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Rheology Product SpecialistInstitution:
University of Mary Washington B.S. Physics 2014 (Minor in Environmental Sustainability)
Virginia Commonwealth University M.S. Physics 2016 (Focus/Research in Nano Science) under Massimo Bertino
The "product specialist" position has a large description. Day to day tasks can range widely. Some days are filled by using rheometers for testing a wide array of materials to determine their properties for 'concept testing' for clients or just for personal intrigue. Others days are used aiding other users in industry or academia nation wide in method development, data interpretation, or in the basic functionality of the instrument for newer rheologists. Commonly travel is needed for setting up an instrument with a new user, to hold training at user sites, or to give talks on rheology.
The last major portion of the job is the educational aspect. Teaching the basics of rheology to classes and individuals, as well as more complex rheology when there is a need.
The more you play around in other fields the more experience and skills you will have. All of that leads to more you will have to land that future job or graduate position. If you are still looking into college for the first time, talk the professors or instructors at universities and see if you are interested in what they do. If you reach out to them, odds are they will talk, and keep talking (they like talking about their work). You will learn a lot and probably make a friend that can help you on your way to becoming a physicist!
Dalton Echard is a Product Specialist for Anton Paar Rheology working in the fields of rheology, tribology and powder rheology. Dalton has experience in a wide array of industries and in materials characterization and provides both technical and application support to rheology instrument users throughout the United States. Dalton received his M.S. in Physics focusing in nano science from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Traveling around the country (and world!) learning and teaching rheology to all types of people. Rheology is not purely academic anymore and learning/teaching how it applies to different industries on site it truly an amazing experience. Meeting people from so many backgrounds is also a big plus. Further, having the ability to teach the science to a large variation of users is incredibly rewarding. Having situations where you are teaching rheology to basic users in industry and professors in academia in the same room is quite unique.Frustrations:
Travel while fun makes you want to be home sometimes. Not all glitz and glamour. Teaching rheology to non scientists can be difficult, but when done well can be the most rewarding. Also, talking with rheologists, who may have decades of experience, that know much more than you, asking for help can be a bit overwhelming.Challenges:
The need to learn a lot fast. Coming into this position I knew a lot of mechanical testing, but no traditional rheology. I needed to learn a lot. How to run the instrument, where rheology applies, and how to describe complex ideas simply. This topped with being in a new company with its own procedures was, and still is, quite the challenge.Advice:
Get hands on experience! There is not much pure physics out there anymore (hats off to those who do the heavy theoretical work), so learn instrumentation, engineering, and chemistry. The more you learn outside of physics the more you will see that physics has taught you that you, and the more you will see you know that you didn't know you knew!Job Sector: Highest Degree: