Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The 2021 Faculty Jobs List: 99 research/teaching positions and 9 teaching faculty positions

The 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 99 research/teaching positions and 9 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

In 2020-2021, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." We are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

On October 1, 2019, the 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 354 research/teaching positions and 8 teaching faculty positions.

To see trending, go to Andrew Spaeth's visualization of previous years' list.

Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Go to the first open thread.

Postdoctoral positions: Center for Sustainable Nanotechnologies

From the inbox: 

The CSN Postdoctoral Fellowship Program provides research and professional development opportunities for Ph.D. scientists who identify as an underrepresented or historically excluded person in STEM (e.g. Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Native American or Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA+, disabled, or a veteran of the US Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard). Applicants must have a Ph.D. in chemistry or other aligned fields relevant to ongoing research in the CSN before the start of the fellowship. This program is primarily intended to recruit U.S. citizens or permanent residents, but all postdoc candidates are welcome to apply. 
Review of applications will begin on November 1, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled. To apply, please email the following materials to Mike Schwartz (mpschwartz@wisc.edu):

  • A cover letter (up to 2 pages)
  • A curriculum vitae
  • Name and contact information for at least three people who are willing to provide letters of recommendation

Your cover letter should include a summary of CSN research groups that align with your interests, career goals, and any significant contributions to research, leadership, outreach, or other activities that would be helpful for evaluating your application. Additionally, please describe any personal goals or contributions related to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM, including any specific interests in contributing to CSN efforts in these areas.

Please contact Mike Schwartz (mpschwartz@wisc.edu) if you have any questions about the application process or identifying the best research opportunity for your interests. CSN Senior Investigators often offer postdoctoral research opportunities separately from the fellowship program posted here. Please see individual lab websites for more information.

Full description here. Best wishes to those interested.

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 26 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 26 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson).

From Dr. Josephson: This year we will try to utilize the list further by circulating among the professors, as well as using the hashtags #facultychemEjobs and #MeettheCandidatesChE2020.

The open thread is found here. 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 40 positions

 The Academic Staff Jobs list has 40 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady and @nmr_chemist. It targets:
  • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
  • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
  • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Silver diamine fluoride?

Via the Washington Post, this interesting item: 

DENVER — Dental hygienist Jennifer Geiselhofer often cleans the teeth of senior patients who can't easily get to a dentist's office. But until recently, if she found a cavity, there was little she could do..

...But now Geiselhofer has a weapon to obliterate a cavity with a few brushstrokes.

Silver diamine fluoride is a liquid that can be painted on teeth to stop decay. Fast, low-cost and pain-free, the treatment is rapidly gaining momentum nationwide as the cavity treatment of choice for patients who cannot easily get a filling, such as the very young or the very old.

“It has been life-changing for my patients,” said Geiselhofer, who has been using the treatment for about 18 months...

...Silver diamine fluoride has been used in other countries for decades, and studies have proved it safe. Its biggest downside is that it permanently turns the decayed area black — a turnoff, in particular, for people with decay on a front tooth. Dental providers say the black spots can be covered by tooth-colored material for an extra cost. For older adults, Geiselhofer said, a dark spot is a small price to pay for a treatment that stops cavities quickly, with no drilling, needle prick or trip to the dentist required...

I didn't know about this compound. I imagine the black coloring has to do with the silver. Who knew? 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Have a good weekend

Courtesy of me finally watching Blade Runner 2049, some more Prokofiev. We've made it yet another week. Have a great weekend. 

Arkema trial restarts in Houston

Via Reuters, the Arkema trial continues apace: 

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A criminal case against the U.S. arm of a French chemical maker accused of releasing pollution that injured 21 people resumed on Thursday under a cloud as a judge ruled out a motion to dismiss the case.

Prosecutors unintentionally misled a grand jury by claiming another firm, unlike Arkema, moved its hazardous chemicals when presented with the threat of flooding, Texas Judge Belinda Hill said in court on Thursday, allowing the trial to proceed. Defense attorneys had argued the grand jury testimony was part of a pattern of misconduct that tainted the case.

The company’s Crosby, Texas, plant became waterlogged and lost power needed to cool organic peroxide chemicals after Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 50 inches of rain on the area in 2017. The untended chemicals caught fire and burned for days, injuring 21 safety workers and forcing residents from their homes.

Arkema and its U.S. chief executive, Richard Rowe, and former plant manager Leslie Comardelle face felony charges for the pollution released by the chemical blaze. The company faces up to a $1 million fine and the executives could receive up to five years in prison...

Via Insurance Journal, I note that the prosecution's more creative charge against Arkema has been dismissed: 

Arkema, a subsidiary of a French chemical manufacturer, and its now retired vice president of logistics, Michael Keough, each faced a felony assault charge related to two injured deputies for allegedly misrepresenting the danger that the unstable chemicals at the plant posed to the community.

