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Chemistry

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March 07, 2013
Dan Himmelberger ’05 is a senior chemist at Dow.

Where did you land after earning your Ph.D. in chemistry?

Working in Dow’s Technical Service and Development division, I’m developing next-generation adhesives and other functional materials, particularly for the health field.

What inspired you to pursue doctoral studies in chemistry?

As soon as I discovered my love for chemistry at WAC, I knew it would be a lifelong pursuit, and I wanted to learn as much as I could. That meant continuing my education at the University of Pennsylvania and finding a job at a research-centered company.

What greatest satisfaction do you find in your work?

Discovery and surprise are two of my favorite moments, and they can happen daily. The fact that there is always something more to know, something no one else knows, is a big incentive. The other facet of my job entails leading project teams to use good scientific analysis to drive projects to a successful conclusion, which is always gratifying.

How well did WAC prepare you for this role?

I would say there were two key aspects that helped shape me and prepare me for what I do today. The first is certainly the dedicated and passionate professors I had in chemistry.  Without their contagious excitement for chemistry I would be a political scientist instead.  The second is the wide variety of classes and experiences I had at WAC. Being able to major in chemistry and history, as well as minor in philosophy, really gave me the open mind to see other people’s point of view and have an “outside the box” approach to problem solving.

What college reading changed your life?

Reading Kant in my philosophy of science class.

Who was your college mentor?

I think the entire chemistry faculty was a mentor to me, at one time or another.

What is your favorite college memory?

My favorite memory that can be published would be scoring a try playing rugby.

What class, if any, most inspired you to follow your career path?

Green Chemistry with Professor Anne Marteel-Parrish.

What skills did you acquire that turned out to be relevant?

I had many research opportunities teaching various wet bench skills, which made me more confident entering graduate school.

Were you the beneficiary of scholarship aid?

Yes, I received an academic merit scholarship.

Why is it important to give back to Washington College?

Investing in the future with your time or money is one of the smartest and most gratifying decisions someone can make, and giving to WAC is exactly that—investing in the future.  Also because I do!


Last modified on Mar. 11th, 2013 at 11:05am by Marcia Landskroener.