From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

December 2021
« Nov    
Trends in Technical Careers. Intersections with Other Fields
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:43 am

Interesting observations in several fields that touch
on scientific realm are offered in this post.

Controlled Environment Agriculture.  Leading to
beneficial nutrition, yield and pharmaceutical 
value.  Tessa Pocock wrote about the photosynthetic
efficiency of different low intensity wavelengths
on plant growth, the McCree Curve.  This is a
possible application for solid state lighting and 
specific crop production.
CRISPR Patent Rulings.  Two sources talking
about the continuing saga of patent protection
filings from UC Berkeley and Broad Institute
are teachable moments for technology development.
The Scoop offers that the result could impact
future funding.
The Courthouse and expedited application process
is discussed in detail in a Jacob Sherkow interview.
AI in Science.  While the first of two articles 
addresses applications in life sciences, there are
ramifications in all fields.
AI- diagnosis and disease probability
AI- personalized medicine (skin cancer, smoking
AI- drug discovery using unsupervised learning
       algorithms of pattern recognition
AI- predictive analytics in clinical trials to reduce time
       and cost
AI- interpretation of scans using smart algorithms to
AI- seamless communication of health records
The second article by Stephen Boppart argues with
more detail about “optical biopsies” in the near
future as part of AI in diagnosis.
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End of the Year Career Management. 2016
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Mentoring, Leadership, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 12:52 pm

Three top line topics have appeared this year:
1) Evolving trends in technical careers
2) Professional Behaviors that can help you
3) High Need for New Division in ACS– Economics
and Chemistry [Not only short periodic webinars that
are at 30,000 foot level and CEPA] 

*Trends in Technical Careers   
   Protein Binding, Quaternary Structure, Thorium Reactors
   Drug Resistance, Crowdsource Funding, Teamwork in High Risk Goals
   New forms of Light, Epidemiology, Cell research  
   Photonics and Si-C chemistry
   Omics, Panomics
   Optics, Spectroscopy and Miniaturization

*Professional Behaviors
   -Learning to Say “No”
   -Listening Skills          Activities of a Listener
                                        Focus elements
   -Trust                           Highest form of Motivation
                                        Elements of Communication  
   -Ethics                          Legal elements
                                        In Decision-making

*Economics and Chemistry
    New Division Proposal
    Need for “Forecasting”
    Superstar Organizations


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Trends in Technical Careers. Photonics and Silicon-Carbon Evolution
Filed under: Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:25 am

As we look to intersecting fields with the chemical enterprise,
photonics continues to make enormous strides.  Related
fields include optomechanics [interaction of EM radiation and
mechanical vibrations], opto-atomics [in precision time-keeping,
metrology, etc.], and polaritonics [carrier is polariton].

My exposure and, perhaps, many readers is with photochemistry
energy levels and quantum mechanics.  With the advent of
lasers, emitting diodes, nonstoichiometric compounds, 
nanomaterials and devices, a wider range of materials, devices,
timeframes, meta-structures and forces/particles emerges as
significant.  Photonics opens a wider range of career paths and
suggests attention to SPIE news and developments.  SPIE is
also a leader in the open-access realm of technical publications.
Note the digital library and upcoming conference is available.
So much of the origin of photonics is silicon based.  In addition,
the natural abundance and similarity of silicon to carbon
coordination bring up a question to the curious– what about 
silicon and silicon-carbon based evolution?
A recent Science publication highlighted in an article in
CSM points out how bacteria isolated from Iceland’s hot
springs have enzymes that efficiently form C-Si bonds. 
This brings us back to some chemistry.
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Trends in Technical Careers. Optics, Spectroscopy and miniaturizing instruments
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:15 pm

Do you feel amazed each time you read about new advances
where one of the fundamental components is optical?  I am.  
Optical fabrication and materials  play a central role in many
things we do– practical every day, engineering and scientific.