...“Prosecutors always have a duty to seek justice; in this case, a prosecutor felt that there was enough evidence for a criminal charge, but that he could not prove that charge beyond a reasonable doubt at this time, so he requested it be dismissed,” Dane Schiller, a spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

I think everyone who works in industrial chemistry knows that, if you hurt someone in the course of making chemicals, you will likely face legal trouble of some sort, most likely civil in nature. The Arkema trial is a good reminder that, if the situation is egregious/unique enough and the prosecutor is determined enough, you can face criminal charges as well. File that in the back of your mind, fellow chemical manufacturers...

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

New Periodic Bagel episode: The Periodic Scott Bagley!

With guest Scott Bagley (@BagPhos) on about motorcycles, milkshakes, and medicinal chemistry. Note this was recorded in May 2020. 

Rate and review us on iTunes!

Feel free to ask questions, add comments and suggestions for guests and topics in the comments.

COVID-19 driving some plant expansions

Via this week's Chemical and Engineering News, this news from Craig Bettenhausen: 

Lab supply firms boost production to respond to COVID-19 demand 

The scientific response to the COVID-19 pandemic is leading to investments and hiring at companies that sell laboratory supplies. Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced plans to spend $140 million to increase its production of plastic consumables—such as pipette tips, storage tubes, and vials—used in COVID-19 testing and vaccine development. The firm says it will hire 1,000 additional manufacturing employees and expand plants in Rochester, New York; Petaluma, California; Monterrey and Tijuana, Mexico; and Joensuu, Finland. 

Separately, MilliporeSigma is looking for 160 new employees for a plant in Joffrey, New Hampshire, that makes filters used to develop and produce vaccines. The extra hires will enable the plant to operate 24 h per day. A MilliporeSigma spokesperson says 14 of those jobs are in technical and professional roles such as chemistry. Similarly, glassmakers including DWK, Corning, and SiO2 Materials Sciences are increasing their capacity for borosilicate glass vials used to hold vaccines.

Well, that's some good news.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The 2021 Faculty Jobs List: 89 research/teaching positions and 9 teaching faculty positions

 The 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 89 research/teaching positions and 9 teaching assistant professor positions.


Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

In 2020-2021, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." We are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

On September 24, 2019, the 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 333 research/teaching positions and 8 teaching faculty positions.

To see trending, go to Andrew Spaeth's visualization of previous years' list.

Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Go to the first open thread.

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 22 positions

 The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 22 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson).

From Dr. Josephson: This year we will try to utilize the list further by circulating among the professors, as well as using the hashtags #facultychemEjobs and #MeettheCandidatesChE2020.

The open thread is found here. 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 40 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 40 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady and @nmr_chemist. It targets:
  • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
  • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
  • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

Monday, September 21, 2020

There was a dry ice shortage?

In the midst of an New York Times article on the preparation for the COVID-19 vaccine, this interesting news regarding the cold chain for them, and their need for dry ice: 

As if the challenge weren’t sufficiently daunting, the world is facing a looming shortage of dry ice — an unexpected side effect of the pandemic.

Dry ice, the stuff that exudes chilly smoke and enthralls school-age scientists, is made from carbon dioxide, which is most commonly created as a byproduct during the production of ethanol.

But ethanol production ebbs and flows based on the demand for gasoline. This spring, as stay-at-home orders went into effect, people began driving less. As a result, ethanol production slumped, and so did the supply of carbon dioxide.

In April, Richard Gottwald, chief executive of the Compressed Gas Association, sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence warning of “a significant risk of a shortage in carbon dioxide.”

Five months later, “the ethanol industry still has not bounced back,” Mr. Gottwald said in an interview. “We are seeing a shortage.” And that is making dry ice hard to come by.

Cold chains are amazing, and it will take an amazing amount of work to get this all to work out well. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

Have a good weekend


Well, we've made it through another one. Have a great weekend, and see you on Monday.

AbbVie CEO wants people back in the office

Via CNBC: 

A “critical part” of pharmaceutical company AbbVie’s success is “face-to-face” interaction, CEO Richard Gonzalez explained in an Aug. 27 email outlining its process for bringing thousands of U.S.-based employees back to work. 

Gonzalez said “cross-functional collaboration” was a cornerstone of AbbVie’s high performance, adding that employees needed to “preserve and nurture our culture so we can continue to accelerate, to climb higher and to help the next generation of patients.” 

All of that, he said, “means returning to our workplace,” according to the email viewed by CNBC. The company expects employees — even those who say they’ve been able to work from home just fine — to report to the office to foster creativity and innovation under its phased-in return-to-work plan, according to interviews with three current employees, anonymous complaints in public forums and internal company documents....

...Other drugmakers have announced flexible work-from-home policies. Novartis, for instance, has said its workers can return on-site voluntarily without any pressure to do so. Tylenol maker Johnson & Johnson is bringing employees back in “waves as it is safe to do so,” spokeswoman Lisa Cannellos told CNBC. The company declined to say when its return-to-work program would begin. Cannellos said it’s currently offering “flexible work arrangements for those who need it based on dependent care or underlying health conditions.”

