Friday, January 20, 2017

Autosampler vials

A list of small, useful things (links):
Things I would have blogged about, if I were a better blogger: 
Again, an open invitation to all interested in writing a blog, a hobby that will bring you 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! 

Thea Ekins-Coward is suing the University of Hawaii

On March 16, 2016, Dr. Thea Ekins-Coward was working in the laboratory of Dr. Jian Yu at the University of Hawaii on a biofuels project with a high-pressure hydrogen/oxygen mix. Because the mixture was in an inappropriate tank and the system was not grounded, the tank exploded and Dr. Ekins-Coward was severely injured. Here is the longer C&EN article about the investigative report about the incident. 

Yesterday, she filed suit against the University of Hawaii. From the short article by Jyllian Kemsley:
...Ekins-Coward lost her right lower arm and elbow and “suffered abrasions to her cornea, burns on her face, and nerve damage to her ears with resulting loss of high frequency hearing,” according to a civil complaint filed with a Hawaii court on Jan. 9. 
Ekins-Coward worked for the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute. The defendants named in the suit are UH; Jian Yu, the principal investigator of the lab in which Ekins-Coward worked; and Richard E. Rocheleau, director of the institute. 
The defendants “negligently, grossly negligently, carelessly and recklessly breached their duty by providing unsafe and improper equipment, by failing to provide adequate training, by failing to follow safety codes, standards and regulations in laboratory safety, by directing Thea Ekins-Coward to undertake experiments that were inherently and unnecessarily unsafe, by failing to make reasonable inspection of the equipment, and by failing to warn of any inadequacy of the equipment or the possible dangerous condition,” the complaint says...
Here is a copy of the lawsuit. After reading it, the basic argument of the lawsuit seems to be:
  • Dr. Yu approved the purchase of the incorrect equipment. 
  • On October 7, 2015, Dr. Ekins-Coward asked for safety training on compressed gases and Dr. Yu did not give it to her. 
  • On October 21, 2015, Dr. Ekins-Coward asked for safety training on the specific hazards of the gases that she was using and Dr. Yu failed to give it to her. 
  • Therefore, they breached their duty to follow correct procedures. 
I presume this is an opening gambit in what will end up in a lot of fees to lawyers and ultimately a settlement.* I will be interested to see if the University of Hawaii will defend Drs. Yu and Rocheleau. Readers, your thoughts? 

*I still don't understand why the Sangji family never sued Professor Harran or the UC system. While I don't doubt that the UC system would have buried the Sangji family in lawyers, they would seem to have had as strong of a case as Dr. Ekins-Coward has here, and there undoubtedly would have been some sort of a settlement, as I presume there will be here. 

Some news

Also in this week's C&EN, the first of monthly columns about work and life in the laboratory from your humble blogger. The first one was titled "Trading Sleep for Results" - I hope you enjoy it.

Writing in Chemical and Engineering News is a huge honor and one that I am greatly excited about and humbled by. Readers, I have you (among others) to thank for this.

Have something you'd like me to write about? Feel free to leave it in the comments here, or at the "Bench and Cubicle" site at C&EN's website. 

This week's C&EN

A few articles from this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News (juuuust a little late in the week):

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 77 positions

Doing my best to track down all open research-track medicinal chemistry positions. At the moment, the list has 77 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.

Check out the other bottom tabs on the list for various notations and side experiments.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States (this will likely change), computational positions (this will likely change as well), process positions (coming soon....), academic positions (will likely be included about a year from now?), industrial postdocs (maybe someday soon.)

Coming soon: a process chemistry version - I promise! 

Time for some anecdata: industrial job search stats, 2016-2017

From the inbox, a set of job search stats for a single graduate student reader (we'll call them JA): 
Total applications: 108
Interviews: 8 (5 phone interviews, 3 on site (2 on-site interviews w/o phone interview))
Formal Rejections: 18
Outstanding applications: 90 
Industry R&D role: 55
Industry Post-Doc: 3
Industry Other: 38
Academia-related: 3
Sales: 4
Consulting: 3
Job secured: Industry Post-Doc
Anyone else? Contributions very much appreciated. Thank you, and best wishes to faithful reader JA.