The first reference is in Photonics Spectra magazine which
gives major milestones in optics fabrication.
The second is a link to a compact review of real world applications
and methods of applied spectroscopy.
The third is a link to a review on miniaturization driven by reduced
costs and space impacts combined with advances in microelectronics.
SOURCE:  History of Optics Fabrication  2  PHOTONICS
SPECTRA  Vision History
What this sketch outlines is an 800 year acceleration of development
especially over the last half century.  This is part of a review by
Marie Freebody .  It can be overlooked  as so many devices 
combine optical tools with spectroscopic and multi-laser 
sources and computer integrated sampling.
SOURCE:  Annual Industrial Trends Spectroscopy  
Nice appropriate review on some of the latest developments
including Total-reflection X-ray Fluorescence, Laser-induced
breakdown spectroscopy at small scales, rapid cancer detection
FT-IR and peptide folding using laser-Raman.
3-D imaging and continuously increasing complex NIRS
applications were reported and cited.
SOURCE:  V. Balaram Spectroscopy 10-16
Current Advances in Miniaturization of Analytical Instruments
Most are aware of Moore’s Law and its influence.  Miniaturization
of analytical tools is allowing scientific investigations in a number
of realms, including space exploration, geological studies, 
environmental sensors and redundancy to increase the validity 
of measurements.
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Trends in Technical Careers.
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:10 am

Years ago, I attended a futuristic talk about the hydrogen
economy before it was “in fashion.”  This post links to
an important environmental article discussing safe handling
of hydrogen

New material science and surprising properties of
light are reported in a recent issue in the photonics

Open Science publication from the ACS comes with
Central Science.
SOURCE   L. Gallagher, American Laboratory September,
2015, P. 14, “Safe Handling of Hydrogen in the Laboratory
In addition to materials of construction, design and
specific procedures, inert gas handling facilities
are essential to purge and dilute and gas monitoring
protections and alarms must be installed and tested
regularly.  See also safe handling procedures.

Hydrogen based micro-economies will emerge just as
Tesla charging stations are proliferating.

SOURCE: Photonics Spectra, Sept. 2015
Graphene can be functionalized into a light emitter
by strategic incorporation of boron.  Nano-optics and
Spin properties of light are also highlighted in recent
issue photonics Spectra.

SOURCES:  Interview with C. Bertozzi
                      Table of Contents
Carolyn Bertozzi is a visible leader who heads
organizations and publications and presents her
case of pursuing careers in chemistry.  Here also
is a notable effort in an open access journal.  Wish
to see more of this as it is the wave of the future
and a way that society publications can compete
with commercial publications.

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Watch-Outs. 83. Raising capital for Start-ups, 2015 H-1B Visas, CO2 as a photochemical feedstock
Filed under: Recent Posts, Job Offer (Situations), Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:29 pm

Individuals forming start-up companies have many things on
their mind.  One of the ones ACS Entrepreneur Network
points to is raising capital from investors.  Two links to
the Accelerators blog highlight what they
might think about first.

When we wish to hire qualified applicants to STEM
positions all stakeholders face challenges with many points
of view, including fairness, equity, people with the right
skill-set (soft, hard and wise skills), legal, ethical, political
and more.  Interesting discussions of H-1B programs in
2015 from the business perspective is linked below.

Finding ways to use CO2 as a feedstock in an efficient
process for value added chemicals is worthwhile research.
Recent advances at Berkeley are linked.

SOURCES:  WSJ, 5-28-15, P.  B6, “What startups should
do before raising cash
;”   WSJ,  6-4-15, P.  B6, “When
should start-ups set out to raise money
There is a lot of hype and PR in what you can read on
this topic.  Know when you are ready, know that a
lot of burdens are placed on the start-up when
investors are involved.

Investors often exchange capital for shares in the
company, betting on their future.  The more they
invest the more they will expect.  Plan carefully for
sustained growth and know where the investors’
money is going.

The first article’s examples are not “pure” startups.

SOURCE:  WSJ, 6-3-15, P. A4, ” Firms, Workers Try
to Game Visa Lottery
The comments to this article show how much heartache
headache and struggle this complex situation is
providing.  Where is fairness in this tragicomedy?
The article points out some observables, comments
fill in some of the realities that are not mentioned.

SOURCE:  Photonics Spectra, June 2015, P. 60
Solar array turns carbon dioxide to useful chemicals
This has the potential to “change the chemical and
oil industry.”  It uses silicon and titanium oxide
nanowires combined in the laboratory with anaerobic
bacteria in water in model systems.

