|Credit: Kevin Gahan|
(got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in (with a caption and preference for name/anonymity, please) at email@example.com; will run every other Friday.)
|Credit: Kevin Gahan|
We have one son who graduated from MIT with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry after a total of nine years of college. We have another son who graduated from WyoTech with degrees in Automotive Technology and Management after a two-year program right after high school. After five years at their respective jobs, which both thoroughly employ their respective educations, guess which one makes more money? Trade school wins.
Bronwyn ClearProud parents, I bet.
llinois manufacturers need about 27,000 workers a year, for the next five years, just to keep up with retirements. The only problem is, there aren't 30,000 workers with the skills to fill the jobs.
"Manufacturers need 22,000 production workers and 5,000 engineers every year, for the next five years between now and 2027 just to cover retirements of the baby boomers," Jim Nelson of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association said. "So there are jobs available."
Nelson said there's a need for truck drivers, welders, craftsmen, manufacturers, supervisors, and a whole lot of other workers....
...But not enough of the workers who are available in Illinois have the skills that employers need. The biggest reason for that, Nelson said, is that Illinois high schools are still focused on sending kids to college.Maybe Mr. Nelson is using a very broad definition of an engineer, but 5,000 a year? Really?
Though American laboratories stopped producing nerve agents around 1970, after the production of so-called third-generation nerve agents like sarin and VX, Soviet scientists continued their work for two decades, producing a “fourth generation.”
The Novichok nerve agents came in solid form, like a powder or thick paste, and would not register on the chemical detector paper that NATO troops used.
A chemist who worked in the laboratory developing Novichok accidentally inhaled fumes while filling a syringe, and collapsed. Though he was injected with an antidote and eventually awoke, he suffered from depression and epilepsy and died five years later, leaving Vil Mirzayanov, a scientist who helped develop the agent, deeply disillusioned.
“Antidotes exist, but what does antidote mean?” Mr. Mirzayanov, who had leaked the project to the press and later immigrated to the United States, told Sky News on Tuesday. “You’re saving a person who has been exposed to this gas — but temporarily, not to die this time. But he will be an invalid for the rest of his life.”..."eventually." Yikes!
Evonik Industries declared victory for its exclusive synthesis division late last year when it announced the renewal of a long-term supply contract with Eli Lilly & Co. The German firm bought Lilly’s TippecanoeLaboratories in Lafayette, Ind., in 2010 and had been supplying the drug company with active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs)....
...The repurposing of the Tippecanoe site was largely accomplished under the direction of general manager Clive Whiteside. Whiteside, who started his career at ICI, describes the cultural conversion as a protracted effort. But he emphasizes that one element of culture has remained constant at Tippecanoe—a midwestern work ethic.
“One of the things that helped us be successful—that we inherited from our previous owner—is a high-quality workforce with know-how and commitment,” Whiteside says. “America’s Midwest breeds hardworking people who are good at working together. And that is a huge advantage for a service company.”Here's hoping that more people turn out to recognize that fact...
One of my work duties is to give safety training on the principles of electrostatic safety; ESD training we call it. The group of people who go through my training are new employees. These folks come from all walks of life with education ranging from high school/GED to BS chemists & engineers to PhD chemists. In order to be compliant with OSHA and with what we understand to be best practices, we give personnel who will be working with chemicals extensive training in all of the customary environmental, health and safety areas.
I have instructed perhaps 80 to 100 people in the last 6 years. At the beginning of each session I query the group for their backgrounds and ask if it includes any electricity or electronics study or hobbies. With the exception of two electricians in the group, this survey has turned up a resounding zero positive responses.
Admittedly, there could be some selection bias here. It could be that people with electrical knowledge do not end up in the chemical industry. This agrees with my informal observations. But I’m not referring to experts in the electrical field. I refer to people who recall having ever heard of Ohm’s law. One might have guessed that the science requirements for high school graduation may have included rudimentary electrical concepts. One might have further suspected that hobby electronics could have occupied the earlier years of a few attendees. Evidently not. And it does not appear that parents have been very influential in this matter either...I messed around a lot with electronics when I was a pre-teen, had a lot of fun with electronics kits. (Incidentally, Snap Circuits are a pretty cool educational tool for kids.)
1. Your firm failed to ensure that laboratory records included complete data derived from all tests necessary to assure compliance with established specifications and standards (21 CFR 211.194(a)).Always empty the recycle bin!
Your firm lacks basic laboratory controls to prevent changes to paper and electronic records for your over-the-counter (OTC) drug products. You were not able to provide analytical test data for three batches of [redacted] spray and one batch of [redacted]. We found that you created certificates of analysis (COA) for these four batches before they were manufactured and tested.