UPDATE: A contribution from Adamantane.
UPDATE 2: A contribution from "ET." 

Daily Pump Trap: 1/19/17 edition

A few of the posted positions at C&EN Jobs:

South San Francisco: Genentech is looking for a B.S./M.S. process chemist.

San Antonio, TX: Food Safety Net Services is looking for a Development Research Chemist; posted salary 50-75k. Looks to be analytically related. M.S. required, Ph.D. preferred.

Beijing, China or London, UK: Two separate Managing Editor positions at ACS Omega.

A broader look: Monster, Careerbuilder, Indeed and show (respectively) "1000+", 396, 8,503 and 9 positions for the search term "chemist."

LinkedIn shows 2,406 positions for the search term "chemist" and 14,591  for the search term "chemistry." Job titles from LinkedIn - first with quotes, and the second without: Analytical chemist: 171/216. Research chemist: 31/24. Synthetic chemist: 14/404. Medicinal chemist: 13/0. Organic chemist: 25/66. Process chemist: 12/36. Process development chemist: 4/5. Formulation chemist: 46/52. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Punctuation is difficult

Core values are always hard. (link here)

Job posting: Production chemist, Hazel Technologies, Skokie, IL

Via Twitter, an interesting opportunity in Skokie, IL: 
Production Chemist 
Position Overview: 
At Hazel Technologies, production chemists work to run and optimize our product manufacturing. Applicants should have bachelor’s or master’s degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science or related field and a demonstrated capacity for independence in the laboratory. Previous industry experience is considered desirable, but not required. Production chemists work directly with our COO to optimize and scale new product processes. 
1) Perform Product Manufacture for BerryBrite™ and FruitBrite™ product lines.
2) Maintain quality control for Hazel TechSM products.
3) Manage product and manufacturing input inventory.
4) Assist Hazel Technologies scientists in product and process development for new agriscience applications. 
- BS/BA Chemistry, Materials Science, or Chemical Engineering
- 1-2 Years Wet Laboratory Experience
Link here. Best wishes to those interested.  

Study undergraduate chemistry in Japan

From the inbox, an interesting opportunity for undergraduates to study in Japan. The University of Tokyo has a Global Science Course, which offers a stipend and a scholarship for the final two years of undergraduate chemistry education at the University of Tokyo. 

Interested? Here's a pamphlet describing the program and a poster. Application deadline is April 7, 2017. Best wishes to those interested.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2017 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 540 positions

The 2017 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated mostly by Andrew Spaeth, with minor help from me) has 540 positions.

Have you had a Skype/phone interview or an on-site with a position on the Faculty Jobs List? Please add the date of the interview to the open thread. The open thread is here.

Do you see anything that needs correcting? Please leave a comment in the open thread, or e-mail me at

As the 2017 Faculty Jobs Open Thread has gotten longer, the Blogger software that this blog is run on has added a new wrinkle: when you initially load the thread, it loads only the first ~220 comments and then has a "load more" button near the bottom of the page near the comment box. Only after pressing that button about 5 times does it load the latest comments.

Finally, a web forum! Because the open thread has gotten more unwieldy, I have opened up this web forum ("Chemistry Faculty Jobs List"). Feel free to join/post!

Faculty position: Assistant professor, radioanalytical chemistry, Queen's, Kingston, ON

From the inbox: 
The Department of Chemistry at Queen’s University invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor with specialization in radio-analytical chemistry. The earliest starting date for the position is July 1, 2017, but later starting dates may also be considered. 
The successful candidate will be an excellent scientist who will establish an outstanding research program and will contribute to undergraduate and graduate teaching and supervision in the Department of Chemistry. The candidate will be cross-appointed to the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy at Queen’s University. In exceptional cases, candidates above the level of Assistant Professor may be considered.
Full posting here. Best wishes to those interested. 