SOURCE:  WSJ 6-8-15, P. R7, What a top 10 List
Does not tell you
Fund’s holdings can change before publication.
Sector allocation consistency may be more reliable
about holdings in addition to turnover.
Comments are helpful.
SEC Form N-Q- end of 1st, 3rd Q
SEC Form N-CSR- end of 2nd, 4th Q

1 comment
Trends in Technical Careers. THz, metamaterials, LiFi
Filed under: Recent Posts, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:25 am

Several years ago THz spectroscopy was brought to my attention
as an emerging field for research and application.  While it may
be years in the future when WiFi routers and cellphones use THz,
recent work points to medical imaging and security screening

Photonics reported making plasmonic filters with inkjet printers
for telecommunication signal enhancement.  A site to
learn more about THz domain is the RPI Center.

are fabricated materials not present in nature
designed to have specific properties based on their structure.
Work on these fabricated materials is interdisciplinary and
is undergoing development in correlating linear and
nonlinear properties.  Emerging devices will make use
of higher order harmonic generation.

Wireless internet hotspots are reported to be
organized with LED light fixtures that have cost and
reliability advantages over WiFi in certain environments.
Test kits are available from the Fraunhofer institute
that is creating visible light communication systems.

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Trends in Technical Careers. Lasers for superresolution Microscopy, New Silicon Oxide subspeces and Special “contact lens” design
Filed under: Recent Posts, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:05 pm

When learning about microscopes decades ago we were taught about
the resolution limits being the diffraction limit.
Super-resolution microscopy observes a static sample multiple times
and modifies the excitation light or changes in the image based on
fluorophore photophysics.  A recent review describes improvements
that are helping researchers, clinicians and developers.

It has been a mystery about what forms when pure silicon surfaces
are oxidized.  Being able to make Si2O3 and Si2O4 may lead the way
for further developments in microelectronics.

A Wow development of inserting a telescope into a contact lens was

Arrigoni et al describe new laser technologies that are enabling
researchers and clinicians to extend the use of laser microscopes.
The technical depth of the article is clear and articulate so that
other fields will find value in the new developments.

Highlighted in CEN, the report of sub-2 oxides of silicon
synthesis and isolation in Nature Chemistry fills in gap
in the chemical knowledge of subspecies suspected to
be involved doping, protection, carrier generation and capture
layers of microelectronics layers..

Trembley and co-workers have fabricated a contact lens which
allows wearers to expand the size of perceived objects
magnifying the view.  Still in the prototype phase with
technical issues to overcome, this was in a Photonics
Spectra report of Sarina Tracy.

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Trends in Technical Careers.Human Organs on Chip, Manufacturing of the Future and T-rays for Toxic Gas Sensing
Filed under: Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 2:00 pm

Don Ingber spoke about amazing developments at the
Wyss Institute where researchers are developing
cell culture devices that simulate human organ
responses more than than cellular cultures.  A
very nicely written multi-brief and video provide
intriguing detail of cutting edge developments that
point to the future of medical research.

3-D manufacturing that is laser-based
is developing
rapidly as earlier patents on technology run out
and technology is more widely available.  High
value added precision manufactured components
in aerospace and medical technology will likely
be first as design rules for additive manufacturing
are developed and verified.

THz molecular spectroscopy of interstellar and
atmospheric gases based on vibrational and ro-
vibrational transitions is emerging as technologies
are combined.  Duke researchers suggest that toxic
gases can be detected in the atmosphere from
km distances like ammonia, sulfuric acid and
nitric acid  2 .

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Watch-Outs. 71. Day of Photonics and Ebola virus
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 10:26 am

It is hard to believe we are not being alerted to these
things in the US, especially in ACS!  TODAY is
the inaugural “day of photonics” highlighting the
progress being made in this enabling technology.
Photonics publications highlight it.  Links below.

Second, where does one get some insight into the
ebola virus?  Not the ACS… or other biochemical
media outlets.  You know where I discovered a close
up cartoon-structure?  Amazingly, in the Economist without
certified references and ’scientific’ discussion.

