Nov 2015

November is upon us and the nights are drawing in ( I suppose at least we have Christmas to look forward to!).

We seem to go from not enough work to too much work in rather a short space of time. We are now definitely in the too much work mode. One of my jobs in the next week is to put an ad together for a new technician / chemist. I don’t really want APD to get too big but another pair of hands would really help getting through the work. It is interesting to think what we need for APD. At one end we could try to recruit a fresh graduate. Full of energy and with a sharp young mind. We could train them up , we could teach them about what we know ( resins composites etc., ) and they could get to grips with the software packages that we have but only use bits of and get the computers to talk to each other. Or at the other extreme we could get a semi retired chemist that could come in an help us with the analytical side of the business. As Brian is past retirement age and I was “retired” for 10 years we understand how some people actually enjoy working when they are  60+ years old.  So we  are not really ageist at APD, ( but I am a bit unsure of the 30-50 age range!). We will see what applicants we get and probably decide on the one who we get on with best, that normally works.

On the equipment front, in my plan to keep buying new kit that nobody at APD knows how to work- we have just purchased a SEM. This  is a benchtop instrument from Jeol. It is hopefully really simple to use and will help us learn more about the composites that we are working with. SEM’s are known for their great magnification, this one goes down to x70,000 but what is more important for us is the field of view that they give. Optical microscopy gives only a 2D slice of an object as it can only focus on a small section, but SEM’s because of their depth of field give in effect a 3D image and by using the zoom function one can get inside  into the image and explore things. With any luck it will  we will see lots of things that we didn’t know ere there and learn lots, and maybe solve some problems.

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