Survey: What industry do you work in?

Off-topic conversations and chit-chat.

60 posts Page 4 of 4

How do you like the Personal Care industry? Here in Minneapolis Aveda periodically has openings. It seems like it might be a more artistic work place? It might be worth it just for the discounts tho...
HI Jade - My advice would be to apply, interview, and see what the vibe in the place is. Personally, I really like my job because I get to be creative and I get to play not only in method development and validation, but also in product development, troubleshooting of manufacturing issues, and a few other things - it's interesting!

The personal care industry is trend driven and things can happen quickly, so you have to have the temperament for it. Projects can show up at 4PM on a Friday and die without any warning after 6 months of hard work...then return 6 months or a year later, so it can be crazy. Cosmetics also present challenges to the analyst because the matrices can be complex, but I see that as part of the fun.

I'd say that if the place looks busy, the machines are well kept, and the vibe is happy, then go for it.
This couldn't be more true. Personally i wasn't a fan of the personal care industry. I was on formulation R&D and I was coming up with methods to test formula prototypes, and it would aggrivate me that all the time and money I spent developing methods and they'd never get past my computer screen.

i work in china a lab under sfda(state of food and drug administration),my responsibility is to manage the large instrument such as lc-ms ,hplc and so on ,the main work is to analysis drugs that from market with mehods in pharmacopoeia. the routine work nearly make me crazy .
sorry for the quality of the medicines in the market .often heard of somebody dies in the hospital,then the patients will send the medicine they took to me . however ,the result always is positive .
i never thought i would do the job when i was in college,most of my classmates will do sale ,because it will make money easily ,you got what you want once you give what the doctor want .and all the expense will be paid by patients .
luckily ,we got a lc-ms last year ,then i can do some research about the safety of medicine.
our instruments brands mostly are us brand
waters 2695-2996 agilent 6410 1200 niclet ir ,varian 3800.
very happy to be here !

I work for a chemical manufacturer. Since we're so small the title of chemist spans the breatdth of quality control, anayltical work and research and development. I prefer the analytical work since it brings with it some sort of authority over the instrumentation. Currently I'm responsible for the care and feeding of two fully functional GC's and I am getting to bring an old one back to life. Since last november we've moved to using automatic samplers and computerized data processing. Before I got there, it seems like they were only using the old HP integrators for chromatograms.

The best part - I've only worked in this industry for about a year (before that I was a chemistry student) and I get all the pleasure of solving problems without having to deal with customers or suppliers.

The worst part - Couting the coils on a 60M capilary GC column so I can cut into two 30M columns to save money.

Chemist in a Forensic Toxicology Laboratory...I do the oddball analyses in the lab
That sounds like an interesting line of work. How did you get into that? Do you have to be a Police Officer/ Federal Agent, or is it more like a Pathologist career?
Been here since I graduated undergrad. No, you don't have to be an officer of the law. We are a private forensic toxicology laboratory in the Midwest. I deal with screening applications for postmortem specimens on UPLC/ToF and UPLC/MS/MS, as well as nonroutine analyses on UPLC/MS/MS (syringes, tablets, pills, powders, plant material, liquid, drugs, bones, meconium, IV bags, IV lines, etc.).

It is very interesting, to say the least. I see something new everyday.
Vitamin supplements.

There's a push to apparently rename the industry "nutraceuticals", but I find the word laughably pretentious.

Contract research for me also, analytical chemistry for preclinical drug safety evaluation.

High intensity and deadline driven, but the variety means I'm never bored
That seems a lifetime ago now.

After 11 months pout of work, I now manage analytical and R&D laboratories for a comany providing pilot scale processing solutions scalable to full size plants for clients in a variety of industries.
Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

Was in pharma R&D

Probably the smallest "industry" in the world: I analyse African wild dog territorial scent marks to identify which components are sending the signal that stops neighbours trespassing into pack territories. The ultimate aim is to use artificial scent marks to make artificial territorial boundaries that will stop the dogs from straying out of protected areas into cattle farming areas where they come into conflict with people.


Just saw this on the main Restek page. Those dogs look fierce!

They are certainly very effective hunters; their stamina and collaborative hunting behaviour mean that they kill in 7 or 8 out of ten chases - compared to 2 or 3 out of ten successful hunts by lions. But there has never been a reliable account of an attack by wild dogs on humans. The flip side of their image as savage killers is their absolute devotion to their pups - all the adults in a pack help care for them by babystting, grooming and feeding them with regurgitated meat, and a pup only has to squeak to have adults running to see what the problem is.

All in all they are remarkable animals, but conflict with humans is a rapidly growing threat - hence the need for the BioBoundary of artificial scent marks to help to keep them inside the safety of conservation areas.

Check out

And thanks to Restek for carrying the article, and for supplying columns and consumables.

All the best for 2010.

Peter Apps

QA Laboratory Manager.
Mainly Nitriles production.

I work with pyrolytic bio-oil.

Ky. synthetic fuels. Responsible for instrumentation.

