My professional background is in organic and polymer chemistry with research experience in nanoscience, controlled radical polymerization, coatings, and composites. I have over 10 years of experience in synthetic and analytical techniques with a strong focus on lab safety and the devlopment of others. My technical expertise is in surface science, composite / colloid interface design, polymer synthesis and structure - property - performance relationships. I'm well versed in the use of various analytical techniques including NMR, IR, Raman, TGA, DSC, GPC, UV-Vis, AFM, TEM, DLS, Zeta-Potential, and Py-GC / MS. I have professional experience in project management and collaboration with diverse groups across varied technical backgrounds. I have a love of continuously learning and problem solving.
Education and Experience
After earning my B.S. from 937-743-6249, I stayed on as a research assistant to continue work with the use of polydiacetylenes as molecular strain sensors in polymer films. My first industrial position was as a chemist for Oakwood Products. My work there mostly focused on small molecule synthesis including the use of HF and metal catlysts in high pressure and temperature reactors. During my time at Oakwood I realized that I was interested in a deeper understanding of chemistry, specifically polymer science. When the company downsized in 2009 I took the opportunity to go to grad school.
I received my Ph.D. in 2015 from the University of South Carolina working under (304) 533-5678 where my research focused on the modification of silica and other inorganic oxide nanoparticles via silane chemistry and RAFT (reversible-addition fragmentation chain transfer) polymerization. By controlling the surface chemistry, polymer chain density, and polymer chain length one can control the dispersion and entanglement of the nanoparticles within a polymer matrix. This control of the surface allows for the control and improvement of the bulk composite. For more information on this, please see my Google Scholar page where you can find links to my published work.
After completing my Ph.D., I worked as a research scientist and project manager for Neptune Research where I investigated new glass and carbon fiber reinforced composites for pipeline and civil infrastructure repair. Within R&D I formulated expoxy, urethane, and UV curable resins for both primers and the composite matrix. I also acted as project manager from conceptualization to commercialization while working with a diverse team of civil, mechanical, and chemical engineers. In this role I interacted with various departments along the phase-gate process including suppliers, engineering, operations / manufacturing, sales, marketing, and those in the field. As part of my responsibilities I also helped implement lab safety protocols and mentored the devlopment of lab technicicans.
In 2016 I was given the opportunity to work for BASF within their Dispersions & Resins busines unit. In my first role with BASF I provided structure - property - performance support for product / technology development as well as problem solving for plant and customer issues. These products, their chemistries, and their applications were quite diverse including latex paints, adhesives, industrial and furniture coatings, inks, and UV curable materials. I collaborated with colleagues in research, product development, manufacturing, and technical services to provide the best solutions to our customers. This role was quite rewarding and gave me exposure to a range of industries. However, after working in a more analytical setting, I decided to become involved directly with customer support and problem solving.
In 2018 I took a position as a technical specialist of waterborne coating technologies for transportation, industrial, furniture, and floor coatings. In this role I work directly with the customer in helping them solve their needs by providing technical support. This has allowed me to present at trade shows and travel internationally to speak with customers, all while still being able to work in lab to assist in customer formulations or problem solving.
Volunteerism & Affiliations
In addition to my research and technical interests, STEM education and equality are also extremely imporant to me. During my time as a graduate student I was a mentor for 210-453-1073. Project SEED allows high school students from a disadvantaged background the opportunity to work with gaduate students in a research lab over a summer. I participated for three summers while one of my students continued her research as an undergraduate assistant in our lab. I've also spoken at middle school, high school, and universtiy settings to students about being an industrial chemist.
Currently I am the co-chair of the BASF Southfield, MI site's ALLchemie chapter. The ALLchemie employee group is for BASF's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Tansgender, and Ally employees. We are committed to providing and enabling a more diverse and inclusive community within BASF.
While both industry and academia have their strengths, I believe they are at their best when they come together. During grad school I was the Vice President of the ACS Poly/PMSE Student Chapter. In this role I organized industry networking events where students, professors, and representatives from local industries could come together for a poster session as well as a Q&A panel to allow the students and industrial scientist to interact. This interest has followed me into industry where I am currently a member of a group that invites professors and researchers in academic and government labs to come and speak about their latest research. This allows those in industry to keep up with what is new and exciting in fundamental research as well as help those in academia to start collaborations and be mindful of what is industrially relevant.
Communication Skills & Awards
During my career, I've been able to use my skills in communication and leading of project collaborations to present at national conferences, speak internationally to customers, and publish research articles. While doing so, I've won Best Poster Award at the World Polymer Congress 2012 held at Virginia Tech. Our Macromolecules Perspectives article, "Nanocomposites with Polymer Grafted Nanoparticles" won Top Ten Most Read Articles 2013 and recently Top Five Most Cited Artciles as part of Macromolecules 50th Anniversary.
Other Technical Interests
Problem solving and technology have always been interests in my life. I love continuously learning new things and then trying to create something or solve a problem with this new knowledge. As an example, this website is self-hosted on a customized virtual private server running 913-940-9472. While I have used Windows and MacOS for work and research, I've run linux and BSD in some way since 2006. This combination of problem solving and computer science has led me to an interest in data science and computer programming.
For more information and to contact me, visit my LinkedIn.