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Spotlight Women in Science: Samina Azad

Name: Samina Azad

Title: Technical/R&D Manager

Degree: PhD in Chemistry

From her very first science class, Samina Azad found the sciences fascinating. “I had a great chemistry teacher and she explained some of the concepts in a way that was easy to understand and also very interesting.”

And while she was good at math, she found it a little dry. She felt the sciences were always a little more interesting. However, as she started to use her math skills to solve problems in the field of science, she realized that it all tied together. “I was lucky to have great science teachers in school and a few great chemistry professors at undergrad level. They were really good at teaching sciences and made the topics interesting.”

That experience encouraged her to get a graduate degree in chemistry and apply her skills in a business setting. “Some of my mentors motivated me to think about using chemistry to solve real-life technical problems and it inspired me to work in industry, rather than going to academia where the focus is more on basic research.”

Her first in the job was as a Senior Scientist for a major medical equipment manufacturer. “In that role, I worked on developing the next-gen sterilizer for medical devices, using hydrogen peroxide chemistry.”  She was part of a new product development team that developed concepts based on customer need. The team took the concept to launch, following a stage-gate process. The product was FDA-regulated so they had to follow the FDA 510(k) process before it was launched.  

And now, because of her technical background in materials chemistry, she is excited to be at FPP. “We work with a lot of different types of materials for a wide variety of applications. My goal is to continue to strengthen my understanding in the materials and processes we use today and develop the next-gen products that will address the customer need and also have a strong focus on sustainability.”

Samina is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and a volunteer career coach with ACS, giving her the opportunity to mentor women chemists at various levels of their career, from undergrad to graduate-level students.

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