Really depends on the office. If it's a scenario where an office (especially AbbVie!) can have access to plenty of tests, lots of good airflow analysis, plenty of masks and lots of social distancing, then... that might be all right. Returning to February 2020? That ain't happening any time soon...

Thursday, September 17, 2020

18 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there are 18 new positions for September 13.

Don't forget to check out the Common Organic Chemistry company list, a very helpful resource for organic chemists looking for potential employers.

Job posting: sales rep, Waters, Boston, MA:

Waters is seeking a dynamic contributor to fill the role of an Account Manager. This person will have the exciting opportunity to drive the sales of our full range of products and services, which include: Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography System, Mass Spectrometers, software, consumables and services for the Metro West Boston Region. 
The desired candidate should be highly self-motivated to develop and implement a territorial business plan, while working in unison with their assigned specialists and marketing colleagues in order to deliver a strong call cycle and business development activities. The foundation of the account manager's role is to develop a keen understanding of the customers' needs to design solutions with lasting and meaningful impact.
Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Warning Letter of the Week: dirty homeopathic equipment edition

In an epistle from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research to the CEO of Mayon's Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd in Maharashtra, India:
API Deviations 
1. Failure to clean equipment and utensils to prevent contamination or carry-over of a material that would alter the quality of the API beyond the official or other established specifications. 
Your firm manufacturers homeopathic in process materials and [redacted] from various raw materials. Our investigator observed unidentified debris in the [redacted] of your [redacted] equipment, which is used to process multiple raw materials for homeopathic [redacted], including [redacted] containing [redacted]. This equipment was marked as clean. 
Your response states that you filed a deviation and re-trained your staff. This response is inadequate because you failed to identify the observed debris and perform an impact assessment for the drugs that were manufactured using this dirty equipment.
There are API in homeopathic remedies? How do they test for them? What's the limit of detection?*

*I’m sure there’s some way

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The 2021 Faculty Jobs List: 74 research/teaching positions and 7 teaching faculty positions

The 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 74 research/teaching positions and 7 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

In 2020-2021, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." We are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

On September 17, 2019, the 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 290 research/teaching positions and 7 teaching faculty positions.

To see trending, go to Andrew Spaeth's visualization of previous years' list.

Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Go to the first open thread.

Discord for new chemistry faculty

Professor Nadia Korovina has created a Discord server for new assistant professors to talk. It can be found here: https://discord.gg/Fkk3jXv

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 17 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 17 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson).

From Dr. Josephson: This year we will try to utilize the list further by circulating among the professors, as well as using the hashtags #facultychemEjobs and #MeettheCandidatesChE2020.

The open thread is found here. 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 40 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 40 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady and @nmr_chemist. It targets:
  • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
  • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
  • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

Monday, September 14, 2020

"No German chemical industry recovery expected until 2022"

In this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News, this short piece from Alex Scott:
VCI, Germany’s main chemical industry association, says the country’s chemical sector is on course for a 3% drop in production and a 6% decline in sales for 2020 as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A return to prepandemic performance levels will not occur before the end of 2021, the association states in a financial report. In the first half of 2020, production and sales were down 2.5 and 6.1%, respectively, compared with the same period a year earlier. Below the headline figures, VCI highlights specific areas of concern, including a drop in plant-capacity use to 77.5% and a lack of orders at one in fourcompanies.  
Despite the negative outlook, VCI sees reason for optimism, with a member poll indicating that operational disruption caused by the pandemic is declining and that domestic and international demand is showing signs of picking up slightly. “We are seeing the first signs of recovery,” Christian Kullmann, president of VCI and chairman of Evonik Industries, says in a press release.
My gut feeling is that we're not going to see major layoffs from the chemical industry, but I can't imagine entry-level hiring keeping pace in the chemical (not pharma) industry. We shall see. 

Friday, September 11, 2020

Have a good weekend



Well, we've made it to another weekend. Have a great one, and see you on Monday. 

Chemical plant explosion in Palm Bay, FL on Tuesday

Via Florida Today:
The cause of several large explosions heard in the area of U.S. 1 and R.J. Conlan Boulevard at FAR Chemical, Inc. in Palm Bay Tuesday just before 11 a.m. is under investigation, but appears to have originated from an industrial storage area on site, fire and company officials said. 
The storage area contained 30 to 40 50-gallon barrels containing an isopropyl alcohol-based solution, said Palm Bay spokeswoman Keely Leggett. "The fire occurred at a material storage pad where flammable materials were stored and then spread to an adjacent building," said Joe Beatty, vice president and general manager of FAR. "No one was injured and all employees have been accounted for." 
The explosions generated a large cloud of black smoke visible for miles.

Thursday, September 10, 2020