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Welcome to the Alumni Profile page. Here you will find alumni who are willing to assist students with learning more about industry and the abundance of careers available to Chemistry and Chemical Engineering students. If you are interested in reaching out to our alumni for informational interviews, please contact the Chemical Sciences Career Services office at 217-333-1051 or scheduling@scs.illinois.edu.

Parker J. Whiteway

BS, Chemistry

Current title and employer: Co-owner of Spinning J Bakery and Soda Fountain, Project Manger at GE Healthcare, Real Estate Investor

Current Role: I co-own a bakery/soda shop/cage with my wife. My role is mostly the business side of things…figuring out an inventory system, setting up an continuously improving our register system, accounting, and metrics. From day one we’ve been profitable and have been featured in numerous publications including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Travel & Leisure, and many more.

During the slow part of the week for the restaurant, I am still working part-time as a Project Manager for GE Healthcare. I’m responsible for a team of 12 and a budget of over $20MM. We’re building an automated production line that will make DaTscan – essentially an IV solution of radioactive cocaine-analogue that is used to diagnose Parkinson’s symptoms.

As a real estate investor, I basically buy and hold residential properties.

How does your SCS degree/experience help in this role:
“Got me in the door as a chemist early in my career. I really did not have much direction during school or afterwards, but it was immensely helpful to have a lot of job options that paid decently and had opportunities for advancement. My pharma career led to the financial stability to invest in real estate and open the restaurant.”

 

Deepak Balaji

BS 2014, Chemical Engineering

Current title and employer: Production Engineer, Archer Daniels Midland

Current role: I started as a Process Engineer in ADM Champaign then got a Full time job as a Production Engineer at ADM in Quincy, IL. I currently manage and optimize projects related in production, energy optimization and maintenance across an Oilseed Processing Plant.

How does your SCS degree/experience help in this role:
I would say the all encompassing aspects of subjects taken and challenging project environments thrown into have helped me work in my current job. I currently deal with all facets of the business from Operations to Marketing to Lab work to Managing etc. The Chemical Engineering Degree prepares this for you by challenging yourself in various areas.

 

Michael McMahon

PhD, Chemistry

Current title and employer: Associate Professor of Radiology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Current role: I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a research scientist in the F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Based on my background in Magnetic Resonance, my research group has been focused on the development of MRI technology to detect organic molecules and macromolecules using CEST imaging and exploiting this technology for monitoring therapy.

How does your SCS degree/experience help in this role:
I am a physical chemist with extensive experience in magnetic resonance including high resolution NMR and MRI. Throughout my time at Illinois, I have been interested in understanding how NMR properties (such as chemical shift, dipolar coupling constant, or chemical exchange rate) relate to structure, and learned how to carefully develop experiments that measure these properties and density functional theory, molecular mechanics or the Bloch equations to elucidate these relationships. I now exploit this for designing MRI contrast agents and methods to detect them.

 

Donald R. Anderson

BS, Chemistry

Current title and employer: President, Anderson and Associates

Current role: I am President of Anderson and Associates, a globally-focused consulting firm that assists advanced polymer firms create and  implement solutions-driven marketing strategies, innovate and commercialize breakthrough new materials and expand business internationally. Our clients include leading as well as start-up firms in the organosilicon, acrylic, fluorocarbon, nanotechnology-based thermoplastic filler, and advanced filler/copolymer spaces.

How does your SCS degree/experience help in this role:
My UIUC degree (Chemistry curriculum) was simply crucial to my career leading specialty chemical industry businesses and my current consulting company because of the technical strength of the program and the credibility to employers and clients of being from Illinois, which remains a top 10 Chemistry undergraduate program in the U.S.

 

Steven Schmid, BS 1975, Chemistry; MS 1977, Chemistry; MBA 1987

Current title and employer:  Retired from DSM Functional Materials

Current role: Employed 32+ years at DSM in the development of Ultraviolet Curable Protective Coatings for various substrates, especially for Optical Fiber. Directed R&D efforts of our division to satisfy the global market demands. Also directed activities in Product Management and Application Development.

How does your SCS degree/experience help in this role:
“My experience in the School of Chemical Sciences tested my resolve on being a chemist by providing a challenging learning environment. It provided me with a platform from which I was able to further my academic accomplishments, at other schools, and ultimately provided me with the attitude and insights to be successful in my professional career.”

 

Martin Wolk, PhD 1990, Chemistry

Current title and employer:  Lead Research Specialist, 3M

Current role: “Although my formal training is in Organic chemistry, my work at 3M has covered a wide spectrum of technologies including OLEDs, LEDs, illuminator design, micro- and nanopatterning techniques, laser thermal imaging, phosphors and phosphor patterning, and coating formulation. My strengths include being a fairly prolific inventor (75 issued US patents), having significant expertise on OLEDs (over 15 years experience) and LEDs, and my broad knowledge of applied materials technologies.”

How does your SCS degree/experience help in this role:
“My SCS experience gave me the tools that I need as a scientist to function in an industrial research environment. Critical thinking, breadth of scientific knowledge and understanding, and a passion for science are all required for a technical career. I have found these qualities to be much more important than any specific fact or learning.”

 

Lynn Hunsberger, BS 1985, Chemistry; PhD, Chemistry; JD

Current title and employer: Senior Intellectual Property Counsel, 3M Innovative Properties Company

Current role: I am currently division intellectual property (IP) counsel to the Critical and Chronic Care Solutions Division within 3M Company. As division counsel, I draft and prosecute patent applications, manage the Division patent portfolio, provide product clearance assessments, prepare IP transactions, support Division IP litigation, and provide client counseling.

How does your SCS degree/experience help in this role:
My technical background is a necessary and instrumental part of my job as a patent attorney. My SCS degree not only provided me with a strong technical background in chemistry, it provided me with the analytical skills necessary to learn new and challenging technologies over the course of my career, both within and outside of chemistry.