From Pfizer to ACD/Labs, then PepsiCo and back to ACD/Labs, Andrew Anderson’s extensive work experience across different positions and fields makes him a great resource for career advice. Following part one and part two of our “5 Questions with Andrew Anderson” series, he shared a number of tips he has picked up during his time in the pharma, software and food & beverage industries.
If you’ve had the pleasure to meet Andrew Anderson, you would know that he’s quite passionate about his work at ACD/Labs. When I sat down with him earlier this month, he had a lot to say about innovation within both the industry and our company. In part one of our two part series, Andrew shared how his previous role at PepsiCo has influenced his work at ACD/labs. He also discussed what’s different about the company since his return late last year. Now, in the second part of our conversation, Andrew shares his thoughts on ACD/Labs’ greatest contributions as well as where he predicts—or hopes—the company and industry will be in the next five years. Enjoy!
Towards the end of 2015, Andrew Anderson rejoined ACD/Labs after an almost decade long hiatus to pursue roles at PepsiCo and Symyx. Upon his return, Andrew took the time to tell us a bit about his experience away from ACD/Labs and why he decided to come back.
In my past life, before ACD/Labs, I was an organic/medicinal chemist. I share this because it’s relevant to the topic. My first responsibility at ACD/Labs was to create materials to support our PhysChem product line. Many of the descriptors that made up the products I was charged with talking about—such as pKa, solubility, etc.—were first introduced to me by Mr. Jackson, my chemistry teacher in secondary school (high school). The others I learned about during my BSc and PhD—logP (from Lipinski’s rule-of-5), for example. I will confess, however, that when I was asked in my interview how I applied/considered logD values in my research I was completely stumped. What’s logD? I’d never heard of it!
The R&D industry has been evolving for decades to make the process of discovering new compounds and formulations in the laboratory easier and more effective. Today, innovative trends, focused predominantly around data and technology, encourage changes that aim to improve efficiencies across the industry. A couple of current trends we’re observing include open innovation (or externalization), as well as big data.
At ACD/Labs, we have spent two decades working with customer organizations to support effective analytical data management. While we are privy to the problems of our customers, we wondered how the wider R&D community has been addressing analytical data management and what challenges remained. With that in mind, we decided to conduct a survey last year to gather feedback from scientists (62% of survey respondents), managers, directors, and executives (26%), as well as IT and other professionals (12%) to better understand the R&D landscape.
Join us at PITTCON 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia, as we participate in a number of presentations, network with our fellow scientists and discuss upcoming mixture analysis capabilities on the ACD/Spectrus Platform.
Over the course of the last four months, we have been working with Scientific Computing to publish a series of articles on a subject that we feel very passionately about (and work very close with) at ACD/Labs – the externalization of scientific research and development (read the summary here). Essentially, we used this opportunity to address some key trends specific to this topic from various perspectives in the industry. Now that the series is complete, I wanted to give you an overview of the four articles to paint a broader picture of what we, and some of our customers and partners, are seeing today.