Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 332 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself) has 332 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

43 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there are 18 new positions for May 22, 15 new positions for May 20 and 10 new positions for May 16.

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 25 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 25 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 300 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 300 positions.

Want to help? Here's a form to fill out.

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Chemjobber’s Conditions For Becoming Chemistry Jobs Czar

Spotted in a spam folder somewhere:

Chemjobber’s Conditions For Becoming Chemistry Jobs Czar
  1. Office in Midland, MI
  2. Walk-in privileges with the CEOs of Dow, DuPont, Pfizer, Merck and Novartis
  3. Full professor rank - at highest pay level for faculty
  4. Staff of 12 people (3 labor economists, 3 research analysts, 1 scheduler, 3 social media people, 1 beer assistant, 1 organizer of blue dress shirts) 
  5. CEOs of major chemistry employers sits down individually with Chemistry Jobs Czar and tells their HR people to follow the directive of the Chemistry Jobs Czar without delay, subject to doing anatomically impossible things in cases of disagreement
  6. 24/7 access to either a private jet or a lifetime supply of Glenfiddich
  7. Ability to spend weekends in Bozeman, Montana with family on way from chemistry career fairs
  8. Security detail if deemed necessary after security review.
  9. Serve as the face of chemistry employment policy - the principal spokesman on television and social media
  10. Promise by November 1, 2019, Congress will ratify CJ Chemjobber to be Secretary of Labor, unless Chemjobber wishes to continue in Czar position

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 586 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 31 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 31 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. 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, May 20, 2019

New York schools settle for over one million dollars for 2014 rainbow demonstration incident:

Well, this is a long time in coming. From the New York Daily News: 
Two students traumatized by a horrifically botched classroom science experiment in 2014 have received over $1 million from the city. Former Beacon High School student Julia Saltonstall received a $750,000 settlement. Her classmate Sara Salitan received $400,000, documents filed in Manhattan Supreme Court show. The deals were made official Monday, which was to be the first day of a trial over their injuries.
Saltonstall suffered burns on her forearms, including a third-degree burn on her right arm, when teacher Anna Poole screwed up the chemistry “rainbow experiment.” She’d since coped with emotional trauma. Salitan’s injuries were “purely emotional and psychological in nature, including post traumatic stress disorder and depression,” according to a recent filing in the case. Messages for Saltonstall and Salitan’s attorneys were not returned....
...The rainbow experiment was designed to show students how different mineral salts produce multicolored flames when burned. On Jan. 2, 2014 Poole poured methanol from a one-gallon bottle into hot Petri dishes containing nitrates that had been on fire only moments earlier. The chemical cocktail created a blazing ribbon that flew across the table where Poole’s students were gathered, engulfing Yanes.... 
...The Daily News exclusively reported last year that Poole had received a promotion and was now working in the Education Department’s central office providing instructions to other educators about science-teaching techniques. 
Poole could not be reached for comment.
Well, maybe after another 25 kids are hurt and another couple million dollars in settlements are paid out that we'll get some change.

Another reminder that the American Chemical Society's Committee on Chemical Safety specifically recommends teachers "that the “Rainbow” demonstration on open benches involving the use of flammable solvents such as methanol be discontinued immediately due to extreme risk of flash fires and flame jetting."

Friday, May 17, 2019

Got a career dilemma?

I'm always game for writing answer requests for advice in my column at Chemical and Engineering News. Please feel free to write me (chemjobber@gmail.com) if you have a career-oriented dilemma that you'd like me to write about in the magazine. Also, you can submit your questions with this handy web form. Thanks!

GC columns

A list of small, useful things (links): 
An open invitation to all interested in writing a blog, a hobby that will bring millions thousands hundreds tens of dollars joy and happiness. Send me a link to your post, and I'd be happy to put it up.

Have a good weekend!

