Monday, June 22, 2015

Interesting set of comments about Indiana jobs in chemistry

Also from this week's C&EN, Alex Scott talks about Vertellus, a fine chemical manufacturer: 
Vertellus doesn’t have any blockbuster products coming through its R&D pipeline. Rather, “there are lots of niche new product opportunities such as new applications of existing products,” Preziotti says. The firm has between 20 and 30 research projects under way at any one time. 
About 50 engineering and research scientists work in Vertellus labs in Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and the U.K. Additionally, the company has a global team of more than 70 quality-control experts, including analytical chemists. 
The firm considers itself well-placed geographically for recruiting new scientists. Indiana universities on which it draws include Purdue and Notre Dame. The other major hirer of chemists in Indianapolis is pharma company Eli Lilly & Co. Although Vertellus has lost some good chemical engineers to the fracking and petrochemicals boom taking place along the Gulf Coast, it has been able to attract some scientists from Lilly. 
One researcher to cross over is senior research scientist David Hay. At Lilly, Hay recalls, he would work on a narrow slice of a project and then hand it over to another department. But at Vertellus, he is involved from the beginning of a project to the end and even on to the plant stage when full-scale production begins. “It is both rewarding and thrilling to be actively involved in every step of the process,” he says.
It would be very interesting to know what the overall exodus from Lilly has been over the years, and where those scientists have ended up. Something tells me that most of them have left the state, but I dunno.

UPDATE: I am somewhat amused to note that Vertellus has no current openings for chemists. 


  1. Dow's agrosciences division is in Indy as well - another major employer of chemists in that area I would suspect, but maybe not as many as those other two companies.

  2. "I am somewhat amused to note that Vertellus has no current openings for chemists."

    Indeed. I have noticed similar trends with major companies which boast of their ties to chemistry. For example, "BASF, the chemical company". Except that they don't seem to hire very many organic chemists, nowadays.

  3. To be fair, a search of Dow Chemical's (50,000+ employees) careers page lists three hits for a search of 'chemist.' DuPont's (60,000+ employees) lists three jobs with chemist in their title. From what I can find, Vertellus has 1,000+ employees. As such a small company on a relative scale, it is not at all surprising that they do not have a current opening for a chemist.

  4. In the New Society, all jobs will be undertaken by individuals not intellectually burdened with actual knowledge of their work.

    Tasks will be performed by those not politically compromised by their education or training.

    Organizations are defined by what they do *not* do - the name is merely an artifice for the maintenance of the organization which transcends any other purpose or goal.

    It is better to be Red than Expert.