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Techniques & Tools Mass Spectrometry, Spectroscopy, Chemical, Gas Chromatography

Keep On Innovating

The research-driven imperative to conduct innovative and instrument-focused new research could be viewed as ‘blue sky’ and possibly remote from reality. But industry should keep an eye on such research – and ideally engage with its proponents. Why? Because it maintains and encourages real-world applications informed by best-practice studies. For instance, the pace of introduction of new mass spectrometry techniques probably significantly exceeds the speed with which new – and validated – standard methods of analysis can be written, at least initially. However, in time, they may become the new industry standard.

University research, for example, in instrument development typically must be ‘discovery-focused’, where grant success requires a significant discovery component to the research program. Application of a newly reported technique to a specific chemical problem might be noteworthy, but this alone does not constitute instrumental technique development. In my view, innovation is also necessary for its own sake.

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About the Author

Philip Marriott

A life’s research dedicated to gas chromatography and mass spectrometry might seem either very narrow, or a bit ‘same-old’. But Philip Marriott will claim, “You can’t get too much of a good thing!” A PhD doing metal complexes by GC (LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia), postdoc on porphyrin analysis by GC (Bristol University, UK), first academic appointment (NUS, Singapore) studying dynamic interconversion in GC, then back to Australia, where over two academic appointments, his main GC interests now extend into multidimensional GC (classical MDGC and GC×GC), amongst other CE and HPLC work. “The opportunity to do both fundamental study, and working with industry applying advanced approaches to practical problems has kept the GC(-FID) flame well alight!” says Philip. The breadth of Philip’s applications extends to almost all areas of GC, evidenced by his group’s publications.

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