Long time no see! I went to Philadelphia the PittCon2019 last week, and presented some of our work as an invited speaker (thanks to Dr. Imma Ferrer of CU Boulder). This is my first time at PittCon, and it’s a great experience. I have met some friends, and got to know some new people (some I have heard for a long time). Here are some photos and thoughts that I want to share:



  • One of my strong feeling is that I am still an environmental chemist instead of analytical chemist, although I have been trained well to have the skillset: the interests in environmental pollution is the major drive. I only have the enthusiasm for some specific goals.
  • Regulatory and governmental agencies are getting into the HRMS based non-target field (EPA, FDA, NIST).
  • For HRMS based studies, industry (at least pharma) is far behind environmental analysis, in terms of tools and understanding.
  • The big markets are biopharma, clinical, etc. Environmental is indeed a small industry, or you can say, we are against industry.
  • Portable instruments: there are already portable mass spectrometer weighs about 20 lbs, and seems the most needs are in clinical side. I wonder what would be the best use for these in environmental science? In addition, there’s a benchtop NMR which I found interesting. It was said to use NdFeB magnet so that it could be made very small.
  • Small gadgets can be useful, if they are accurate enough (magnetic stir bar reporting temp and rotation speed, blue tooth pH meters)
  • Automation is also going on in this field… but seems slow (if really started from 90s, why still not widespread)
  • Seems the presentations from academia and government agencies are more interesting than the industrial ones (you cannot have money and fun at the same time, I guess)
  • I would buy a orbitrap ID-X if I am a PI with enough money


Since my wife is in NYC, we have the chance to reunite at Philadelphia. We have visited several historical places of Philly, and I went to see the famous Rocky Barboa statue. As my wife is going to start her computer science online program in UPenn, we also visited UPenn and Drexel. In general, Philadelphia feels like a great city.

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