Scientist 2, ChemImage Sensor Systems
What qualities or skills are important for this career? Problem solving and being able to think and act outside your comfort zone, being able to accept new ideas and learn something new every day keeps me happy and thriving.
What are your favorite aspects of your job? Helping build new instruments that keep people safe. I love being able to go home every night and feel good about what I'm doing.
What are the most difficult aspects of your work? Figuring out why we might not be getting the best results, or why we aren't getting the proper detection on whatever we're looking at that day. Research definitely has its ups and downs, but overall it's extremely rewarding.
What has surprised you about your career? Is it what you imagined it would be? The best surprise about my new career is the laid back environment at ChemImage. I had no idea what to expect coming into a research environment that wasn't grad school, but so far it's not that different, other than actually getting a pay check (which is great.) Also, having a Masters in a building full of Ph.D's was intimidating at first, but my thoughts and ideas are just as valued as the Chief Scientists.
Was there a particular person or event that influenced your career choice? My research adviser from graduate school. I loved chemistry but had no clue what I wanted to do with it until I worked in his lab. I've always been mechanically inclined and he taught me to apply it to analytical chemistry and new instrument development.
Do you have any special skills or hidden talents? I can rebuild any type of engine. Lawnmower, boat, car, you name it, I've rebuilt it. And they even run afterwards!
Bio: Denise Moon received both her B.A. and M.S. in Chemistry from UNCW. She wanted to be a car mechanic growing up, but now she is a Scientist at ChemImage Sensor Systems. ChemImage develops new instruments for drug and explosive detection. Currently, she is working on making drug samples. She helps to figure out how to get the best results when it comes to proper detection. Denise also helps to build new instruments that keep people safe. She works with different forensic scientists, analytical chemists, engineers, computer scientists, and biomedical scientists in her day to day routine. She spends the majority of her time working in the laboratory, but also will spend some time in the office as well.