BONUS:  What every job searcher needs to know.
SOURCE:  B. Sucher, Career Hub Blog

“What you do not know will not only hurt you.
It can sabotage you, derail you, and keep you from
moving on [towards your goals] with confidence,
knowledge and efficiency.”

SOURCE  Day of Photonics web-page
                  Intl year of light web-page

It is true there is a new journal Photonics, led by
editor H. Atwater who presents the journal’s current
It would be a nice collaboration to see the worldwide
demonstration of the incredible progress enabled by
photonics.  It is a critical area to educate STEM fields
in its basics which this worldwide event intends.
Worth a look.

SOURCE:  Economist, 10-18-14, p. 61

The article points out a mechanism of infection
and possible active proteins.  While CEN has
touted possible therapies it is nice to see some
descriptive images obtained with current tools
in the biochemical toolkit to describe what humans
are up against.  All politics and biases aside.

Trends in Technical Careers. Optogenetics, Ultrashort Laser Processing, and Better Negotiations
Filed under: Interviewing, Leadership, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:17 pm

In reading through items in my “in-box” I hit
upon some research on combining light to
induce dopamine release as a way to suppress
the taste for alcohol.  It is an interesting use
of combining technologies– genetics,
chemistry, pharmacolology and lasers.

Ultra short pulsed lasers are moving to
microtechnology manufacturing and automotive
engines.  This results from several advances
that allow processing without heating and
other damages.

Finally, I was “invited” to view a webinar
by Steven Cohen about negotiation.  My
goodness, he offered very meaning hints,
tips and trends that we use negotiation
in our every day life and it is a professional
skill that benefits from understanding the
basics. of human communications with
different cultural audiences.  His recent book
link is shared.

SOURCE:  Optogenetic Stimulation…
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 2013
Intrigued by a cartoon summary of research,
this article displays relevant research in the
interdisciplinary areas pertaining to substance

Andrew May
SOURCE:  Take the Heat out of..
Photonics showcase brief on new developments
in laser technology is being tested to drill
injector nozzles in engines and to scribe  ITO
coatings of smartphone screens.

SOURCE:  Negotiating Skills Company
Most important negotiation presence is
face-to-face, since it allows communication
of nonverbal signals with less confusion.  Skyping,
telephone follow.  Mail, Email, and texting
follow after, as visual elements are so important and
there can be inadvertent mishaps that slip through.

Language in the global arena, going after major
issues but keeping in focus BATNA (best alternative
to a negotiated agreement) and ZOPA (zone of
possible agreement) are compelling concepts

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Trends in Technical Careers. Alert to Unexpected Situations, Combining things in different ways
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:44 am

It was inspiring hearing words describing the IEEE
outstanding educator award presentation of Professor
Jamal Dean.  Professor Dean is now at McMaster
University in Hamilton, ON and remarked:
(A. Kumar, Interface, Fall, 2014, 42-3)

Be prepared for the unexpected.  It may be upon you
before you know it.  So adapt and use your knowledge
and skills to create novel and workable solutions.  And
do not be afraid of controversial areas of research,
even if there is opposition from mainstream ‘experts’”…

Why mention Jamal Dean?  He works to solve big
problems with significant impact in cross-disciplinary

An example of this is the use of unexpected elements
in semiconductor manufacturing.  You know well Moore’s
Law about the prediction of exponential improvements
in digital electronic devices.  Did you know hafnium,
ruthenium, tantalum (ok, I knew about this), zirconium
(this, too) and cobalt are all used in discrete elements
of chips to make true the ‘Moore prediction.’  Why? 
The article by Michael McCoy   (p. 16) states, “because
it works.”
There is a lot of chemistry, physics, engineering and
economics that will continue to play a role.  Consider,
for example, Moore’s second law of semiconductor
, known as Rock’s Law.  Technical people
should be curious about this “intersection”…

Susan Ainsworth reported in an earlier CEN issue about
what pharmaceutical firm representatives look for in
BS:  higher level organic, physical organic, and theoretical
organic chemistry with advance laboratory work
in which synthetic routes are designed, enzymatic
reactions are characterized or there is exposure to
receptor pharmacology..
         challenging research experience gives a leg up.

