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09/06/11
Trends. Perspectives from the ACS national meeting
Filed under: Position Searching, Post-docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:56 am

We can gain a lot from national meetings– positive
and ‘comparative’ (that is another way of saying negative,
just like the common term “areas for improvement”).

NatureChemistry did offer a free copy that was informative
at least for an article by Keith Watson (Dow
Chemical, free online for the month of September),
entitled “The changing landscape of careers in the
chemical industry.”

Dr. Watson offered four trends and three tips on how
he would advise people who desire to be in the large
chemical company industry field can thrive.

TRENDS:
  variation of cost and supply of feedstocks (he lists
predominantly petrochemicals, but I might add
water and rare earth elements), underlining variation

  focus on specialty chemicals production (this has
been the case for several decades) however, the chemical
structures (less toxic) and means by which they are made
(green chemistry methods) continually shifts, doesn’t remain
stable.

  fracturing of centralized R&D into segments closer
to business areas/production facilities (this too has
been the case for a couple of decades)

  globalization of facilities closer to where the markets
are (this keeps on changing).

Dr. Watson includes an undertone in his article relating
to shorter product life cycles and the need for faster
development of processes.

TIPS
With these trends in the larger companies he observes
that developing a range of skills is advantageous and
opines that
 
  excellent oral and written communication skills,

  knack for business processes and negotiations, and

  management of projects (both completing critical
ones and ending unsuccessful ones quickly at low
cost).

While one or two of the trends and tips have been
debated, this perspective and his suggestions on
how to demonstrate are worth serious consideration
when applying for large chemical companies, like
Dow, BASF,  Bayer, duPont, Monsanto, GE and…

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