When questioned, your firm acknowledged falsifying the analytical test results on the COA you used to support release and distribution of [redacted] spray and [redacted] drug products to the United States.
In addition, we found three electronic data files in the electronic recycle bin of the stand-alone HPLC system you used to test finished drug product [redacted] spray. Because this instrument lacks back-up and audit trail capabilities, we could not determine how frequently test data obtained prior to “official” batch testing was discarded. You were unable to explain why these electronic files were deleted.
|Credit: Andrew Wright|
..."If you're not raising wages, then it just sounds like whining," he told a group of business people at a Rotary Club meeting in Sioux Falls, S.D., according to the Washington Examiner.
..."Are any of you planning to raise wages in the next year or two? Or are you just complaining about you can't find workers?" Kashkari asked the group. "If you look at North Dakota in the oil boom — if you raise wages, people respond and you can find workers."
I've just taken over a 'lab', AKA the filthy garage that makes numbers, and want to turn it into a Lab. Halp!
I've just got a job at a waste oil processing plant. It's tiny. 6 people work here in total, with only myself (the new Site Chemist) and one other using the lab.
Currently, the lab is a tiny cupboard containing an old XRF, KF, balance and a couple of spectrometers. Everything is coated in oil. The 'test methods' are stored in the plant guy's head, and there is basically nothing written down regarding SOPs, methods, calibrations, safety etc.
As the site chemist, I've been given this cupboard and also the garage that contains the cupboard to turn into a fully functional, legitimate lab. Naturally, the first thing I did was think about safety and, accordingly, I asked the plant guy to stop washing sample jars out using chloroform and disposable nitrile gloves (no, we don't have a fume hood).
What next? Of course, this is now my job and I do in fact have a plan, but do any of you guys have any tips on setting up a 'new' lab? Any resources I will find useful? I'd just like to make sure I don't miss anything out regarding safety, good practice etc.
e: For info, I'm also responsible for health and safety for the whole site as well as environmental monitoring of everything we dump. Just trying to get a handle on the lab, which is what I know best, before I start making sweeping changes to everyone else's work areas. The lab is a mess because there was no chemist here before now.Yikes, this would not be a good situation to be in...
2. Failure to properly maintain equipment and to keep complete records of major equipment maintenance.Gaskets are cheap, aren't they? Better a couple of bucks for gasket than particles in your API...
Our investigator found damaged product-contact surfaces on your multi-product equipment. For example, the manhole gasket of [redacted]111 was deteriorating and wrapped in peeling tape. A gasket on the [redacted]102 was also cracked in one area and wrapped in peeling tape.
Your SOP/ENG/39-1, Gasket Management for Equipments and Pipelines which are in Direct Contact with the Product, section 4.18, requires you to replace gaskets in critical areas, including gaskets for [redacted]111 and [redacted]102, [redacted]. Your firm was unable to provide gasket replacement records for this equipment during the inspection.
Furthermore, the most recent records of your firm checking the condition of the gaskets for [redacted]102 were from January 2017, more than [redacted] before our inspection.
This is a repeat observation from our February 2015 inspection. We also note that you have found deteriorating gaskets to be the root cause for finished API particle complaints.
Your response is inadequate. You stated that the “involved gasket was immediately substituted” but did not evaluate all other gaskets on your manufacturing equipment. You indicated that you will update your procedure to require a supervisor walk-through to assess product contact surfaces, but did not include sufficient detail (e.g., frequency of equipment inspection). You also failed to address the lack of gasket maintenance records.
Finally, I heard back from Silent Spring Institute. I figured this was a report card I had aced. I avoid all that harmful stuff. In my columns, I had advised readers how to avoid it.
Sure enough, I had a low level of BPA, best known because plastic bottles now often boast “BPA Free.”
But even a diligent student like me failed the test. Badly. I had high levels of a BPA substitute called BPF. Ruthann Rudel, a toxicologist who is the head of research at Silent Spring, explained that companies were switching to BPF even though it may actually be yet more harmful (it takes longer for the body to break it down). BPF is similar to that substance that made those mice do back flips.I am a little at wit's end to understand how to help intelligent people like Mr. Kristof see past their clear fear of chemicals, the distrust they have of chemical companies and their seeming dismissal of regulatory agencies. It seems to me that he is all too credulous to the claims of organizations like the Silent Spring Institute that are incentivized to generate as much fear and doubt around chemicals as possible.
The Staff Scientist, Medicinal Chemist is responsible for designing and synthesizing small-molecules for drug discovery projects in order to advance those programs into preclinical development.
EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, BEHAVIOURAL COMPETENCIES AND SKILLS:
|Credit: Augustin Peneau|
...Pfizer, the pharmaceutical manufacturer, highlights both the demands of the new economy and the shortfalls from the labor force.
At Pfizer’s 17 manufacturing sites across the country, a low-level technician once followed a set of scripted steps to mix individual batches of medicine. Those batches would be tested in a lab to ensure each dose would meet the company’s standards.
Today, a technician operates computers that mix and analyze new batches of medicine instantly. The technician who once just needed to follow a recipe now needs to know a little bit about chemistry, biology, data analysis and lab work.
“The technician role has become much more high tech, in that the operators are monitoring the online data and they are manipulating the control systems and making online decisions based on real-time data,” said Kevin Nepveux, Pfizer’s vice president of global manufacturing services. “That requires a different skill set for the operators.”Call me a perennial skeptic, but this sounds like baloney.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is currently seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic post-doctoral researcher with an extensive hands-on experience in multistep organic synthesis to join their Organic Photovoltaics (OPV) Chemistry Team in Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom.
Location: Merck Chemicals Ltd., Chilworth, Southampton, UK
Your primary role will be to carry out the design, synthesis, purification and analysis of new materials for commercial OPV applications. You will use your ability, experience and knowledge to develop novel materials and an in-depth understanding of the parameters controlling their 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 introduction to customers.
The Regulatory Affairs Specialist I reports directly to the Manager of Global Regulatory Affairs. This position is responsible for assisting with the overall management of matters involving the company’s regulatory initiatives and regulatory compliance, specifically relating to new product development and existing products. Under the direction of the Manager, Global Regulatory Affairs, the Regulatory Affairs Specialist I will work with multiple relevant stakeholders such as the Legal Team, Quality Assurance, Marketing, Sales, and Research & Development to ensure product compliance.
The Regulatory Affairs Specialist I researches and provides updates on existing and future key legislation that could affect new and existing product line development to his/her manager for review. Additionally, this individual will be heavily involved in making a positive contribution to implementing key legislative changes including FSMA and SFCA (U.S. and Canadian Regulation Updates). Additionally, this role will be responsible for providing excellent customer service and maintaining positive business relationships with both internal and external customers and/or vendors.
EDUCATION & WORK REQUIREMENTS
U. Michigan, Ann Arbor: 59Of these, the top 5 schools (by volume) make 9.9% of the graduates.
U. California, Berkeley: 56
Purdue U., West Lafayette: 51
U. Wisconsin-Madison: 51
U. Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: 50
U. Florida: 49
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 47
Northwestern U.: 41
U. Minnesota, Twin Cities: 41
Princeton U.: 41
U. California, Irvine: 39
The U.S. National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) announced last month that it will no longer fund a predoctoral fellowship program that supported select chemistry students. NIGMS decided instead to put all of its predoctoral funding toward training grants, which support departments to provide funding and mentorship to large groups of students. The Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship, or F31, was one of few grants that chemistry students could apply for once they had already started their graduate research.
Most other grants, including NSF predoctoral fellowships, go to students before they enter graduate school. Marilyn Mackiewicz, now a research assistant professor at Portland State University, says she hadn’t known about the NSF fellowships when she applied to graduate school at Texas A&M University. “It’s kind of sad they are deciding to stop funding the grant,” she says. NIGMS started supporting F31 fellowships in 2015. It awarded around 85 fellowships each year; less than 20% went to chemists.Actually not that consequential to the total number of Ph.D. chemists (~2600 a year.) Still...
Wanted: Fluorochemical reference standards
When researchers discover a new chemical in the environment, they need a reference sample of known purity to do further research on the substance. Such reference standards are necessary to calculate concentrations of chemicals in environmental samples, conduct toxicology studies, or carry out environmental fate and transport testing.
But suppliers of chemical standards sometimes don’t have novel industrial chemicals, in particular those that are unintentional by-products of manufacturing processes. Researchers can measure the concentration of only some of the fluorochemicals in the Cape Fear River because they don’t have standards for comparison, says EPA scientist Mark Strynar.
Chemours supplied standards for the two Nafion by-products found in the Cape Fear River to Strynar in November. Strynar is seeking standards for perfluoro-3,5,7-trioxaoctanoic acid (PFO3OA), perfluoro-3,5-dioxahexanoic acid (PFO2HxA), and perfluoro-2-methoxyacetic acid (PFMOAA). “Those compounds need to be synthesized,” Strynar says. “Without that, our work is sort of at a standstill.”
“There’re people out there that can do that synthesis and they can make these available as chemicals for us to purchase,” Strynar says in a pitch to the chemistry community. “It doesn’t have to be 99.9% pure,” he says.