PhD:  challenging research projects in solving or
gaining understanding of complex problems, say
signal transduction, protein structure, multistep

All should be able to demonstrate communication
skills to be able to go up to a board or with pen and
paper field questions or propose solutions to problems.
Of course, be able to deliver an elevator speech.

What stood out was a segment on “being situationally
” outside of classroom or formal structure
situations.  It is more behavioral than textbook.

Combining things in different ways can be an example
of what is sought in candidates.  This is demonstrated
by for example photoswitchable antibiotics which were
recently reported in Ang. Chem.  doi:10.1002/
ange.201310019 and in Photonics showcase.

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Mentoring. SPIE worldview, Importance of Face-to-face Interaction, Online Strategies
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Recruiters, Post-docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:59 am

This entry is about mentoring.
While no one has all the answers.  No human can realize all the
history, interactions and subtleties around human situations.  Yet,
there can be real benefit if we develop mentoring relationships
In fact, there is a site that displays a number of well-known
people and the individuals who were their mentors.

Not only are recent graduates and post-docs “in the hunt” for
their next position, people in positions are asking how should
I position myself for being available for being considered for
my next position. 
What should I do?  they all ask their mentors.  Consider:
  Ideas (what is going on in parallel fields),
  information (how do I express myself and get feedback),
  interviews (what are the emerging trends for making ourselves

SPIE reported a telling snapshot of its membership’s typical
workweek, job satisfaction, mobility, how they define success
and salary.
What was telling about this article is the international nature of
the survey and the added cultural dimension overlaid on the photonics
industry.  The remarkable feature that this adds is offering a study
in a parallel field to the chemical enterprise that may hint at
similarities and differences that are not “teased out” from
ACS reports.

Despite all the advances in technology, in person, face-to-face
sets the “gold standard” for communication.  It is enhanced
by technological follow-ups.  In the last week, I have interacted with
dozens of people.  Each of the interactions were spurred by
making connections with individuals in face-to-face encounters.
This is a masterful “wise skill” to develop.

Ask for feedback, learn new insights, find out what is important to
your mentors.

Did you know that recruiters are Linkedin’s main revenue stream?
Led by its “talent solutions” segment it pinpoints, as long as we
include the pertinent details in our profile, and keep it up, formal
academic background, experience breadth and depth, broad skill
strengths, affiliations in organizations  and participation in some
groups.  (If you have not gotten feedback on your profile, ask
your mentor for feedback where you wish your career’s future
to move.)
In the same issue Linkedin’s competitors in France and China
(viadeo) and Germany (xing) are delineated in economics terms.
These are becoming the new exchanges for screening interviews.
Thus, having relevant up-to-date profiles using keywords that
recruiters seek is paramount.

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Watch-Outs 64. International Year-Light, Light Sheet Microscope, Merchants of Doubt
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:55 am

Each year it seems another technical topic is celebrated
Chemistry, crystallography, statistics,… 2015 it is LIGHT.
We bring the topic up in our professional development
class and learn things along the way.

An innovative idea of light sheets used in microscopy of
biological samples is highlighted.

While a hundred pages are still to be digested, it is
important to bring up conflicts that occur, how
they are represented and their outcomes in a must
read book called Merchants of Doubt.

The scientific sponsors include European Physical Society,
SPIE, Optical society, IEEE Photonics Society, American
Physical Society and international light sources network.
Many of the discoveries concerning coherent and incoherent
light will enjoy commemorations and the celebration will be
an educational opportunity.

SOURCE O. Hanrahan, Photonics, July/August 2014, p. 20
Light Sheet Microscopy LSM advances biological studies
The author compares and contrasts LSM with confocal
microscopy with lower phototoxicity and higher speed.
Scattering and absorption are larger issues.
LSM can optically section samples, be minimally invasive
by using two objective lenses (focus the light sheet
and collect fluorescence emission), a digital camera
and 3-D image display.  Speed, sample handling and
cost of total system will lower with time as this
method will find its place.