Job posting: Scientist Urethane Catalysts, Huntsman Advanced Technology Center, The Woodlands, TX

From the inbox:
We are currently looking for a dynamic individual as a Scientist, Urethane Catalysts for our Performance Products organization at our Advanced Technology Center located in The Woodlands, Texas. 
This job exists to support our urethane catalyst business of our Performance Products Division.  Incumbents help develop and deploy new or modified products as well as troubleshooting issues that customers may have with existing products.  Assists the business to achieve these goals through laboratory experimentation, product/application development, customer trials, customer technical service support, and other activities....
What will be expected from you?
  • Conduct laboratory investigations in order to develop new products, application technologies and/or to provide technical service support which demonstrates the ability to effectively resolve a variety of moderately complex technical service or product development/modification challenges
  • All work must include well written concise reports which are completed on time and exhibit rigorous data analysis skills....
What are we looking for in the ideal candidate?
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or Material Science is required.
  • 3+ years of relevant experience in a laboratory environment or
  • Demonstrated knowledge in isocyanates, polyols and related chemistry as well as a strong working knowledge of ridge and flexible polyurethane foam systems
  • Proven experience of formulating ridge and flexible polyurethanes foams...
Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested.  

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 332 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself) has 332 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

26 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there are 26 new positions for May 12.

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 25 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 25 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 300 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 300 positions.

Want to help? Here's a form to fill out.

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

"The Difference A Lab Coat Can Make"

Via a report in the Salt Lake Tribune (by Courtney Tanner) and help from Twitter, this rather alarming report from the Utah State Legislature about an incident at the University of Utah:
A University of Utah Incident Demonstrates The Difference a Lab Coat Can Make 
In February 2018, an incident in the University of Utah’s Chemistry Department led to chemical burns for two lab personnel. This incident involved air-reactive chemicals that combust when exposed to air, which was the hazard that led to the 2008 death of a UCLA researcher. In this incident, the researcher conducting the experiment and their spotter, who had a fire extinguisher, each received burns. Figure 1.2 shows the lab coat and burns resulting from the accident.  
In this case, the researcher was wearing a flame-resistant lab coat or more serious injury could have occurred. Unfortunately, we observed and OEHS has reported repeatedly that lab coats in general are not being worn consistently.  
Unlike the incident at UCLA, two major differences were observed in the University of Utah’s incident report. First, the researcher was wearing the flame-resistant blue lab coat shown in Figure 1.2. As the figure shows, the air-reactive chemical left burn marks in the material. However, an incident report noted that the clothing and skin beneath the coat were unaffected. The second major difference was that a spotter was present to extinguish the chemical. Neither of these safety precautions were present in the UCLA tragedy. 
After the Chemistry Department’s Safety Committee reviewed the incident, the following improvements to this specific lab group’s safety practices were identified.
  • Use Fire-Resistant Gloves: While the researcher’s nitrile gloves did not melt, second-degree burns were still incurred. Another research group in the Chemistry Department uses fire-resistant pilot gloves, which were recommended for future use when air-reactive chemicals are involved.
  • Build Larger Margins of Safety into Procedures: The fire resulted when the plunger of the 5 mL syringe came out while drawing 4.6 mL of the chemical. A proposal to fill syringes only to 60 percent of capacity when working with air-reactive chemicals was developed, a level significantly lower than 92 percent of syringe capacity that caused this incident. 
This is a good and regrettable reminder that it's hard to learn from our history, even incidents that were famous just ten years ago. I find it a little bit depressing that this incident happened, and that so much of it was predictable from the Sheri Sangji incident, i.e. the lesson from the incident that a syringe must be properly sized for the amount that it needs to withdraw was not followed in this case. 

However, there is cause for hope. If this had happened 10 years ago or 20 years ago, the student would not have been wearing a flame-resistant lab coat, and the researcher would have sustained far more life-threatening injuries. In addition, I suspect that the presence of a spotter with a fire extinguisher at the ready was also a procedure added post-Sangji. Little by little, I sincerely hope that academic chemistry's safety record is improving. 

(Questions that I don't have time right now: What the ##$$ is it going to take for us to get reports of serious incidents or near misses out of industry or academia on a regular basis? There should be some kind of central repository of these incidents that can be anonymized so that the community can learn.)

