Thursday, February 20, 2020

Job posting: PhD analytical chemist, FutureFuel, Batesville, AR

From the inbox:
PhD Level Analytical Chemist (Chromatography) 
FutureFuel Chemical Company, formerly Eastman Chemical Company in Batesville, is looking for a new member for its Chemical Technology Team.  The primary responsibilities of the position are to provide analytical services to support new business opportunities, chemical development projects, manufacturing process improvement, and production troubleshooting.  The qualified individual will develop new analytical methods, improve existing methods, ensure the accuracy, precision, and robustness of instruments/methods, and communicate routinely with manufacturing and other personnel. The expectations also include supporting the implementation of and compliance with laboratory quality systems/standards; ISO, BQ9000, and others.  The documentation of work in the form of internal technical reports will be a critical part of the job. 
Qualifications

  • PhD degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry, emphasis on analytical chemistry preferred
  • Strong understanding and comprehension of analytical chemistry
  • Working knowledge of  GC, LC, IC, and other chromatographic techniques
  • Preferably five or more years experience as a bench chemist in analytical chemistry

Entire ad here. Best wishes to those interested. 

13 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there are 13 new positions for February 16.

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 10 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 10 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Paragraphs of the week: Brandon Taylor, "Working In Science Was A Brutal Education. That’s Why I Left."

This is a beautiful memoir/essay by Brandon Taylor, a novelist and a former graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: 
...Science was beautiful and it was wild and it was unknowable. Science was spending days and weeks on a single experiment with no way to know if it would work and no real way to tell if it had worked. Science was like trying to find your way to a dark forest only to realize that you had always been inside of the forest and that the forest is inside of another, greater, darker forest. Science was laughing with my labmates about television the night before, about the song of the summer, about tennis, about the unruly nature of mold growing on our plates, about cheap wings at Buffalo Wild Wings. Science was being taught to think. Taught to speak. Science was a finishing school. Science was a brutal education. Science made me ruthless. Science made me understand the vast beauty of the world. 
But science was also working 15 hours a day for weeks or months. Science was working weekends and holidays. Science was being called lazy for taking a break. Science was the beat of doubting silence after I answered a question put to me. Science was being told that racism was not racism. Science was being told that I was fortunate that I had running water while growing up and that I was actually privileged because there are some places that do not. Science was being told that I was mistaken for a waiter at a party because I had worn a black sweater. Science was being told that I had to work harder despite working my hardest. Science was being told that I talked too much...
I thought Brandon's essay rang true for so many reasons, and I enjoyed reading the whole thing. I hope you do too.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 539 research/teaching positions and 65 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 539 research/teaching positions and 65 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, 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." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On February 19, 2019, the 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 562 positions.

Open threads: firstsecondthirdfourthfifthsixthseventheighth. The current one is the ninth.

Can't see additional comments? Look for the "load more" button underneath the comment box.

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 18 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 18 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, February 17, 2020

Job posting: BS/MS development chemist, Boron Specialties, Ambridge, PA

From the inbox:
Boron Specialties, LLC (located near Pittsburgh, PA) is seeking a Development Chemist.  We develop and manufacture chemicals for high-value applications in markets like electronics and advanced materials, and we often serve as a chemistry technology development partner for our customers.  We’re looking for a new colleague who will thrive in an agile environment, contributing to both process and product development and production chemistry across a number of scales under the direction of senior scientific staff.  We seek energetic, enthusiastic applicants excited about playing an integral role in the growth of a small company.  
Requirements: 
  1. MS in chemistry with 3 years relevant synthetic chemistry experience or BS in chemistry with 5 years relevant synthetic chemistry experience.
  2. Willing and able to participate in a robust safety and regulatory compliance culture
  3. Experience with highly reactive, air-sensitive, and toxic materials, and an ability to safely manipulate materials under air-free conditions.
  4. Experience in multi-step chemical synthesis.
  5. Familiarity with multinuclear NMR, FT-IR, MS, ICP, and GC in the context of product and process development.
  6. Willing and able to learn and contribute beyond regular duties when needed, in areas like analytical method development and multi-kg syntheses.
  7. Able to solve complex technical problems using both inductive and deductive reasoning.
  8. Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  9. Able to excel in a team environment.
  10. Able to legally work in the United States.
Desirable attributes: 
  1. Strong mechanical aptitude in the laboratory.
  2. Experience in supervision and direction of technician-level employees.
  3. Experience with standard operating procedure development.
  4. Experience working in a project-managed environment
  5. Interest in occasional technical engagement with customers to help find solutions to their needs.
Full ad here. If interested and qualified, send a resume and contact information for 2 references to Bill Ewing (bill@boron.com).