SOURCE:  N. Oreskes and E. M. Conway, “Merchants of
,” Bloomsbury Press NY, 2010
“How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on
issues from tobacco smoke to global warming.”
This is scintillating reading describes how a small
group of prominent individuals create smokescreens
to block and obfuscate issues which have impact
on commercial and big businesses.  I read just this morning
an op-ed piece about how EPA rules should not be allowed
because it will raise costs.  As we realize, this can, properly
communicated and used, motivate innovation.

The book documents the 50+ year history of conflicts
of business interests with scientific results and conclusions–
from tobacco-cancer, second-hand smoke-illnesses,
pesticides-Silent spring, acid rain-acidification of
waterways, coal burning-air pollution, global warming-
economic forecasts. 

The “debates” were manufactured,  the authors claim, based
on PR misdirection and ‘alternate reality’ views.  Interesting
commentary by one of the sources to escape the public
attention to previous public positions.  These approaches
are legalistic possibilities, and in legal terms, do not have to
be true, but only plausible.

1 comment
Watch-outs. 58. Microscopes, dealing with stress, inside info on legal profession and etiquette
Filed under: Interviewing, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 12:10 pm

One of the related professions scientists and engineers can make
a contribution in and a living is in the legal realm.  There is a
guild-like restrictive ownership structure and admission requirements
that should be more widely known and perhaps challenged by free
market alternatives.

An area that seems like it may have arrived due to nanotechnology
and new designs for manufacture is microscopy.  The technology
has incredibly broad applications, especially when combined with
other discriminating technologies.

While it seems to be a  common fact of existence in society to
“cope with stress” the accelerators (WSJ) covers some stress
signals and releasers that might be broadly beneficial.

A bonus segment on appropriate apparel this week is offered.
It might be viewed with controversy, as biased, or old-fashioned.
It does stand up to the test of time.

SOURCE:  The Economist, 2-2-13, p. 12, “Guilty as Charged
In more detail in the comments, this link opens an area often
identified as an alternate career field.  Cost, time and restrictive
structures limit entry, keep outsiders from challenging and
the free enterprise system from improving.

This link and many comments may offer a sanity check for
those interested in the realities of a legal profession after a
technical degree.

SOURCES:  The Economist, 6-7-14, p. 4 Technology
Quarterly, “Yours to cut out and keep“  M. Freebody,
Biophotonics 2013
Refreshing to see not only creative lateral thinking
to design a “foldscope” by Manu Prakhash, but also
applications to diagnose diseases, avoid milk-born
parasites by boiling, mites and fungi from infesting
beehives.  Combining foldscope ideas with STED
or fluorescence microscopy is not
far away.

SOURCE:  WSJ 6-19-14, p. B9, Coping with Highs,

Four things are highlighted in this short entry to reduce
stress– using a gym, having professional mentors,
sleep hygiene and remembering “why”.  Why are
we devoting time, energy, resources to accomplish
a task or meet a goal?

Signs of stress:  loss of empathy, building up anxiety
and stress of team, friends or family, ’short fuses.’

BONUS:  Professional Etiquette
While a WSJ article on special programs at
consulting firms for influencing interns to learn and
dress appropriately for business and professional
situations, the University of Kansas slideshow appears
more helpful.  It covers not only attire but also,
introductions and communications.


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Watch-outs 52. Tee-ups, BYOD unintended consequences and employment data
Filed under: Networking, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 2:51 pm

At a recent event I attended a representative spoke
to an attendee starting off with, “I don’t know if you
know, but….”  Then launched in to a polite attack
that was probably uncomfortable, unless she knew
what was coming and how to deal with it deftly.
Tee-ups are a term used to describe these.
In many circumstances now, positions are taken
where we BYOD (bring your own device) and it
can have unanticipated consequences.
An interesting global view of jobs and STEM job
, as if October 2013, has recently been

SOURCE.  E. Bernstein, WSJ 1-21-2014, p. D3
What verbal tics may be saying about us
‘But don’t take this the wrong way…’ ;‘Can I be
(insert: ‘frank’, ‘direct’, ‘honest’)?’, and
many others.  These phrases may seem harmless,
formal, even polite.  Coming before another statement
they are intended to harm, be dishonest or lie.
James Pennebaker has studied these qualifiers,
performatives, or tee-up terms.  They are yellow lights.
proceed with caution.  When you listen to someone,
choose your time and timing and plan what you will
respond without letting it be at all offensive.  Remain
totally professional, looking the person in the eye
and lean in to a squared up, confident position.

