With today’s blog, let’s get to know the employees of Teledyne Tekmar/Leeman Labs. The next person I would like to introduce you to is Sara Kennedy.
Sara is the Applications Chemist for Teledyne Leeman Labs. She is an expert in mercury analysis using the Quicktrace® and Hydra II product lines. She is responsible for the overlap between marketing and chemistry. Sara helps develop analytical methods for testing customer samples, provides technical input during sales calls, and provides guidance about all thing’s mercury analysis. Sara has been with Teledyne Leeman Labs for 3 years. She was previously the Quality Control Chemist for the Teledyne Leeman Labs product lines. She is also responsible for the Hydra II C catalyst production.
Let’s ask Sara some questions to get to know her better.
- What is your background and how did you get into the analytical chemistry field?
I went to Ohio University and I have a degree in Forensic Chemistry. I always loved chemistry, but I wasn’t sure what branch I would take once I got to college. I started out in analytical chemistry which was interesting but forensic chemistry had more exciting course work. I grew up watching CSI and reading Sherlock Holmes, so I love solving a good mystery.
- How did you start working at Teledyne Tekmar/Leeman Labs?
I felt very limited at my previous employer. There was no room for growth and the work was repetitive. I wanted to find somewhere I could see a whole process start to finish and be able to learn something new every day. I applied to Teledyne Leeman Labs as a Quality Control Chemist in 2019 and I have kept expanding my knowledge about mercury analysis ever since.
- What is a typical day like for you?
I get to work around 8 and have a cup of coffee. Check my emails and my calendar to see if I have any meetings or customer calls scheduled. I do a lap around the manufacturing floor to check what the builders have assembled and make sure production is running smoothly and give them any technical advice if manufacturing or QC needs guidance. Check on catalyst material levels and plan production accordingly. From there I’ll head to the applications lab and start up the units for the day. Once everything is up and running, I’ll make standards and prep samples that need to be analyzed. Depending on the USEPA method and sample type, sample preparation can take anywhere from 1-4 hours. While I wait for digests or the analysis to run, I spend some time at my desk writing up sample reports and technical notes, writing blogs, and emailing customers. Every day is different, so it requires good time management and task prioritization.
- Outside of work, what is it that you like to do?
Outside of work, I have number of hobbies. I have around 50 houseplants. I collect antique books and vintage Pyrex bakeware. The oldest book in my collection is from 1845. I also have a business creating art using pinned insect specimens like butterflies, beetles, and honeybees.
- Any pets at home?
We have 3 cats. Cooper: he is all white and always up to no good. He only has 3 teeth, but that won’t stop him from stealing your food and running behind the couch. He also begs to be brushed every morning. Mozzie: he is an orange tabby. He is Cooper’s brother, but they could not be more different. Mozzie is a super lazy cuddlier and lets you rub his belly. Watson: he is solid black and the annoying little brother. He likes to pick fights with the other cats, run around the house at full speed, and steal magnets from the refrigerator.
- What is one part of the job that you find rewarding? – That’s a tough one since there are many things I enjoy about my job. If I must pick one, I will say it’s helping customers get answers to their questions. Whether it’s helping them pick the right mercury system for their needs or providing them an optimized method for their mercury analysis, working hands on with customers is very rewarding.
In this series, I hope that every reader will be able to learn a little more about the employees they interact with here at Teledyne Tekmar/Leeman Labs. If you call for parts, support or sales we all have a story and we would like to share that story with you.
If you would like information on Teledyne Leeman Labs and the Mercury and ICP-OES products, please visit our website at www.teledyneleemanlabs.com or click the button below if you would like to contact us