UPDATE 0515191700: Jyllian Kemsley reminds us about the Pistoia Alliance Chemical Safety Library.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 585 positions

Job posting: Core Facility Research Specialist, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

From the inbox, a position with a core facility at the University of Iowa:
The University of Iowa Materials Analysis, Testing, and Fabrication (MATFab) Facility is an Office of the Vice President for Research core resource, offering a wide array of instrumentation to research investigators.   
Position: The MATFab Facility is seeking a Core Facility Research Specialist to: support medium- to ultra-high vacuum, electron emission and detection, deposition, and etching instrumentation for materials fabrication and characterization including e-beam lithography, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), reactive-ion etching, atomic-layer deposition, photolithography, and chemical vapor deposition.
Position ad here and here. Best wishes to those interested. 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 31 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 31 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. 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, May 13, 2019

You'll never look at a pill bottle the same way again

The New York Times has an interesting snippet from an upcoming book about the generic drug industry by Katherine Eban: 
A new head of the F.D.A.’s India office, Altaf Lal, arrived in mid-2013. To tame the twin problems of company fraud and compromised investigators, Mr. Lal made a novel pitch to agency officials. He proposed a pilot program to make all inspections in India either on short notice or unannounced. By December 2013, he had a green light. The results were instantaneous. 
In January 2014, the F.D.A. was planning an unannounced inspection at a plant in northern India on a Monday. Fearing that plant officials had heard they were coming, Mr. Baker and his colleague went a day early, unannounced. They proceeded to the quality control laboratory, expecting it to be quiet on Sunday morning. Instead, they were stunned to see a hive of activity. Dozens of workers hunched over documents, backdating them. On one desk, Mr. Baker found a notebook listing the documents the workers needed to fabricate in anticipation of the inspectors’ arrival. There were Post-it notes stuck to some surfaces, noting what data to change. 
In large swaths of India’s generic drug industry, the pilot program uncovered a long-running machinery dedicated not to producing perfect drugs but to producing perfect data. At one plant, Mr. Baker went straight to the microbiology laboratory and found the paperwork for testing the sterility of the plant in perfect order: microbial limits testing, biological indicators, all the samples with perfect results. Yet most of the samples didn’t exist. The plant was testing almost nothing. The laboratory was a fake.
It's a good thing that pilot program is continuing. What's that you say? The FDA canceled it? Oh, well. 

Job posting: Division Director, Division of Chemistry, National Science Foundation, Alexandria, VA

From the inbox, a position at the National Science Foundation:
The Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) announces a nationwide search to fill the position of Division Director, Division of Chemistry (CHE). Appointment to this Senior Executive Service position may be on a career basis, or on a one- to three-year limited-term basis, with a salary range of $165,842 to $175,400. Alternatively, the incumbent may be assigned under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) provisions. Information about the Division’s activities may be found at https://www.nsf.gov/div/index.jsp?div=CHE
The successful candidate will possess an established record of significant achievement in research administration as well as leadership responsibility in academe, industry or government. In addition to having a strong record of research and education accomplishments within his or her technical communities, the Division Director must be experienced and competent in technical, financial, and administrative management. He/she must work well with people, be an effective communicator, and act as a mentor to continuously develop the diversity of talents and skills of his or her colleagues at all levels. 
Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested. 

Friday, May 10, 2019

View From Your Hood: new chemistry building edition

Credit: Tariq Bhatti
From reader Tariq Bhatti, of Rutgers - New Brunswick:

"I like this view, looking west toward the hills and the bend in the Raritan River. The glass facade offers sweeping views of sunsets (and sunrises).  On clear nights, we can see Manhattan in the distance. The cogeneration plant is also visible. We were nonplussed by the giant caffeine molecule that was installed one morning ("The PhD Molecule"), but we're learning to embrace it."

(got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in (with a caption and preference for name/anonymity, please) at chemjobber@gmail.com; will run every other Friday.)

Demographics is destiny, workforce edition

Another article about the so-called 'skills gap':
“Work force is the number one challenge for manufacturers,” she told KRMG recently. “The average age of a high-skilled worker is 56, and so we don’t have enough people interested and familiar with skilled trades to fill those positions.”
It's amazing to me that employers act like they haven't known for years that some significant cohort of their employees were going to retire, and that they would have to work harder to fill those positions. If that person is 56, I dunno, you've had at least 10 years to make a move? Maybe 20? Amazing. 

