I was one of those kids in high school who just knew a career in science was my future. Chemistry just seemed very logical, and it made a lot of sense to me. As a junior at Boston College, I worked as a research assistant in a nuclear and radiochemistry lab. As a senior, I worked as a technician in a laser R&D lab, and was one of the first undergraduates offered a teaching assistantship for chemistry lab sections in general and honors chemistry. I took graduate level courses in chemical physics and spectroscopy as a junior and senior. In graduate school at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, I majored in Physical Chemistry, and minored in analytical chemistry and applied physics. I taught chemistry lab sections, as well as general and organic chemistry lectures. My dissertation research was Physico-Chemical Patterning: Chemical Banding and Non-Linear Electrochemical and Electromagnetic Field Effects in Chemical Systems.
As a working chemist, I have participated in a great number of very interesting projects in several industries, including foods, nutraceuticals, medical devices and electronic display devices. My work includes patents and innovations in zero-calorie fats (Olestra), rheological enhancements to polyunsaturated oils , edible barriers to oil uptake during deep frying, rheologically active ophthalmic and contact lens care solutions, high contrast low energy consumption electronic displays (Kindle screens), high contrast high quality thermal printing, novel ink-jet ink formulations, force and pressure-mapping “smart fabrics” for use in medical applications, and many more. My background in physical chemistry and applied physics was the common thread connecting these apparently dissimilar paths. I’ve mentored and tutored students and subordinates along the way, and have developed a “feel” for how to make science interesting and engaging.
I have spent more than 30 years in professional positions in chemical R&D and product development. I have approximately 50 patents, and have presented at several large professional meetings. I love “the workings of things” – my chemistry is actually a very interesting combination of chemistry, physics and engineering – but I am a chemist first and foremost. My early choice to enter non-academic chemistry was driven by my personal need to build and invent. Now, I have 30+ years in that environment of innovation to pass on to students in chemistry education. There is so much more to chemistry than test tubes, equations, aromas and calculations – everything you are learning gains you entry into the field of “inventing, discovering and doing new things”. That field is a really interesting place to play!
I currently tutor students in High School, College Prep and AP Chemistry, as well as the occasional student in algebra. My hobbies are far flung – I have a “basement lab” and love to engage in product development and product improvement at home. I started my own company – SeeLeaf, Inc. – after I developed a poison ivy detection system. I enjoy sailing, SCUBA and swimming.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Boston College - Bachelor of Science, Chemistry
Graduate Degree: Indiana University-Bloomington - Doctor of Philosophy, Physical Chemistry
Sailing, SCUBA, swimming, photography, reading