Benjamin T. Manard
Research Associate, Analytical Chemist; Chemical Sciences Division; Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA
Challenges? Today, we are beginning to acquire data at a very high rate. A single sample or unknown can have informative characteristics regarding its chemical form, elemental and isotopic composition, morphology, and so on. How do we leverage and collate the information for a more holistic understanding of the sample(s)?
Secret to success? Mentors – hard working and assiduous mentors who are dedicated to analytical science. My mentors have really shaped my career, each instilling unique aspects of how to be a good analytical scientist. Some pushed thinking outside the box and problem solving, while others pushed the value of high-quality data.
Advice? Initiate collaborative efforts across disciplines. Analytical science is a critical necessity across all fields. Your career doesn't have to be a solo endeavor. Reach out to others not only in analytical chemistry, but in multiple areas of science for collaborations. That is one of the nice things about analytical science, it can be applied to everything.
Mission? To make measurements that haven't been previously made and to be creative with instrumentation to tackle challenging and complex problems.
Dream dinner party? My dream dinner party would consist of me slowly cooking delicious cuts of meat over clean-burning cherry wood fire. My family, friends, and colleagues would all be invited.