SOURCE:  L. Weber. WSJ 1-22-14, p. B7
Leaving a job?  Better watch your cellphone.
As more companies allow or encourage employees
to use their own phone and portable devices for
work, as well as home, unexpected consequences
can arise.  Their devices can be wiped clean.

This is appearing as the separation between home
life and worklife become blurred.

Read your user agreement statements and contracts
carefully before the “I agree” button is clicked.

SOURCE:  H. Rudzinsky, Photonics Spectra Jan. 2014, p. 60
Where the Jobs are Now.
This is a ‘finger on the pulse’ article on jobs that offers
a clear view and perhaps some optimism on the job market.
The last segment offers some appropriate advice for
job seekers.  It links to a Brookings Report.

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Watch-outs. 50. Big data analytics continuum, Disruptive approaches to drug discovery, Time resolved Raman spectroscopy for combusion studies
Filed under: Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 4:43 pm

SOURCE  “Performed Predictive Analytics and
Analytic queries on big data
,” Intel White Paper
Parviz Peiravi, Ajay Chandramouly, Chandhu
Yallaand Moty Fania.
Future Business conditions are predicted using
an analytics continuum model of increasing
complexity and resulting value.  This alone is
worth reading and learning how the data can be
Living by numbers alone reportedly does not work,
however.  F. Salmon, Wired, Jan. 2014, p. 27-33.
“Numbed by Numbers: Why quants don’t know

SOURCE  SLAS ELN, “Disuptive technologies poised
to transform drug discovery”.
Open sourced 3d printing to emulate vascular structures,
fluorescing cells with clear membranes reveal drug interactions,
miniaturized spectral and mass spectral instruments
and other “disruptive innovations” are highlighted in
ELN briefs showing remarkable applications of
technologies to lead to improved therapies.
January meeting live streamed content.

SOURCE  J, J. Kojima and M. Shah, “Time Resolved
Raman scattering Spectroscopy facilitates combustion
, Photonics Spectra Dec. 2013 p. 32-5.
Using a newly developed detector gating and wider dynamic
range subsystems flame instabilities can be captured
and studied in many propulsion applications.

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Trends in Technical Careers. 11. Small talk, Interdisciplinary developments
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Leadership, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 10:05 am

Sitting with drinks we chatted about how their workplace culture
was changing as a result of a recent change in CEO.  She mentioned
that it was quite curious and impactful that she found herself staying
quite late one evening.  She took a short break and walked down the
hall and found herself seeing the new exec coming toward her.  She
smiled and greeted him.  He responded and asked what kept her late
at work.

It was review time and the forms they need to fill out take a great deal
of time and effort.  He was grateful to receive the frank and honest
input.  He had some ideas about how to improve them.

A week later the division devised a new research reporting scheme,
much like group meetings reporting and commenting on literature
results.  Her group was selected to go first and so she sat in the middle
and near the front.   The CEO came in just before the start and sat
directly in front of her.  At a break in the session he turned to her
and engaged in small talk.  Then, he mentioned that he had put in place
a change to the review process and wanted her to come to him and
let him know if it was shorter, easier and met their needs.

She was approached by a number of her direct reports and superiors
about how did she have the new CEO want to speak to her.  What did
he say, etc.

It goes to point out the importance of confidence, and the ability to
engage in small talk and know that decision makers need unfiltered
information with specific data. 

NPR, C. Trageser, 11-30-13 wrote a piece and offered a linked
podcast so you can gain more information on the importance of
small talk
.  It is good reading.
Note especially the “contrariwise” comment not liking it.  “…failure
to hire the most qualified individual the result of a poor hiring process
rather than scientists not learning skills relevant to their jobs after
spending nigh three decades on developing their necessary skills…”

Technical skills alone are not enough to be offered the jobs you
  Round out your education with co-curricular skills

Robert Stevenson American Laboratory N/D 2013 made me want
to change my plans at an upcoming meeting when he extracted the
essence of Eric Topol’s book and distributed it throughout an
article on precision medicine.  Precision medicine is where
patients and health care providers team up to assess and treat risks
and deliver “the right [therapy] in the right dose at the right time.”