Strynar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.Gonna guess that Dr. Strynar could engage Apollo or Synquest for $20,000 or so, but what do I know?
|Credit: Dan Singleton|
1. The top schools do impressively but they are not the only path to get a faculty job. Over half come from places outside of the top 10.
2. The correlation with school reputation is loose.
3. There is an inverse correlation with football quality.
I expect that if we looked at graduate school institution, the distribution would be / less top heavy by a good margin. That is, a medium graduate school followed by a good postdoc is a perfectly fine path to a faculty position. This has been studied in the economics literature. It is better to be the best person at a lesser school than third best at Harvard.This is pretty unsurprising (especially the Pareto distribution of postdoctoral institutions.)
Any institution receiving grant monies from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) must now inform the agency if it finds that anyone funded by the grant proposal has committed sexual harassment. The policy will take effect after a 60-day public-comment period ends.
Until now, “we haven’t had a requirement on universities to report a [harassment] finding or when they’ve put someone on administrative leave” during a harassment investigation, says France Córdova, the NSF director. “We didn’t have the channel to find out what’s at the end of an investigation.”
The reporting requirement comes in the wake of numerous sexual-harassment scandals in the sciences. It is a rare move among US federal research agencies, which generally do not require grant recipients or their employers to disclose sexual-harassment allegations or findings.Why did this happen? Well, surely the current cultural moment has something to do with it. There's also this:
Like other federal agencies, the NSF is under pressure from the US Congress to strengthen its response to sexual harassment. In January, the House of Representatives’ science committee asked the Government Accountability Office to look into sexual harassment involving federally funded researchers at agencies including the NSF, NASA, the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health.I think this is instructive to those who are interested in getting funding agencies to pursue academic lab safety as a priority. While professional societies and universities have their place in suggesting voluntary guidelines for safety practices, there's nothing quite like Congressional pressure to move items from policy proposal to policy.
...However, for this opportunity to be fully realized, chemists should be able to talk to machines. Unfortunately, few chemists can actually code, let alone program a robot or write an algorithm to design and run a better set of experiments. Robotics or AI are rarely part of the chemistry curriculum, even at graduate school. This is especially worrisome considering that a recent report by Dell Technologies estimates that 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030—when our current students will be in their early 30s—have not been invented yet but will definitely require those skills.
The chemical industry will be profoundly transformed by the convergence of technologies that defines the fourth industrial revolution. According to the World Economic Forum, the digitalization of the chemical industry will create revenues in the $310 billion to $550 billion range, reduce CO2 emissions by 60 million to 100 million metric tons, and avoid 2,000 to 3,000 injuries over the next decade. This will require profound adaptations—and on a very short notice—in the workforce, leadership, and organization of a $5 trillion industry.Call me skeptical that one more item should be bolted onto graduate training in chemistry, but learning to code or work with AI technologies seems like a reasonably wise thing for a graduate student in the sciences to do.
My name is Paul Humphries and I am currently looking to use my drug discovery knowledge and skills in a challenging and rewarding position within a Bay Area biotech company (see attached for my resume). I am a passionate and motivated scientist with over sixteen years of experience delivering high quality small molecule clinical candidates.
For the last seven years I have been working at Reset Therapeutics, where I am currently Chief Scientific Officer and assume full responsibility for all aspects of research and nonclinical development (20 scientists). During this time, I work with the Board of Directors, Scientific Advisory Board and key external opinion leaders to ensure that the organization’s vision and performance meets the needs of the patient population. I was integral in setting up and optimizing the key phenotypic circadian biology platform that yielded the lead Cryptochrome project which progressed from academic hits to First in Human in six years.
I also successfully obtained NIH and Michael J. Fox Foundation non-dilutive funding for the Orexin project, allowing science to progress to the point where Reset established a lucrative research collaboration with Alkermes. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the rewarding 23andMe collaboration where we are studying circadian clock genes to improve the therapeutic development of diseases associated with circadian dysfunction. Prior to joining Reset, I had eight years of experience at Pfizer as a medicinal chemist. This time included projects at both an early and late stage, culminating in seven IND submissions across four projects and numerous other projects reaching expedient go/no go decisions.Interested in talking to Paul or knowing more about him? E-mail me at email@example.com for a link to his CV and contact information.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry (two-year position)
St. Mary’s College of Maryland invites applications for a two-year visiting assistant professor of chemistry beginning August 2018. Responsibilities include: Teaching Organic Chemistry I and II lectures and labs and other courses as needed in the department such as General Chemistry I and II, a non-majors chemistry course, and courses in the applicant’s area of expertise. Visiting faculty are encouraged to conduct research with undergraduates. The department has a variety of research grade instrumentation as well as dedicated research space available.
