gobain is looking for an experienced B.S./M.S./Ph.D. senior research engineer for ceramics work. 

San Luis Obispo, CA: Promega Biosciences is looking for an experienced M.S./Ph.D. chemist to be a manufacturing manager. 

"Israel": Did not know that L’Oréal had R&D facilities in Israel; they're looking for a senior formulator. 

ACS Philadelphia Career Fair Watch: 25 positions listed. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A proud moment for chemistry students everywhere

From English-language German news outlet, an all-too-common story
A 28-year-old student at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich used the laboratory to analyse drugs for two dealers in return for some cocaine. 
An unnamed student at the university appeared before court on Monday after giving in to stress and resorting to helping drug dealers with their business.
Two pushers wanted to know how pure their product was, so they recruited a 28-year-old student to be their Heisenberg and test it for them. They posted cocaine and crystal meth to the student, and he brought it to the Grosshadern Klinikum - LMU’s hospital and research centre and part of the largest hospital complex in Munich. 
There he proceeded to test the drugs to determine the potency of the active ingredients.The student was surprised that he was in trouble and told the court that he didn’t know he was guilty of any offence. 
The Chemistry student also defended himself to the Munich court by saying that his tests failed to produce anything meaningful. “I made up the results,” he said. 
As a reward for his 'findings', the dealers gave the student between two and four grams of cocaine.
This sounds like some sort of bizarre comedy movie, especially when the dealer's name was "Shiny Flakes" (HT to Lisa Jarvis for this last detail.)

(It is interesting to me how this thing always seems to involve students and not chemistry professionals - a problem of youth, or do professional chemists want too much money to ply their trade illegally?) 

Warning Letter of the Week: foreign debris edition

In today's batch of FDA warning letters, one to Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK. It's mostly about penicillin residue in non-penicillin manufacturing areas (that's problematic), but I found this section interesting:
C. Foreign particles found in [redacted] API [redacted]

Your investigation into foreign particles found in [redacted] batch [redacted] identified:
  • green fibers consistent with scouring pads
  • red flakes consistent with paint in the manufacturing plant
  • black particulates consistent with glass particles 
You concluded that these were “acceptable intrinsic” contaminates.

Your response is inadequate. It failed to include a root-cause evaluation of glass particles and the foreign materials found in these drugs. You also failed to evaluate the impact of the contaminants on all other drugs manufactured with the same equipment in the same facility.

In response to this letter, provide a risk assessment for the (b)(4) manufacturing process and other drugs produced with the same equipment. Include an evaluation of the physical condition of your facility and of your cleaning and preventive maintenance procedures for your manufacturing equipment. 
Scouring pads! That's a new one.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Job posting: M.S./Ph.D. organic photovoltaics chemist, Merck KGaA, Chilworth, UK

From the inbox, a position with Merck KGaA in Chilworth, UK (near Southhampton). They're looking for "an experienced polymer chemist...; [t]his is a role in material design and discovery, in close collaboration with applications and scale-up teams." Description:
Your role: Your primary role will be to carry out the design, synthesis, purification and analysis of new materials for commercial OPV applications. Particularly, your work will focus on polymer synthesis, related polymerisation reactions and process optimisation for these materials. You will use your ability, experience and knowledge to develop materials and an in-depth understanding of the parameters which control the performance and quality. You will work with a talented multi-disciplinary team of people, contribute to the generation of intellectual property and support product scale-up and initial introduction to customers.

Who you are:
  • You have an MSc/PhD in chemistry, chemical engineering or material science in the field of polymer research plus applicable experience or a degree plus several years relevant experience.
  • Extensive hands-on experience in the synthesis and purification of polymers and scale-up processes with a deep understanding of reproducibility and reaction kinetics of polymerisation, particularly for industrial commercialisation of multi-monomer condensation polymers is essential.
  • Experience in the field of organic electronic applications would be an advantage.
Read the whole thing - best wishes to those interested. 

Daily Pump Trap: 7/19/16 edition

A few of the positions posted at C&EN Jobs over the last week:

Woburn, MA: Organix is looking for M.S./Ph.D. synthetic chemists.

(Organix is looking for a M.S. chemist? Is that new?)

La Jolla, CA: Calibr is looking for synthetic/medicinal chemists for postdoctoral positions.

(Is anyone else noticing the plethora of small non-academic institutions calling entry-level Ph.D. chemists "postdoctoral fellows"? (Needed caveat: this really isn't about Calibr, that's just something that reminded me about my feelings about it.) Does anyone else think this contributes to the devaluing of entry-level Ph.D. chemists? Senior graduate students, I urge you to think about taking these positions, and asking potential employers:
  • You're calling this a postdoctoral position - what kinds of unique training am I going to get? 
  • What is the fate of your postdocs? Where do they go? 
  • Will I be the first postdoc at your company? How can we assure that I get the training and mentorship implied in the title?
  • Will I be allowed to publish my work?)
Cleveland, OH: Lubrizol is looking for an experienced chemist to be a technical manager for wood coatings. 

Milford, OH: PPG, also looking for a coatings chemist; this time it's beverage-related.

Davis, CA: Novozymes wishes to hire a B.S./M.S. chemist for an analytical position towards metabolomics.

Pleasanton, CA: Astex is looking for a contract analytical chemist; B.S. and 5 years experience required. 

Ivory Filter Flask: 7/19/16 edition

A few of the academically-related positions posted on C&EN Jobs this past week:

Philadelphia, PA: Drexel looking for a NMR facility director; 58.2k - 87.4k offered.

University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University is looking for a NMR facility director.

Pittsburgh, PA: Raman spectroscopy postdoc desired at Pitt.

Pullman, WA: I've never figured out what the Institute for Shock Physics is, but they're looking for another postdoc.

Hempstead, NY: Hofstra is looking for an experienced EH&S officer.

The Kingdom of Saud: KAUST, still looking for an analytical lab head.

2017 positions: Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, NY) is conducting an open search for a biochemistry professor.