This week, we’d like to focus on Andreas Lutzen, a 44-year-old Danish national living in Hong Kong with his family. Andreas works for Hempel China Ltd, a marine and protective coatings company. Andreas has completed our 100-level general chemistry sequence and is currently taking CH 331 Organic Chemistry.
How did you find our chemistry program? Any advice for us that would have made that process easier for you?
Having had some success with online education before, I was looking for an opportunity to study chemistry while holding down a day job. Pending an extensive search, I found that only OSU could offer a well-functioning platform for online chemistry studies. To my knowledge, there is in fact not that much competition around in the area of university-level chemistry distance learning. Some institutions offer programs that I would characterize as “thin,” and others offer programs that are too demanding to be realistic if you have a job. OSU has struck the right balance in my view.
Please share your background so we can get to know you better—how did you end up where you are on this journey?
I work in the technical service department of Hempel, a major coatings supplier within the area of industrial and marine paints, and studying chemistry is the thing I need to take my understanding of things to the next level. That is, I already have certificates and experience in on-site coating inspection, factory audits and so on, but knowledge of the underlying science of the whole affair—chemistry—is still not part of my toolbox. This is something I wish to change.
To give you an idea of my work content: I will go and do coatings inspection for, say, the docking of a ship. That is, I help plan the application by making a paint specification and by ensuring the right quantities and qualities of paint are ordered. During the actual docking of the ship, I am on site agreeing with yard and ship-owners on a painting time-table, overseeing the actual application ensuring that climatic conditions are acceptable for painting, salt content of abrasive not too high, that the paint is properly mixed (stoichiometry) and so on and so forth. As you can see from this, chemistry is central to what we do in the coatings industry, and hence the things you teach at OSU are very valuable to me in getting a better and deeper understanding of my work.
What inspired you to choose the career path you are working towards?
I joined the coatings industry sort of by chance. I have never regretted ending up here, however. The drama of chemistry, different cultures (most projects are of an international nature) and commercial interest clashing, as they do in our industry, is intense. One might be stressed out and vexed from time to time, but work here is never boring! My goal is simply to become better at what I am doing, and the inspiration for that is pretty straightforward: Nothing beats being good at what you do. The joy that comes from being good at something lasts a lifetime; it cannot be taken away from you.
Do you have any advice for other online students?
You have to want this to succeed. Only personal interest and a good fit with career plans and goals are sufficient to power the sustained effort needed to be able to pull this through. On a personal level, I experience this right now, as I am struggling with organic chemistry, which is much harder than originally anticipated. I have already made up my mind to push on, even though temporary setbacks may come to visit. If you really want something, having to redo a course or two is no more than a bump on the road. On a practical level, my advice is this: Work the problems, work the problems, and work the problems. Chemistry cannot be read and memorized; it has to be worked to be understood.
What is next for you?
Maybe a job with the complaints-handling unit at our HQ. Having spent more than a decade in China and in the field, moving back to HQ in Europe would be a good next step. Needless to say knowledge of chemistry is going to be indispensable in that job.
Thank you Andreas for sharing your experience and insight with us! Good luck in the rest of your term and your professional endeavors!
Winner Barry Trost, Tamaki Professor of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University, and other organic chemists from around the globe, will speak Dec. 5 from 1 to 5 p.m. in The LaSells Stewart Center. Free reception and poster session following, 5-6 p.m. Banquet dinner at 6 p.m. ($30 full, $15 student). Visit oregon.site.acs.org for banquet and poster registration.
Noon, Nov. 19, Dec. 4, or Dec. 7 in LPSC 402 for a forum describing a 2016 OSU NSF NRT-IGE submittal. Learn how to become involved with this transformational STEM faculty/students OSU graduate education pilot to gain the vocabulary and tools to become innovators and inform your research with market and societal need. Lunch provided. Pre-register/learn more: http://nrtige.oregonstate.edu/signup. (OSU IP addresses only).
Do you know of a student, faculty or staff member who enriches our OSU community in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King?
Join us in acknowledging individuals who work to create inclusive communities and support diversity at OSU. We welcome nominations for recipients of our two community awards which are recognized yearly at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Breakfast in January. The two awards include:
· The Frances Dancy Hooks Award recognizes students, staff, or faculty who embody Frances Dancy Hooks’ work of building bridges across cultures, showing courage in promoting diversity, and “walking the talk” proudly;
· Phyllis S. Lee Award honors a member of the OSU community who exemplifies Dr. Lee’s commitment and dedication to social justice and the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are requesting that nominations be submitted by December 9th, 2015. To find out more information or to submit a nomination visit: Frances Dancy Hooks and Phyllis S. Lee Award Information and Nomination Page
OSU’s President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCOSW) is offering funds to cover registration costs for OSU Faculty, Staff, and Students to attend the 2016 Oregon Women in Higher Education (OWHE) conference in Bend, OR, Jan. 21-22, 2016. To apply, please complete the Application Form later than Monday, Nov. 30. Questions? Contact: Natalia Fernández email@example.com
STEM Academy AWSEM (Advocates for Women in Science, Engineering, and Math) Clubs for 6th-12th grade girls
Middle School Club meets Tuesdays, 5-6:30 pm, from Jan. 19–March 1 (no club Feb. 2).
High School Club meets Wednesdays, 5-6:30 p.m., from January 20–March 2 (no club Feb. 3).
Topics: Enzymes, Gels in Daily Life, Computing, 3-D Puzzle Engineering, Sports Medicine, and the Intersection of Art and Mathematics.
Undergraduate women studying science and engineering at OSU will lead and be mentors for the clubs.
What do 17 US presidents, 39 Supreme Court Justices, and over 130 Nobel laureates have in common with Jeff Bezos, Kerry Washington, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Peyton Manning?
They’re all members of Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious honor society in the liberal arts and sciences. A chapter of Phi Beta Kappa has just been established at OSU, and the first group of undergraduates will be invited to join this spring. Come learn more about PBK and how to qualify for membership from 5-6pm on Wednesday, Nov 18th, at Milam Auditorium.
First inductions into PBK will happen this spring — come to hear more, see friends, eat free pizza!
You can email any questions to UHC Associate Dean Tara Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
or Christopher Nichols at email@example.com