Got a career dilemma?

I'm always game for writing answer requests for advice in my column at Chemical and Engineering News. Please feel free to write me (chemjobber@gmail.com) if you have a career-oriented dilemma that you'd like me to write about in the magazine. Also, you can submit your questions with this handy web form. Thanks!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 332 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself) has 332 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

14 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there are 14 new positions for May 7.

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 24 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 24 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Laboratory Life: A Poem, by @ChemistryCayk

By @ChemistryCayk

why do so many experiments fail?
why does glassware take so long to come in the mail?
why is this protein absurdly expensive?
why is this metal salt moisture- and air-sensitive?

optimise the methods and hope for the best
so, that one didn't work, which experiment is next?
adjust one parameter... well, that didn't work
let's see what the fit shows on Lineweaver-Burk

react for an hour, and then over night
huh, that's kind of funny, yes, that doesn't seem right
collect all the data, and well, it looks strange
these points seem just fine, but some are out of range

try this again, remember to take the flask
a seemingly simple but often forgotten task
label the falcon tubes and all of the vials
if the samples get mixed up, I will be sad for a while

back to the drawing board, what have I learned
from past experiments that have crashed and burned
this process is tough, and though I am stressed
I have to remember I am doing my best

This week's C&EN

A few of the articles in this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News:

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Event: ChemDraw Day, Yale University, Thursday, May 9

  • Do you switch to ACS 1996 style settings every time you launch ChemDraw?
  • Do you make copies of molecules using Ctrl+C / Ctrl+V ?
  • Do you manually adjust the components of your reactions after drawing?
  • Does it take you more than 5 min to draw a single catalytic cycle?
If you answered “Yes” to one or more, you may not be as efficient as you think you are! Let the Experts show you what you didn’t know you could accomplish. Whether you have been using ChemDraw for 5, 10, 20 years or since Version 1 back in 1985, we know that you will learn something that will improve your productivity 5-10 fold. This event is OPEN to universities and companies in the CT area. Lunch and drinks will be provided with an opportunity to network!
When: Thu, May 9, 2019, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM EDT
Where: Sterling Chemistry Laboratory Room 110, 225 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
Cost: free 
Register here. Coming as a group? Please register individually.  

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 584 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 31 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 31 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. 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.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Silicone plant in Illinois explodes, four believed dead

Four people were transported to area hospitals after an explosion at the AB Speciality Silicone plant in Waukegan late Friday night. Steve Lenzi, spokesman for the Waukegan Fire Department, said officials were working with a plant manager to determine how many people were working in the Sunset Avenue factory when the explosion happened. 
Speaking around midnight, Lenzi added officials did not know what caused the explosion. "We have fire and structural damage indicative of an explosion," Lenzi said at the scene. "There is very heavy damage.” 
Two people were taken to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan and two were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Lenzi added.... 
...According to the company website, AB Speciality Silicone is a manufacturing and distribution company specializing in silicone products. 
Nancy Carreno, who lives on Atlantic Avenue near the plant, said the explosion didn’t break any windows but it was loud. “The explosion was a big boom and the ground shook. Our cable TV flickered and the electricity, and then it came back on,” she said.
Here's video of the explosion (wait for it.) Four dead - here's hoping that's the extent of the death toll. It will be interesting to hear what CSB thinks of this.  

Friday, May 3, 2019

TLC plate cutters

A list of small, useful things (links):
An open invitation to all interested in writing a blog, a hobby that will bring millions thousands hundreds tens of dollars joy and happiness. Send me a link to your post, and I'd be happy to put it up.

Have a good weekend!

Got a career dilemma?