Daily Pump Trap: 1/17/17 edition

A few of the positions posted at C&EN Jobs:

Longmont, CO: Matheson Tri-Gas is looking for a B.S. chemist to be a R&D scientist. Sounds pretty cool; 5 years experience needed. Also, a senior R&D scientist position. (M.S./Ph.D. desired.)

Fairless Hills, PA: A metals company is looking for an analytical lab manager; B.S. required, M.S./Ph.D. chemistry desired.

Albuquerque, NM: Sandia National Laboratories is looking for a postdoctoral fellow:
The IBCTR Department has projects in the following areas: biological and chemical risk management and mitigation; biological and chemical security system analysis, design, and implementation; training in the areas of biological and chemical security, risk awareness; global, regional, and country-specific analysis and assessments. Projects span both analytical research and on-the-ground implementation around the world, including in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East. These projects include execution of various hands-on technical training courses; conducting risk, threat and vulnerability assessments of chemical research and industrial facilities; design and implementation of chemical safety and security systems; research and analyze various topic areas associated with chemical terrorism.
Huh, sounds fun. 

Ivory Filter Flask: 1/17/17 edition

A few of the recent academic positions posted at C&EN Jobs:

Kirksville, MO: Truman State University is looking for an assistant professor of analytical chemistry.

West Long Branch, NJ: Monmouth University is looking for an assistant professor of chemistry; looks to be chemical education-oriented.

Aptos, CA: Cabrillo College is looking for a chemistry instructor; posted salary $53,646 to $82,288 per year. (B.S./M.S. required.) Also a chemistry instructor at MiraCosta College (Oceanside, CA).

Palo Alto, CA: Stanford is looking for an undergraduate laboratory manager? Funny error in the headline. Here's hoping the offered 90-140k salary is not an error, either.

Crawfordsville, IN: Wabash College, looking for two visiting assistant professors. One position is for organic chemistry, another is open.

Ithaca, NY: Ithaca College is hiring a Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow to teach physical chemistry. (Insert traditional Chemjobber concern about these positions.) 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Rest in peace, Sheri Sangji

Eight years ago today, Sheharbano (Sheri) Sangji died of her injuries sustained while running a reaction with tert-butyl lithium in the laboratory of Professor Patrick Harran at UCLA. My thoughts and prayers are with her friends and her family.

Job opportunity: life sciences project manager, Toronto, ON, Canada

A reader wrote in about a senior project manager position available at their company in the Toronto area.  They are looking for someone with a chemistry or biology background, and extensive experience with project management in the life sciences industry.  

If interested, send me an email ( and I can put you in touch with them. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

The View from Your Hood: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Credit: Valentin Manzanares
From reader Valentin Manzanares: "We’re in a small startup incubator in Valais (mountainous part of Switzerland), so the snow is a given. Sunny weather, now, will flood the lab with enough light that we have to close the blinds…"

(got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in with a caption, and how you'd like to be credited at; will run every other Friday.)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 70 positions

Doing my best to track down all open research-track medicinal chemistry positions. At the moment, the list has 70 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.

Check out the other bottom tabs on the list for various notations and side experiments.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States (this will likely change), computational positions (this will likely change as well), process positions (coming soon....), academic positions (will likely be included about a year from now?), industrial postdocs (maybe someday soon.)

Coming soon: a process chemistry version - I promise! 

Why's that glue factory truck here?

In the midst of a classic "skills gap" interview in The Buffalo News, an unintentionally funny comment from the executive director of the Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance:
Q: The Buffalo area has a strong industrial track record. Why is this such a problem? 
A: You also saw a major reduction in the manufacturing work force locally, so the industry may not have been seen as a sector people wanted to push their children toward. Manufacturing is essentially 50 percent of where it was 30 years ago. What’s happened is, we’ve ridden the horses that we had working and they’re ready to go to pasture. But we haven’t had any of those horses breeding and bringing in fresh, young talent.
Perhaps another metaphor would have been more appropriate?

(Also, it is fascinating to note that Mr. Coleman's analogy seemingly places the responsibility for workforce development on the employees, and not on the employer.)