Fire at vinyl record plant in California

One morning last week just after 8 a.m., as Sarabjeet Ubbu was starting the day behind the counter of his 7 Star Food Store in Banning, Calif., he noticed black smoke billowing from the roof of the building across the street. 
The unassuming beige facility houses Apollo Masters. Owners of a manufacturing plant and a closely held formula for making and mounting a specific mix of lacquer onto aluminum discs, the company supplies a reported 75% of the world’s blank lacquers, the shiny circular plates essential for the production of vinyl records. 
Until last week, only the most devoted audiophiles appreciated Apollo’s place in the vinyl supply chain. Unlike uploading a newly recorded project to a streaming service such as Spotify, manufacturing records relies on techniques, processes and machines honed over the decades. 
...The whole thing is best understood via a mess of metaphors. In filmmaking terms, a blank lacquer is the original negative. It’s the fresh cement into which you carve your initials. Made with what Horowitz describes as “the purest of absolutely flat aluminum, ultrasonically cleaned and prepared,” the disc is then coated, like icing onto a doughnut, with a micro-thin layer of lacquer made with Apollo’s secret formula. After undergoing a six-week drying and curing process, followed by another six weeks repeating the steps for side B, each blank disc comes out as smooth as a mirror. A box of 25 costs about $900.... 
...The block housing Apollo is still closed to traffic. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to Fernando Herrera, Banning Fire Dept. public information officer. Herrera says that Banning officials have told Apollo that it won’t be permitted to rebuild until the property has undergone hazardous waste remediation. Given the chemicals used to produce the lacquer, it’s not clear whether current California environmental laws would even permit the company to rebuild....
Definitely bad news for vinyl record lovers. I took a brief glance at Google Patents and it appears that they didn't reveal any of their techniques there. I also checked to see if they were a Large Quantity Generator for EPA, and they don't appear to be. I'd love to know what chemicals they use.... 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Explosion at Sequens North America plant in Massachusetts

Bad news from Massachusetts:
NEWBURYPORT, Mass. — Several explosions rocked a plant in Massachusetts that manufactures chemicals used in medicines Thursday morning, blowing a hole in the roof and leading to an evacuation but no injuries, authorities said. 
Authorities said there is no public health threat resulting from the blasts at the building occupied by Seqens North America, formerly PCI Synthesis, in Newburyport, about 35 miles north of Boston. But the explosions come a year after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found “serious” violations in the company's management of highly hazardous chemicals, according to online agency records. 
The company blamed a mechanical issue for Thursday's blasts. 
“At this time, we believe it was a mechanical issue from our steam line, and that there was no fire and that the sprinkler system was not discharged," the company said in a statement late Thursday morning. 
Firefighters responding to an alarm initially went to the building about 4:30 a.m. They encountered “heavy black smoke” and evacuated the building after hearing three explosions, Deputy Fire Chief Stephen Bradbury said. 
There were about 10 workers in the building at the time but no reports of injuries, authorities said. One employee was evaluated by emergency medical services at the scene but declined transportation to the hospital. Three more explosions took place about 15 minutes later, including one that blew a 5-foot-by-8-foot (1.5-meter-by-2.5-meter) hole in the roof, Bradbury said.
Steam lines don't provide black smoke, but we can wait for the follow-up reports. Here's hoping every one is all right.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Job posting: PhD synthetic chemist, Corteva Agriscience, Indianapolis, IN

Via Twitter, a position with Corteva Agriscience:
Synthetic Chemist
Research & Development - Indianapolis, IN
...The successful candidate will be responsible for driving projects in our discovery pipeline by designing and synthesizing novel organic compounds for crop protection, pest and vegetation management in a collaborative effort with biologists, computational chemists, formulation chemists, regulatory sciences, intellectual property and numerous other disciplines... 
Required: PhD in required discipline preferred: Post-doctoral experience or 3-5 years of industrial experience with focus on synthesis and SAR development
Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested. 