Best part: Research (Chromatograms can get really hairy)
Worst. Responsible for instrumentation, though multiple people use them (those who only know how to push go, if go does not work, they come-a-knocken)



I'm in the environmental industry, specifically compliance testing for drinking water and wastewater. We have one GC to analyze Disinfection By-Products in drinking water.

Your work in compliance testing for drinking water and wastewater is vital for ensuring public health and environmental protection. Keep up the great work![]PM Kisan Status[/url]
I didn't see where I had posted in this topic previously.

I was hired in 1975 by a consumer products company just out of school (BS Chem, Phi Beta Kappa, Magna cum Laude) to work in the Analytical Chemistry department; my manager later told me that he was reluctant to hire me as he thought I wouldn't stay with the company long as the pay was pretty low (under $8K USD).

He was correct, as a year later I accepted a position with local police in the crime lab after doing written and 3-person oral board; I was told I was their first choice. This was the career I wanted, plus the pay was over $14K, a huge increase over the $8.3K I was making by then. However, on the required polygraph test of 100 questions (more stringent than for police officers), I failed to "resolve" on question that I had "resolves when asked four different times with different wording. So I was turned down; 2 weeks later they called me and told me that NO ONE had passed polygraph, and they invited me back to try to resolve that one question which did not happen. Back then, there were no computerized polygraphs, the operator took out a ruler and guessed at graphs.

So I stayed in consumer products, worked on OTC pharmaceuticals, soaps, detergents, air fresheners, lotions, shampoos, insect killers, etc., following cGMP/USP/GLP regulations.

We had a good capital and supplies budget, and I was at the ground floor of reliable reverse-phase HPLC, fused-silica capillary GC, benchtop GCMS, and computerized instrumentation

We supported R&D, manufacturing, troubleshooting, etc. Some stuff was challenging, like finding that some of a batch of liquid soap was cloudy, and after Micro determined that was not their issue, that fragrance was about 3 times above target due to improper mixing, and high levels of fragrance had never been tested by R&D. Several times we found parabens precipitating out of lotion products due to poor product development. Three times in my career I worked on different anti-dandruff shampoos. The company decided in the early 1990s that alcohol gel hand sanitizer was not a good path to pursue, bad decision, now folks typically call that stuff "Purell". One late Friday afternoon a new product just starting production was not able to be assayed using a procedure in-place for decades (the R&D scientist never thought to have its prototypes tested by us), and I found its fragrance was the reason, and over the weekend determined the fragrance contained a rare component which interfered with the test; so a complete new test procedure had to be developed to overcome that, talk about panic !

I had "discussions" with various managers over the years who argued against innovations like using HPLC-grade ethanol as HPLC mobile phase because it also contained 5% methanol and 5% isopropyl alcohol but it provided great separation of 5 actives in a sunscreen product with isocratic HPLC, and some further discussions with a manager who "fought" against my program to cut preparation solvent costs to 10% of previous (saving on waste disposal as well) and to save mobile phase costs by using smaller-bore columns, as well as tremendous labor costs (all put into practice, saving millions of dollars on-going). One manager did not believe that changes to validated USP and in-house validated cGMP methods detailed in USP <621> and FDA-ORA documents could be implemented without validation, and he got mad when I told him that when I was young I learned 26 letters which spelled out words, and his opinion was different than official folks.

I did manage the department a dozen years. I tried to use my experience and practicality to push the science ahead. After about 3.5 decades the company was sold and after 4 decades of service my position was eliminated and I retired with good pension and severance, was less than 1.5 years to my retirement, and my severance was reduced to 52 weeks, so net cost to company by retaining me to age 65 would've been negligible, but comes out of a different pocket.

So that's how I became the Consumer Products Guy.
I didn't know about this thread, but now I do! I work in an environmental analytical testing laboratory - soil, water, air, you name it. Sometimes have to do some weird stuff too, like food, a bit of consumer products testing.

After doing a PhD and wanting to jump off the academic treadmill and realising that decent chem jobs were few and far between in a country with dwindling industry outside mining, I jumped into analytical contract testing. This is one of the most accessible industries for chemists in Australia because of the juggernaut of 'brownfield development'.

I was just this evening talking to my partner about how I have no idea how busy my role is compared to other people. Sometimes it feels like wearing a million and one hats, rarely are two days in a row the same.
  • Keep nearly two dozen LC-MS and GC-MSes running, with at least one service call to the supplier every week or two.
    Sometimes doing component-level repair on bits of lab equipment, to the point of busting out the soldering iron on occasion.
    Train and sign off on the work of half a dozen lab techs.
    Keep all aforementioned lab techs engaged in their work (by answering their questions every five minutes and indulging the occasional vent).
    Fix all instrument related IT issues.
    Find issues in the in-house LIMS and track down one of the people who still know how to fix these things.
    Get in the lab and actually do benchwork when my techs are swamped.
    Somehow find the time to develop and validate new methods.
Sometimes I do wonder if it's as simple as 'I do method development'?
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