Describe your current position and what led to your job.
I am a medical researcher at the DuPont company. Our company puts science to work, to make people’s lives better, safer, and healthier. My current projects at DuPont are focused on health and wellness – our team is developing supplements for human nutrition. I’ve also worked on medical devices and biomaterials at DuPont. I have always had a passion for medical research, and I decided to work in industry because I wanted to develop products that help people.
What has been the most rewarding/challenging moment in your career?
Two experiences in my career have been rewarding and memorable. First, it has been special for me to witness the commercialization of DuPont’s new omega-3 fatty acid supplement for heart health. This is the first time in my career that I’ve been associated with a commercial product, and it’s gratifying to see a new product on shelves that I helped make possible. Second, it has been very rewarding for me to return to the University of Delaware, and teach as an affiliated faculty member in the Chemical Engineering department. I absolutely love working with students and sharing my experiences.
What is the best career advice you have received?
Take on work assignments that you will be passionate about – you will naturally excel when you are working on projects that are exciting to you. Follow your heart, and do the work that is meaningful for you. Distinguish yourself with a unique skill set, so that you can be the “go-to” person for particular issues. Use your unique skill set for a variety of programs, so that you become indispensable to your company.
What would you recommend to someone interested in working in your field?
Anyone with an interest in scientific research should strongly consider an advanced degree (PhD or MD) in science, medicine, or engineering. Find an area of science that is particularly interesting to you, and focus your studies toward that area. Always be aware of the practical applications of your research, so that you can “sell yourself” to industry.
What skills are necessary or what prepared you the most for your career?
My multidisciplinary training in science, medicine, and engineering really prepared me for my career. I was incredibly fortunate that the University of Delaware allowed me to pursue my interests in a variety of fields. My graduate training at the University of Pennsylvania gave me a more in-depth and focused understanding of clinical medicine and biomedical science. My educational experiences were a privilege, for which I will always be grateful.
What professional associations have aided in your professional development?
The American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) have both aided in my professional development, and I highly recommend both organizations to anyone in the chemical sciences. In fact, I landed my job at DuPont by attending an ACS/AIChE joint poster session, and networking with a DuPont chemist!
Back to Spotlight on UD Alumni