So Many Opportunities - Demystifying Career Paths for Early Career Spectroscopists



Thursday February 24 2022 at 11 am EST Working, or currently undertaking an education, in spectroscopy, but not sure what to do next? Looking for a new challenge? This webinar pulls together a group of spectroscopists that represent a wide variety of different career trajectories. Hear about traditional and alternative ways to apply your qualifications to something that excites you!

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Event Overview:

Are you wondering what career path to pursue once you finish your studies? Or considering switching from the path you have followed so far? Or just wondering what it’s like to work in different types of institutions or roles? Then this webinar is for you! The SAS Early Career Interest Group has gathered spectroscopists that represent a wide variety of different career trajectories to discuss their own personal career paths and experiences. This webinar includes spectroscopists representing careers in academia and government institutions, industry, including multi-national corporations, clinical trials management, business development, biotechnology, science communication, sales, and working abroad. Speakers will give a 5-7 minute presentation detailing their career so far followed by a panel discussion, and attendees will be able to pose questions to any of the panelists.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Discover the variety of career paths taken by those with analytical science backgrounds
  • Learn how to apply spectroscopy training to a role of your choice
  • The pros, cons, and benefits to working in each field and type of organization (academia, government, industry)

Who Should Attend:

  • Anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in spectroscopy, with or without education in the analytical sciences, and wondering how to choose and establish the right career path.
  • Anyone with a degree in analytical science or spectroscopy looking to leverage their spectroscopy or analytical chemistry training.
  • Anyone working in spectroscopy looking to expand or change their career path and looking for new challenges and opportunities to apply their spectroscopy qualifications.


Andrew Whitley
VP Global Business Development, HORIBA Scientific

Andrew received his Ph.D., in Chemistry, from the University of Durham, in the UK, under the supervision of Prof. Jack Yarwood. Andrew then entered into a career in scientific instrumentation and applications development. Starting first in sales with Bruker, during the peak of the FT-Raman instrument development. He then moved to Renishaw in 1993, as Raman product manager and helped establish their global presence in Raman microscopy during the dispersive Raman microscope renaissance. With Renishaw Andrew moved to the US in 1995, and established Raman as a critical tool for industrial applications, including pharma and for quality control of diamond like carbon coatings in the disk drive industry. Andrew then moved to HORIBA in 1999 as the US Raman product line manager. Andrew is currently the Vice President of global business development at HORIBA and is responsible for business, product and applications development in critical markets including life sciences and advanced materials. He is also the 2022 President of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy.

Sam Mabbott
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Texas A&M University

Sam received his MChem from theUniversity of Sheffield, UK, in 2008. He then earned his Doctorate from the University of Manchester, UK, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry (2012) under the supervision of Prof. Royston Goodacrewith a thesis titled,The Development of Surface-Enhanced Raman Strategies for the Analysis of a Variety of Chemical and Biological Systems. After completing his Ph.D., he moved to the University of Strathclyde, UK, in Glasgow as a Postdoctoral Research Associate under the guidance of Prof. Duncan Grahamand, Prof. Karen Faulds. Sam occupied the position at Strathclyde for 6 years before joining the faculty at Texas A&M Biomedical Engineering.

Laura Bush
Editorial Director, Spectroscopy & LCGC

Since November 2010, Laura Bush has been the editorial director of LCGC and Spectroscopy, two peer-reviewed publications that serve analytical chemists and spectroscopists working in a range of fields, such as environmental analysis, medical research, pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals, and food safety. Previously, Laura spent five years as the editor-in-chief of BioPharm International, and three years as managing editor of Pharmaceutical Technology. Before moving into technical publishing, Laura worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a project manager for the Asia Pacific Latin America region of Pharmacia Corporation, which is now part of Pfizer.

Rob Lascola
Senior Fellow Scientist, Savannah River National Laboratory

He has been at SRNL for 23 years, joining directly after completing my PhD in Analytical Chemistry at Wisconsin. His primary career focus has been the development and deployment of spectroscopic monitoring methods to support nuclear materials processing. The projects routinely involve cross-disciplinary collaboration including lab colleagues and facility customers, and he continually learned new skills to facilitate the work. He also has been an active member of his professional community, serving in national and local leadership positions in SAS, FACSS, and ACS. This volunteer work has been both professionally and personally rewarding.

Bridget A. O’Donnell
Manager of Raman Applications, HORIBA Scientific

Bridget O’Donnell is Manager of the Raman applications group at HORIBA Scientific, in Piscataway, NJ. At HORIBA Bridget manages a talented team of application scientists supporting customer analytical and research needs. Prior to her position as manager in the Raman Division, Bridget was an applications scientist with the Optical Spectroscopy Division at HORIBA Scientific, a components group that builds custom optical systems suited to researcher requirements. Bridget holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania where she studied weakly bound complexes relevant to chemical processes in the atmosphere.

John Bobiak
Materials Science Leader

John's career started with industrial post-doc position to advance hyperspectral imaging methods. For 11 years he worked on all-things PAT with a team of technical experts; his method development skills grew organically through multiple products leading up to commercial manufacturing. Since 2017 he has led teams that address raw material variability & its impact on commercial bioprocesses – this is a hot topic for spectroscopists, engineers, regulators and everyone in between. Knowing that people with diseases live better as a result of his work will always be the most rewarding aspect his career.

Tavis Ezell
Director of Business Development
ASRC Sensor Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) City University of New York (CUNY)

Tavis Ezell is a business development professional with 13 years of international experience working hand-in-hand with scientists and industry leaders to commercialize novel, next-generation technology. He manages a New York State funded program within City University of New York (CUNY), known as the ASRC Sensor Center for Advanced Technology (CAT), where he fosters partnerships between industry and CUNY’s 25 colleges, co-funding R&D and workforce development projects. In 2021, together with colleagues, he co-designed and taught a new course for PhD STEM students to learn skills in entrepreneurship, using their academic research and technology prototype ideas as market study for the course. Previously, he worked in industry with manufacturers of advanced analytical research instrumentation.

Jacob Trevino
Nanofabrication Facility Director, University of Pennsylvania Singh Center for Nanotechnology

Jacob is currently the Quattrone Nanofabrication Facility Director at the University of Pennsylvania Singh Center for Nanotechnology. He is also the Principal Scientist at Chemeleon, a Brooklyn, NY-based start-up company developing colorimetric chemical and biological sensors. He is also the founder of Nanotech NYC, an organization that aims to foster the continued growth of the nanotechnology community in the greater NYC area. Jacob has previously directed nanofabrication and shared instrument facilities at the CUNY Advanced Research Center and New York University.

Debbie Hooper
Lead Senior Project Manager

Debbie Hooper is a lead senior project manager at PPD where she manages the central laboratory for phase 1-3 clinical trials. Previously, Debbie spent 6 years at Pfizer where she completed an industrial PhD and worked as a senior scientist as part of the Pfizer global supply organisation.

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