I'm always game for writing answer requests for advice in my column at Chemical and Engineering News. Please feel free to write me (chemjobber@gmail.com) if you have a career-oriented dilemma that you'd like me to write about in the magazine. Also, you can submit your questions with this handy web form. Thanks!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Job posting: 2 remote positions, Master Organic Chemistry

Friend of the blog James Ashenhurst is looking for two part-time employees for his website:
Master Organic Chemistry (MOC) is hiring for two part-time (10+ hours/week), non-lab, 100% remote positions: Organic Chemistry Literature Researcher, and Chemical Drawing Assistant.
Best wishes to those interested. 

31 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there are 14 new positions for May 1, 10 for April 28 and 7 for April 25.

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 23 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 23 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Warning Letter of the Week: homeopathic validation edition

A love note from the Office of Pharmaceutical Quality Operations, Division II to the CEO of Newton Laboratories: 
2. Your firm failed to establish written procedures for production and process controls designed to assure that the drug products you manufacture have the identity, strength, quality, and purity they purport or are represented to possess (21 CFR 211.100(a)). 
You failed to validate your drug manufacturing processes. Unvalidated production processes increase the probability that your products will vary in identity, strength, quality, and purity. Your failure to validate your drug manufacturing processes means that you cannot assure consistency in the quality of your finished products and may result in variable levels of potentially toxic ingredients in them. 
Your homeopathic drug products are indicated for treating conditions in infants and children, and they are manufactured from ingredients such as Nux vomica, Belladonna, Aconitum napellus, and Gelsemium sempervirents that pose potentially toxic effects. For example, Nux vomica contains strychnine. Strychnine is a highly toxic, well-studied poison that is used as a rodenticide. 
You released numerous lots of homeopathic drugs without validating your manufacturing processes. Before any batch is commercially distributed for use by consumers, a manufacturer should have gained a high degree of assurance in the performance of the manufacturing process such that it will consistently produce drug products meeting attributes relating to identity, strength, quality, and purity. Information and data should determine if the commercial manufacturing process is capable of consistently producing acceptable quality products under commercial manufacturing conditions. Failure to validate manufacturing processes could expose patients to unnecessary risks due to the lack of knowledge about and control over sources of variation. 
This is a repeat and persistent observation that was also cited during inspections conducted in 2012 and 2017.
How the heck do you validate the manufacture of homeopathic products?!?!?!?

This week's C&EN

A few articles from this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News:

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 582 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 31 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 31 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. 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, April 29, 2019

Job posting: Division Director, Division of Chemistry, National Science Foundation, Alexandria, VA

From the inbox, a position at the National Science Foundation:
The Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) announces a nationwide search to fill the position of Division Director, Division of Chemistry (CHE). Appointment to this Senior Executive Service position may be on a career basis, or on a one- to three-year limited-term basis, with a salary range of $165,842 to $175,400. Alternatively, the incumbent may be assigned under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) provisions. Information about the Division’s activities may be found at https://www.nsf.gov/div/index.jsp?div=CHE
The successful candidate will possess an established record of significant achievement in research administration as well as leadership responsibility in academe, industry or government. In addition to having a strong record of research and education accomplishments within his or her technical communities, the Division Director must be experienced and competent in technical, financial, and administrative management. He/she must work well with people, be an effective communicator, and act as a mentor to continuously develop the diversity of talents and skills of his or her colleagues at all levels. 
Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

View From Your Hood: State Route 57 edition

Green hills in LA.

(got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in (with a caption and preference for name/anonymity, please) at chemjobber@gmail.com; will run every other Friday.)

There isn't a truck driver shortage?

From the in-house journal of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this fascinating article with a really interesting conclusion (emphasis mine):
...The occupation of truck driving is often portrayed by the industry and in the popular press as beset by high levels of turnover and persistent “labor shortages.” Our analysis of OES data agrees that the labor market for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers shows markers of a “tight” labor market over the period since 2003—employment in the occupation has been resilient, and nominal annual wages have persistently exceeded those of other blue-collar jobs with similar human capital requirements. While we do use ATA data to identify one segment of the trucking labor market (long-distance TL motor freight) that has experienced high and persistent turnover rates for decades, the overall picture is consistent with a market in which labor supply responds to increasing labor demand over time, and a deeper look does not find evidence of a secular shortage...
I've been reading economists talking to one another for about 10 years now, and there is one thing that is clear - very few of them will ever agree that there's a such thing as a labor shortage. 

