Friday, December 6, 2019

Always time for a glassblowing video



From the Richmond Standard (which is apparently funded by Chevron), an article about Chevron Richmond's glassblower:
...For 20 years, (Marianna) Pittner has been the go-to glassblower at the Chevron Richmond Technology Center (RTC), where she is tasked with creating a wide variety of custom glass apparatus for a fleet of ambitious chemists.  From a sizable workshop equipped with torches, lathes and oodles of glassware of varying heat sensitivities, Pittner repairs and creates beakers, test tubes and a host of other glasswear that Chevron scientists need in their quest to modernize the production of transportation fuels, lubricating base oils and other related products. The fuel additive Techron, for example, is one of the more widely known inventions created at the RTC. 
On a daily basis, chemists drop into Pittner’s workshop with requests to create custom glass pieces of varying specifications. At times, she’ll create pieces straight from examples that chemists draw by hand in notebooks. Often, she’ll meet with chemists to come up with blueprints for designs that solve problems in the research process, such as creating glass apparatus that manipulate direction of flow and temperature of the solutions undergoing tests. 
“I will never tell the chemist I can’t do that,” Pittner said. “I will figure it out; I enjoy the discovery. You have be very logical and problem-solving to make it in this field.” 
 Every chemist should have a great glassblower to help them. 

2 comments:

  1. "Beakers, test tubes and a host of other glasswear [sic!]"

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  2. I doubt there are very many scientific glassblowers outside of universities anymore. There aren't very many surviving chemical and pharma companies with a big enough R&D center to keep a glassblower on the payroll. At most places today, you're stuck ordering what's in a catalog and throwing it out if one small part breaks.

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