When: Oct 27 2023 @ 10:00 AM
Where: Gilman 50

Bio: Jean Tom is the Executive Director of Development Engineering, Chemistry Process Development at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), where she has been leading a group of chemical engineers focused on development of chemical processes to synthesize small-molecule drug candidates for new therapeutics since joining BMS in 2006. Prior to joining BMS, Jean spent 19 years at Merck Research Laboratories. In her career, she has held positions overseeing process development, pilot plant operations and technology transfer, while contributing to new approaches to talent outreach, engagement, and development. She has had a role in 14 pharmaceutical products from Merck and BMS now in the market.

She received B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering Practice from MIT. After several years in industry, Jean returned to academia and received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Princeton University. Jean is active in the AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) as a Fellow and recipient of the AIChE Industrial Leadership Award (2018), and in the NAE (National Academy of Engineering) to which she was elected to in 2019. She was a founding board member of the Enabling Technologies Consortium (ETC), a consortium of 14 pharmaceutical companies working in the pre-competitive space for technology development. She contributes to the chemical engineering community through her service to ABET, external advisory committees for several departments, AICHE and NAE committees, and through STEM outreach programs.

Jean is retiring from industry at the end of 2023 and will become the Brenton Halsey Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chemical Engineering in January 2024 where she will focus on teaching Technical Leadership to senior engineering students.

Having spent her career mentoring and helping many engineers and scientists transition from being an individual contributor to a technical leader, Jean is excited to see how she can share these learnings to impact the next generation of engineers. Jean Tom is joining the University of Virginia as the Halsey Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chemical Engineering in the Spring 2024. She first became acquainted with UVA’s Department of Chemical Engineering when she visited in 2019 to give the Edward L. Paul Lecture. She is excited to teach ENGR4880, Technical and Business Leadership to senior engineering undergraduates and graduate students. Her goal in this course is to help prepare students to become effective technical leaders. Some of the topics she plans to cover include understanding communication styles, thinking strategically, setting expectations, decision-making, emotional intelligence, and career management. In addition to her role with ENGR4880, she will be excited to engage with the faculty and student groups in the department on research and technical topics.

Abstract:  Chemical engineers play a vital role in linking research in drug discovery to the production of medicines that can be accessed by patients worldwide. The roles for chemical engineers in the pharmaceutical industry span a wide range of modalities and therapies (small molecules, biologics, vaccines, cell/gene therapy) with opportunities in research & development, technology development, and manufacturing. This talk will provide insights for students as they enter the workforce on how to prepare for and think about the challenges in the early stages of their career.

Zoom website: https://wse.zoom.us/j/96732627764

Meeting ID: 967 3262 7764

10 – 11 am