Got a career dilemma?

I'm always game for writing answer requests for advice in my column at Chemical and Engineering News. Please feel free to write me (chemjobber@gmail.com) if you have a career-oriented dilemma that you'd like me to write about in the magazine. Also, you can submit your questions with this handy web form. Thanks!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 339 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself) has 339 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

Job posting: Sr Research Associate I, Process Development, Gilead, Foster City, CA

From the inbox, a position with Gilead in Foster City, CA:
With the commitment and drive you bring to the Pharmaceutical Development & Manufacturing (PDM) workplace, you will be part of a team that is changing the world and helping millions of people live healthier, more fulfilling lives. You will see the tangible results of your contributions, where every individual matters, and everyone has a chance to enhance their skills through on-going development. Our scientific focus has resulted in marketed products that are benefiting hundreds of thousands of people, a pipeline of late-stage drug candidates, and unmatched patient access programs to ensure medications are available to those who could otherwise not afford them. By joining PDM at Gilead, you will further our mission to address unmet medical needs and improve life by advancing the care of patients with life-threatening diseases. 
This individual will assist, primarily from lab based activities, process chemistry activities for pharmaceutical APIs. These activities will include scale-down model development and qualification, process optimization, robustness studies, formal process characterization and risk assessments, and process validation.  In addition, this individual will support process technology transfer activities, due diligence, and facility fit assessment for internal and external manufacturing facilities.  The person will play an integral role as a process chemistry representative for global CMC project teams.   
Specific Responsibilities & Skills for the Position:

  • Responsible for developing chemical processes for the manufacturing of drug substances.
  • Familiar with Pilot Plant operations and able to write master batch records and safety summaries with limited supervision.
  • Plans and executes assigned experiments, with increasing independence, which supports Process Development activities and project goals.
  • Executes reactions and makes key observations during reaction, work-up and isolation.
  • Pays particular attention to avoiding reactions and processes that do not scale well, such as distilling to dryness and flash chromatography.
  • Gains a better understanding of how impurities are formed, tracked and purged throughout the subsequent processing.
  • Recommends alternatives, researches new methods and techniques and proactively seek out senior personnel to discuss potential solutions to problems
  • Collaborates with supervisory personnel to develop strategy and tactics.
  • Always works with safety in mind.
  • Demonstrates and applies an advanced level of understanding project goals and methods.
  • Uses good verbal communication skills and interpersonal skills to provide insight into the processes used to achieve experimental results.
  • Demonstrates skills in data analysis (ex: UPLC, HPLC, NMR, mass spec) and ability to evaluate quality of data.
  • Works with collaborative communication and problem solving spirit.

Typical Education and Experience:

  • 2+ years of experience and BS in chemistry or 0-2 years of experience and MS degree in organic chemistry.
Best wishes to those interested. 

7 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 7 new positions for April 23.

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 19 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 19 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 297 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 297 positions.

Want to help? Here's a form to fill out.

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Sad news for Achaeogen

Also in this week's issue of C&EN (by Michael McCoy):
Despite winning US Food and Drug Administration approval for a new antibiotic last year, Achaogen has filed for bankruptcy. The South San Francisco–based biotech firm launched the antibiotic, Zemdri (plazomicin), in July for adults with complicated urinary tract infections. However, by the end of the year the drug had brought in only $800,000 in sales. Achaogen hopes to sell off its assets, including Zemdri, by June 13.
There's a little factlet for those of us who bemoan the state of the antibiotics pipeline. 

This week's C&EN

A few of the articles from this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News:

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 578 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 31 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 31 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. 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, April 22, 2019

C&EN Industry Essay Contest

From the inbox:
Are you in your first or second year of an industry job? Share what lessons you have learned, as well as what advice you have for others, in a roughly 250-word essay. Winning essay writers will be paid, and the essays will be featured in the May 29 issue of C&EN focusing on the industry experience. Please include your name, title, company, and email address, and submit by May 1: cenprojects@acs.org
Best wishes to those interested!  

