Diverse Careers in Technology
Professional Analytical Chemists in Industry Course

A Short Course in Problem Solving created by scientists of The Procter & Gamble Company

A Short Course in Problem Solving created by scientists of The Procter & Gamble Company


This course educates undergraduate students about careers as analytical chemists in industry. Students are made aware of the different roles of the industrial analytical chemist. These include scientific consultant, methods developer, and problem solver. The course focuses extensively on the latter role, utilizing real problems solved at P&G.

Students can use the skills they have developed in their undergraduate courses for this problem solving, and will come away with additional skills. The entire course, especially the problem solving, is structured for extensive participation and interaction. The various degrees of formal training that are needed to perform these different jobs are also discussed.

Students come away with a better understanding of careers as analytical chemists in industry. The course is presented in half- and full-day versions.


This course is targeted for third-year undergraduate students who have had some exposure to instrumental analysis. Senior-level students can also profit greatly from the course and it has also drawn favorable responses from sophomore-level students, high school chemistry teachers, graduate students, college faculty, and analytical chemists already in industry.

Students who have not made any firm career decisions may find this course helpful in their decision-making process.

Student Reaction

"The information presented did not meet my expectations because I expected another boring chemistry meeting and not a thorough and informative course."

"The Problem Solving in Industry course helped develop my mind set and ability to think about and solve real-world industrial problems."

"The information presented met and surpassed my expectation."

"I enjoyed your presentation and it helped persuade me to study analytical chemistry..."

"The Problem Solving in Industry course helped develop my mind set and ability to think about and solve real-world industrial problems. I never would have done as well as I did on the interview without having had the P&G course."

The course inspired me to pursue a career as an analytical chemist in industry.

Faculty Reaction

"You gave us an excellent insight into the day-by-day activities of an analytical chemist in industry. You gave us a real feel for the challenge and excitement involved in your jobs." — E. Silversmith, Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD)

"On reflection, as well as the result of student comments, the program was even more spectacular than it appeared at first glance. One student said that the course crystallized all the concepts she had learned in the beginning analytical course.... I will exercise professional prerogative and give the presentation an A+." — T. Williams, College of Wooster (Ohio)

Course Outline
  • Introduction
  • Roles of the Analytical Chemist
  • The Bulging Drum Problem
  • An Approach to Problem Solving
  • Problem-Solving Exercises
At least three different real P&G problems are typically discussed. In addition to the above listed items, there are formal and informal discussion periods.

For additional information, see Journal of Chemical Education, 68(5), 383-384 (1991) and Chemical & Engineering News, 77(19), 39 (May 10, 1999), which describe the course in more detail.

Upcoming Course Offerings

October 1, 2012*
SCIEX 2012 (formerly FACSS) (http://www.scixconference.org/)
Kansas City, MO

November 13, 2012*
Eastern Analytical Symposium (www.eas.org)
Somerset, NJ

March 18, 2013*
PITTCON (www.pittcon.org)
Philadelphia, PA

* tentative and dates subject to change
For further information, contact the host organization or haynes.jl@pg.com.

Watch this page for updates as new dates are added.

Course instructors are drawn from P&G Company scientists.

Course Text
Recent students of the Course can download the text by clicking the link below. (Note: it is only valid for a limited time.)

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The Professional Analytical Chemists in Industry Short Course is sponsored by the Procter & Gamble Company and the organization hosting each presentation. The opinions expressed in the course are those of the instructors and not necessarily those of The Procter & Gamble Company.