30 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there are 30 new positions for February 9.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

What does supply chains look like post-COVID19?

...That is a major challenge for the supply chains that have developed in recent decades to deliver a constant supply of the materials that make Chinese factories hum. 
Commodities markets have tumbled as those factories idled. Iron ore is down more than 10 percent this year. Copper is down about 8 percent, as is nickel, a key ingredient for stainless steel. Zinc and aluminum are both down more than 5 percent in 2020. 
“There is a big drop in consumption and you need storage space,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity strategy at the French bank BNP Paribas, in London. “And if you don’t have storage space that’s one of the reasons why the buyers have invoked this clause.” 
One of China’s largest importers of liquefied natural gas, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, or CNOOC, was one of the entities to invoke a “force majeure” clause, according to multiple news reports. Asian gas prices tumbled in response; benchmark prices for North Asian liquid natural gas are down more than 30 percent in 2020....
 Developing...

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 537 research/teaching positions and 59 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 537 research/teaching positions and 59 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, 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." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On February 12, 2019, the 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 559 positions.

Open threads: firstsecondthirdfourthfifthsixthseventheighth. The current one is the ninth.

Can't see additional comments? Look for the "load more" button underneath the comment box.

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 18 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 18 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, February 10, 2020

Arkansas chemistry professors arrested and charged for methamphetamine manufacture

Via Bethany Halford at C&EN, this unusual story of academic chemical manufacturing (emphasis mine):  
Terry David Bateman and Bradley Allen Rowland, the two former Henderson State University chemistry professors who were arrested in November for allegedly making methamphetamine, pleaded not guilty to all charges on Feb. 4. The chemists are formally charged with making methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia for making methamphetamine, possession of the methamphetamine precursor phenylpropanolamine, and manufacture of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone (the university). 
According to an affidavit filed by Sheriff Jason Watson, in Dec. 2018 HSU faculty reported that Bateman and Rowland were behaving in a suspicious manner that led the faculty to believe the two were involved in illegal activity in one of the chemistry laboratories. The HSU staff told a university lawyer that Bateman and Rowland had “exhibited drastic changes in their personal hygiene and weight loss.” Both professors were seen in the laboratory late at night and early in the morning and “were extremely guarded towards other faculty and students who came into the laboratory.” 
...The next month police officers visited one of the school’s laboratories and discovered an overwhelming odor they recognized as phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), a precursor used in the synthesis of amphetamine and methamphetamine... 
...In November, officers executed a search-and-seizure warrant on Bateman and Rowland’s offices at HSU. The officers forced open a locked metal safe in Bateman’s office. It smelled strongly of P2P and contained 190 glass vials with visible chemical residue. Preliminary field tests of two vials and a flask from another HSU laboratory indicated the presence of methamphetamine, according to the affidavit.
I'd sure like to understand what these professors were thinking... (What does phenyl-2-propanone smell like?)

Friday, February 7, 2020

US Attorney in Lieber case speaks out, Chinese 'coopt'-ing US scientists

Science has a news interview with the Massachusetts US attorney who charged Professor Charles Lieber with federal felonies. It is interesting to understand why the Department of Justice is thinking about this:
[US Attorney] Lelling recognizes that international collaboration has helped make U.S. science the envy of the world, and thinks that U.S.-trained scientists should be free to live and work anywhere. But those who decide to mingle their federal funding with support from Chinese institutions are playing a dangerous game, he warns, adding that Lieber is a perfect example. 
“The Chinese government has a very strategic approach to obtaining technology,” Lelling says. “It targets researchers who specialize in areas where the Chinese are deficient, in the hopes that they can piggyback on their expertise to close that strategic gap.” 
“What concerns us … is that a scientist who accepts their support becomes dependent on it to the point where they are willing to accept [an assignment] from the Chinese government or a Chinese university for whatever it is they need. Those of us that work on public corruption cases develop a radar for when person or entity A is attempting to coopt or corrupt person or entity B. And a large enough amount of money can shift loyalties.”
(Incidentally, I found Lelling's indication that "And so, unfortunately, a lot of our targets are going to be Han Chinese" to be pretty chilling. I'd like federal prosecutors to be a little more precise with their language, thank you very much.)

In other Lieber news, another Science article indicates Professor Lieber was working on battery research in Wuhan, which is odd, because that's not the main thrust of his work in the United States. Interesting...

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Tell me your job story

Dear blog friends:

Help allay my fears that I am falling behind in understanding the industrial job market. No matter your education level or your professional status (beginning, mid-career, etc), please tell me how you got your last job. 

Helpful details: 
  • Timeframe 
  • How you found the position
  • How you applied to it (LinkedIn? e-mail, etc) 
  • The process (phone interview? Skype interview? On-site?) 
  • The negotiation after an offer
  • Relocation packages
  • Sector of the economy
  • General idea of pay
Please do so in the comments, or if you would like, send me an e-mail. Confidentiality guaranteed, this is purely for my own edification. Or, if you would really like to, you can send me a text or call at (302) 313-6257.

Thank you so much - I really appreciate it.

Cheers, Chemjobber

11 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there are 11 new positions for February 5.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Warning Letter of the Week: scraps of paper edition

In a letter to the general manager of Sunstar Guangzhou Ltd. in Guangdong, Guangzhou, China from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, this amusing tidbit:
4. Failure to establish an adequate quality control unit and the responsibilities and procedures applicable to the quality control unit are not in writing and fully followed. (21 CFR 211.22(a) and 211.22(d)). 
Your quality unit (QU) failed to ensure that you have adequate procedures and did not provide adequate oversight of your manufacturing activities. For example: ·
  • You lack adequate control over the issuance, use, and reconciliation of manufacturing batch records and equipment maintenance sheets. Uncontrolled copies of manufacturing batch records and in-process control forms were pre-printed and kept in a room with unrestricted access.
  • Several test reports of your drug product assay were reviewed and the raw data for the standard curve could not be located. It was noted that scrap pieces of paper were used to record data which was later entered to calculate the [redacted] concentration for the assay test.
  • Your firm failed to establish and follow procedures for calculating production yields.
In your response, you stated" ... starting July 2019, relevant personnel will be handed just enough blank forms on a [redacted] basis and they must account for the whereabouts of all blank forms at the [redacted]." You stated that all documents will be archived and procedures will be drafted and/or updated to meet CGMP requirements.
"Scraps of paper" may have described some of my grad school jotted notes, but definitely not my experience in a QC lab...

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 535 research/teaching positions and 58 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 535 research/teaching positions and 58 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, 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." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On February 5, 2019, the 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 55 positions.

Open threads: firstsecondthirdfourthfifthsixthseventheighth. The current one is the ninth.

Can't see additional comments? Look for the "load more" button underneath the comment box.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Impact of the 2019 Coronavirus on the Chemical Industry

Chemical Makers in India May Gain From China Virus Lockdown 
The worsening coronavirus crisis has emerged as a threat to global economic growth. But if it leads to disruption in production of chemicals in China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, then it may benefit Indian manufacturers, according to JM Financial. 
Hubei has a large chemical industry, and the closure in 2016 of Hubei Chuyuan -- one of China’s top producers of dyes -- led to a jump in prices and saw shares of Indian producers rally multifold, the brokerage said in a report Monday. 
“Currently none of the Hubei industries seem to have been impacted and dye intermediate prices have also not rallied,” analysts led by Mehul Thanawala wrote. Prices could start to climb if the epidemic continues to spread and restrict movement, they said....
I think it's too soon to tell what the impacts with the global chemical industry would be, but it could be pretty broad if the Chinese chemical industry goes down for a month or two...