Friday, April 19, 2019

Badge holders

A list of small, useful things (links):
An open invitation to all interested in writing a blog, a hobby that will bring millions thousands hundreds tens of dollars joy and happiness. Send me a link to your post, and I'd be happy to put it up.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 339 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself) has 339 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

27 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 15 new positions for April 17 and 12 new positions for April 15. 

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 19 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 19 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 297 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 297 positions.

Want to help? Here's a form to fill out.

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Houston area DA charges Arkema plant logistics executive with assault

I bet this is pretty unusual:
A Texas grand jury on April 10 indicted chemicals manufacturer Arkema North America and one of its executives on assault charges, alleging they underplayed the dangers of a fire that injured two emergency workers called to the site during a fire. 
The U.S. arm of the French chemicals firm and its vice president of logistics, Michael Keough, were charged with “reckless assault” of two sheriff’s deputies by misrepresenting hazards of chemicals released during a fire after Hurricane Harvey, prosecutors said. 
“The reckless assault was the misrepresentation by a highly placed corporate official” of the dangers of organic peroxides that burned after the plant flooded, said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. A conviction carries a penalty of two years to 10 years, she said. 
Here's the press release from the Harris County DA. It's an interesting theory: i.e. by not giving the sheriff's deputies all the information they needed about the Arkema peroxides, when the deputies were exposed to the chemicals, it was Arkema who was at fault. I guess I'd like to know - what is the threshold for declaring felony assault as a result of a chemical release? A plume? A spill? How big?

While you can really extrapolate all sorts of interesting legal theories and precedents from this incident, I speculate that it is best understood as an indication of 1) the political ambitions of the DA, 2) the overall irritation of the Houston-area population at the disproportionately high number of chemical plants in the area.

(I am really curious to know - does the relevant VP of logistics live in Texas? because if not, he might want to move to France for a while... (I'm sure France has an extradition treaty with the US.) 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 578 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 31 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 31 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. 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, April 15, 2019

Well, this is a scary article

As an experienced cyber first responder, Julian Gutmanis had been called plenty of times before to help companies deal with the fallout from cyberattacks. But when the Australian security consultant was summoned to a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia in the summer of 2017, what he found made his blood run cold. 
The hackers had deployed malicious software, or malware, that let them take over the plant’s safety instrumented systems. These physical controllers and their associated software are the last line of defense against life-threatening disasters. They are supposed to kick in if they detect dangerous conditions, returning processes to safe levels or shutting them down altogether by triggering things like shutoff valves and pressure-release mechanisms. 
The malware made it possible to take over these systems remotely. Had the intruders disabled or tampered with them, and then used other software to make equipment at the plant malfunction, the consequences could have been catastrophic. Fortunately, a flaw in the code gave the hackers away before they could do any harm. It triggered a response from a safety system in June 2017, which brought the plant to a halt. Then in August, several more systems were tripped, causing another shutdown...
I presume that we all knew these days were coming, once we heard about Stuxnet. It's still surprising to me that people figure out ways to connect their physical plant to the internet when there doesn't seem to be necessary, although sufficiently determined people can figure out how to jump air gaps. (At some point, does cybersecurity become a EH&S issue at large enough plants?)

Here's hoping that some kind of global treaty convinces people to take a step back from these situations... 

Job posting: Division Director, Division of Chemistry, National Science Foundation, Alexandria, VA

From the inbox, a position at the National Science Foundation:
The Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) announces a nationwide search to fill the position of Division Director, Division of Chemistry (CHE). Appointment to this Senior Executive Service position may be on a career basis, or on a one- to three-year limited-term basis, with a salary range of $165,842 to $175,400. Alternatively, the incumbent may be assigned under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) provisions. Information about the Division’s activities may be found at https://www.nsf.gov/div/index.jsp?div=CHE
The successful candidate will possess an established record of significant achievement in research administration as well as leadership responsibility in academe, industry or government. In addition to having a strong record of research and education accomplishments within his or her technical communities, the Division Director must be experienced and competent in technical, financial, and administrative management. He/she must work well with people, be an effective communicator, and act as a mentor to continuously develop the diversity of talents and skills of his or her colleagues at all levels. 
Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

View From Your Hood: fancy duck edition

Credit: friend of the blog
From a friend of the blog, a picture from Miami.

