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bemanos

about instrumentation making

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hi iam a chemistry student and i was wondering , who actually designs and builds chemical instruments? Chemists or chemical engineers ? We do have some courses about instrumental methods ,and chemical instruments in general(how they work ,schematics etc) and we also have electronics ,math and programming courses.But later on as a graduate could i do some research or perhaps work in a company that builds chemical instruments?

I have asked this in yahoo answers also but i didnt get a definitive answer so maybe you know!

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Chemical engineers do not in general build instruments, they build or operate chemical plant and factories.

 

All instruments are based on some scientific principle, usually physics or chemistry so a chemist or physicist will normally be part of the team that develops and manufactures chemical instrumentation and there are many companies in the field. The team will normally comprise experts from various disciplines.

 

You will need to be strong in analytical and physical chemistry and possibly chemical microbiology for this career, rather than the cookery side.

 

It is also good that your course teaches the other subjects you mentioned. It is important for one team expert to be able to have an understanding of what another needs and is talkng about.

 

go well

Edited by studiot

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I would say that, generally, chemists use chemistry equipment and chemical engineers (of the two choices you gave) are more likely (and able) to at least assemble equipment, if not design/invent them.

 

But there are no hard and fast rules. For example, the Beckman-Coulter company was formed by two guys, Beckman and Coulter. Beckman was the chemist who invented the electrical pH meter. Coulter was an engineer who discovered the Coulter principle and invented the Coulter counter.

Edited by ewmon

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Instruments are very often developed by users. Including user companies. Especially innovative instruments. Not just in chemistry.

 

It seems that knowing the use, or the need, is more important than knowing how to fulfil it.

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I suspect that a lot of new kit these days is designed more by electronic engineers and programmers than by chemists.

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Depends on a lot factors, including complexity of the device and the underlying principles. Fundamentals are often established by analytical chemists and specialized areas of physics. They often do proof of principle work and papers. Engineers generally tend to pop up only in rather specialized areas (e.g. microelectromechanical systems) and often expand on those principles. Often not in the same depth (though obviously it really depends on the research focus of the respective groups) as analytical people, however.

 

Engineers tend to play a much bigger role in the commercialization of these products, i.e. turning proof of principle or very base prototypes into a product that other people actually may want to use. This is generally done with application specialists that include, depending on the system, analytic chemists and/or bioanalytic experts. Software, unfortunately, tends to be slapped on the systems. Often it is an engineer tasked with building a workable driver with something like Labview and a slapped-on GUI with 60s aesthetics.

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ok most of your answers lead me to this conclusion; that is is indeed possible to make chemical instruments as a chemist(espiessialy as analytical chemist)

-Thanks!smile.png

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I suspect that a lot of new kit these days is designed more by electronic engineers and programmers than by chemists.

 

 

I suspect that a lot of new kit these days is designed more by electronic engineers and programmers than by chemists.

 

Fun, because not only chemists have this thought. It's even more obvious when reading the doc: no description of capabilities, no explanation for use, only a list of menu actions - with zero introduction nor a single synthetic paragraph, according to programmers' habits.

 

And guess what, even electronic engineers say "again a programmer's design".

 

ok most of your answers lead me to this conclusion; that is is indeed possible to make chemical instruments as a chemist(espiessialy as analytical chemist)

-Thanks!smile.png

 

Sure! But beyond that...

- You need a broad technical background to develop anything

- The diplomas define just a small part of one's knowledge and capabilities

- Having used varied instruments, preferibly in different labs with different goals and working habits, matters most.

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