Paul R. Hemmes
A Personal History of Two Industrial Research Projects”
In this seminar two industrial research projects will be described. The first is a product development project to develop a quantitative, colorimetric assay for potassium in blood serum. Since colorimetric tests for potassium are rare, we had to develop new chemistry. Due to the medical significance of rather small changes in serum potassium, the precision of this test as measured by %CV had to be half that as any other test on the same platform. This required the use of new optimization methods to reduce variability This work was done at a large company. How and when resources were allocated to this project will be discussed. In this project, we developed a novel chemistry that was adaptable to all alkali and alkaline earth metals.
The second project was to understand how colloidal silver particles could form from electrochemically generated silver ions when there was no apparent reducing agent. This company had suffered major financial losses due to lack of understanding of their own process. This company was small but profitable. Striking differences exist between the way the two companies do research as will be discussed.