(got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in (with a caption and preference for name/anonymity, please) at chemjobber@gmail.com; will run every other Friday.)

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 339 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself) has 339 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

25 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 25 new positions for April 8.

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 19 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 19 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 297 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 297 positions.

Want to help? Here's a form to fill out.

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

"Mechanistic studies support the formation of CH3+ as a key intermediate."

Credit: Oddity Central
Click here for Dan Singleton, critiquing a recent Science paper within an inch of its life for proposing
a methyl cation as a part of its mechanistic pathway.

I have to admit, I'm pretty sure I read the C&EN summary of the paper, and I did not notice the methyl cation. If you like physical organic chemistry, you'll enjoy Professor Singleton's thread.


This week's C&EN

A few articles from this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News:

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 578 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 31 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 31 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. 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, April 8, 2019

Duke graduate student speaks out, 10 years later

I haven't really followed the problems that Duke University science has had, but this Medium post by a former Duke graduate student about the situation surrounding Duke Biochemistry professor Homme Hellinga is pretty remarkable: 
...At this point, in the early summer of 2008, a subset of Duke Biochemistry graduate students considered taking matters into its own hands. If our department’s faculty didn’t collectively have the guts to demand an investigation of Hellinga, then we would. We considered drafting a petition, addressed to the leadership of Duke and its medical school, which invoked the university’s rules for requesting research misconduct investigations. Execution of the plan briefly stalled due to fears of retribution.... 
...The petition was signed by eighteen of the approximately sixty graduate students in the program. While ~1/3 may not seem impressive, those who know the dangers of confronting tenured faculty and deans will realize that this was an extraordinary response. The signers risked their studies and their livelihoods...
Here's a rather old article that contains some of the context around the post.

Since I have no way of judging the accuracy of the post, I think it's best to leave the whole situation aside, and address the rather extraordinary and hypothetical event where graduate students would sign a petition for address of grievances surrounding the treatment of a specific set of graduate students. I'm not sure that I was ever in such a dire situation in grad school, and now, I think my response would have not to have fought City Hall, but to have left.

It's a remarkable document - read the whole thing.  

Friday, April 5, 2019

Lawsuit: Professor forces graduate student to work at their private company

GRAND RAPIDS — A Michigan State University engineering professor exploited his students and forced them to work long hours for little to no pay at his personal company, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.   MSU officials have known about the issue since at least 2011, but did not take action to monitor the students working for Professor Parviz Soroushian, a lawsuit filed March 22 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan alleges. 
Because of the pending litigation, MSU officials declined to comment on the issues raised in the suit, MSU deputy spokesperson Heather Young said. 
Soroushian told the State Journal on Friday he denies all the allegations made against him in the lawsuit. He has been on paid administrative leave since July 2018, when Michigan State began an investigation into his conduct with students at his lab, Lansing-based Metna Co. Soroushian is is a 35-year veteran in MSU's College of Engineering and holds degrees in both civil and structural engineering. In addition to serving as a tenured professor, he is an academic adviser. 
So when Salina Ramli began her doctoral program in January 2016, she believed she had no choice but to work at Metna when he told her to, according to the lawsuit. 
Ramli, who was at MSU on a Malaysian government-funded scholarship, worked at Metna every day she didn't have class, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at times staying as late as 7 p.m. for meetings.  
But her second semester, Soroushian said she wasn't allowed to take off the days she had class, according to the lawsuit. Her scholarship only covered tuition and a modest stipend, so she had to earn money elsewhere.  
Ramli, the mother of two children, said in the lawsuit she started working at a bakery from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. so she could keep up with bills...
Public Service Announcement to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows: if your professor asks you to work at their private company, you should probably get terms spelled out, and you should probably ask if the department knows about it.

(Reality: departments are set up so that it is a very unusual graduate student or postdoc who will speak up for themselves and ask that question...)