Qualifications include: Ph.D. in chemistry or a related field and a commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching. Postdoctoral training and/or teaching experience are preferred. Employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check.Full ad here. Best wishes for those interested.
For Mitchell, it was a quest that began early in her career in the 1970s and '80s, when she developed Rice Dream rice milk for natural foods company Imagine Foods — an interesting path for the daughter of celebrated food chemist Bill Mitchell, the inventor of Tang, Cool Whip and Pop Rocks.
"I had just gotten my Ph.D., specializing in carbohydrate chemistry," recalls Mitchell. "I was really interested in metabolism and how our bodies handle carbohydrates, and then got entrenched in looking at food from a natural processing perspective."
Although proud of her work at Imagine Foods, Mitchell still felt dissatisfied by not being able to maximize the nutrients in raw ingredients, as many nutritional elements were lost during the extraction process. So, in 2001, she ventured out on her own, buying a research facility in California, where she spent the next five years developing a process to create a plant-based milk that had as much protein as its dairy counterpart.
"We had to make a quantum leap in technology," she says. "Typically, when you make these kinds of milks, you grind everything up and then filter out the liquid. You can get a nice milk with great flavor, but the protein is lost. My goal was to keep that taste, but with all the protein."It sounds like Dr. Mitchell is fairly successful at making nut milks out of her proprietary process (and wanders into the plant now and again.) I'm going to guess the majority of carbohydrate chemists do not end up in relatively industrial careers.
Don’t just pay people compliments; give them living eulogies. Tell them exactly how great they are, in how many ways. Embarrass them. Here’s a funny thing I have learned by being just a little bit internet famous: it doesn’t matter how many times you hear them, the words “You are amazing, and here’s why” never get old. They do not go out of style. You will be wearing them to your 80th birthday party, along with a dazzling smile.
Is your child texting about organic chemistry? Quick guide:
SMDH: Scrubbing my distillation head
GTG: Grease that glass
STFU: Shifted the frequency upfield
BAE: Breaking an emulsion
OMG: Oxidized my Grignard
ROTFLMAO: ragging on these freshmen learning molecular/atomic orbitals
Based in Sunnyvale, CA, Nanofactory CBN works on various organic and organometallic target molecules for lithography applications. As a scientist, you will collaborate closely with our surface science and a computational chemistry colleagues on each iteration of the molecules we make to improve their functionality.
Summary of essential job functions and responsibilities:
Required educational qualifications:
Please contact Michael Drew at firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume and any further inquiries.Best wishes to those interested.
For more than a decade, the American Chemical Society has successfully helped senior graduate students and postdoctoral scholars connect with university recruiters searching for qualified faculty candidates via the Academic Employment Initiative (AEI).
The availability of different employment opportunities in academia, and feedback from AEI participants, prompted ACS to suspend the existing AEI program to test alternative professional development models that promised to be more effective and impactful.
These models will be offered during ACS National Meetings in order to connect senior graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with research and teaching institutions that are looking for new employees in all areas of academic employment, including, but not limited to, postdoctoral researcher, staff scientist, faculty (tenure track, non-tenure track, adjunct, R1, PUI), and administrator levels.
The American Chemical Society looks forward to continuing its support of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars career development of with the updated approach with the goal of achieving higher levels of success for job seekers.The chatter in the open thread seems to indicate that people had mixed feelings about it - will be interesting to know if the replacement programs (like the "Postdoc to PUI Professor Workshop") fare better.
Under minimal supervision, the instructor is responsible for effectively teaching coursework in chemistry (15 credit hours per semester) within the Mathematics and Science department. Assignments will be primarily organic chemistry courses with the potential for occasional assignments in other areas of chemistry. Must evaluate, record, and report student achievement and progress in assigned courses in accordance with department, division and college policies and procedures. Responsibilities will also include advising of current and prospective students and providing assistance in development and implementation of departmental initiatives. Must meet credentialing requirements set by the Iowa Department of Education.M.S. in chemistry required. Link here. Best wishes to those interested.
What's the job market like for chemists? Dude -- it's always bad.*
How bad is it? How the heck should I know? Quantifying the chemistry job market is what this blog is about. That, and helping chemists find jobs.
E-mail chemjobber with helpful tips, career questions or angry comments at chemjobber -at- gmail dotcom. All correspondence is kept confidential. (Didn't get an e-mail back? It's okay to try again.)
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(*For the literal-minded, this is a joke. Mostly.)