Notable factoids
20000 genes are regulated by >4 million regulators.  Complex.
No surprise that one mutation can disable a “stop signal”
“Stop signals implicated in autoimmune diseases and cancer.”

Personal electronics ideal interface for connecting biosensors to
the digital world.

FDA approved pills with RF chips to “time stamp” ingestion of pills.

Patients diagnosed with cancer should request a portion of their
biopsy frozen for sequencing and “inquire about whole genome

Decreasing value of “population medicine”

Strong consideration for “”no nuke” policy for exposure to radiation.

Server farms consume as much energy as the world’s airlines.

 Caren Les reported Eijiro Miyako’s composite biooptical
material from butterfly wings and nanotubes using lasers

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Trends in Technical Careers. 10. Non-destructive and Super-resolution imaging, Hyperhalogens
Filed under: Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:08 pm

For many decades, with so many scientists working in many
fields, some have observed what else is there to learn?  What
are the forefront areas of new and useful science?  That is
what our future needs to know, to figure out where our careers
might go.

This is the tenth contribution in this topic area.  Previous ones
- VISION 2025 Circles of Chemistry
- Photonics careers and overlap with chemistry, materials
- Instrumentation, microsurgery, diagnoses and therapies for
orphan diseases

- light weight metals and display technology materials
- sustainable chemistry of the future
- dealing with super-bugs and pan-resistance of diseases
- discovery informatics
- meso-facts

This entry brings up non-destructive sensing and resolution
in the terahertz range
, super-resolution microscopy at lengths
shorter than the wavelength of light
, and more electronegative
than halogens.  All of these seemed unpredictable thirty
years ago.

Between electronics and optics is the sub-millimeter region
that is attractive to medical applications and other fields due
to new transistors and “negative index materials.”  Popular
suggests being able to detect illegal materials
selectively through normal clothing.  Several research centers have
focused work on full systems and various specific aspects
like CMDITR.  (SPIE Conferences, as well.)

3-D distributions of proteins and lipids in living cells
noninvasively down to a resolution of tens of nanometers
results from a technique invented by Stefan Hall and developed
by Leica
Many of these methods are standard in biological laboratories.
The method is based on “feature separation,” where nanosized
features can be singled out if other features are de-selected. 
The diffraction limit of light no longer restricts the resolving
power of a microscope.  Interestingly the 1994 work patented
about that time, runs out of patent protection shortly. 

A species with higher EA than fluorine. reported by P. Jena
that could be superoxidizers
for fuels and hydrogen storage.
The work was conceived based on theoretical predictions.

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Entrepreneurs. 9. Mentors, Attitude, Word of Mouth
Filed under: First Year on Job, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:53 am

Three items triggered this post on starting your own
business or joining a start-up.  The first was a neat
podcast by Tom Ashbrook on “mentors for a new

Tom interviewed experts who mentor or were mentored
by people to start something on their own.  Summing
it up, things to do and expect:
  - don’t go it alone, get mentors and advisers
  - find niche markets and develop an evolving business

  - “location, location, location” will provide a longlasting
  - it is common that income for start-ups is episodic
lucrative months and shallow months.  Know how you
will manage through this and plan to have failures or
mistakes happen quickly and use them as “teachable
moments,” so you gain from them.

The second is a Photonics Spectra ‘Start-ups Insight
interview of Jan Melles who lists five tips.  Many have
been touched on in previous segments.  He titles the
article Focus on the customer and urges us to develop
a “no matter what, we will succeed” attitude.

The WSJ Accelerators blog points out some truisms
and helpful tips.  At the beginning, the income rate
per hour is lower.  After settling in, the income rate
increases to a steady state.  While paid marketing
helps tell your story, word of mouth revealing satisfaction
and a good product/service speaks volumes. Financial
metrics and a net promoter score of customers
promoters, passives and detractors leads to growth.

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