Chutian Zhang

What is your current position, and what do you do?
I am the Vice General Manager of Shanghai Science Biotechnology, a manufacturer of dietary supplements and APIs in China. I am responsible for company strategy and planning, staff management, and overseas sales. I also take charge of evaluation of lab results, and development of new projects. The company has recently set up its distribution in the US and I will spend more time overseas for business purposes.

What made you decide not to pursue/to leave research?
I would not think I had completely left research. Industry also relies on research, new developments and new technology. What we are doing in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries has been greatly improved during the last decade, not only the way of considering organic synthesis, also the way of treating waste, and controlling potential pollution.

How have you used the skills/knowledge that you acquired, from studying chemistry, in your current role?
Knowledge of chemistry is fundamental in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, no matter which position you hold: management of routine production, cost control, quality control, quality assurance, planning and development of new projects, staff training, and even purchasing and sales. My PhD study at UNSW helps give me a better picture and overall understanding of good manufacturing practice regulation, which is compulsorily followed in the pharmaceutical industry, and I do enjoy my work.

What are your interests outside of work?
Gym. I have started to spend considerable time at the gym since late last year, and the return is enormous. I also had a dog and a couple of cats. Frequent travelling keeps me from having pets again, but I love pets.  

What advice would you give to students starting their science careers?
A science career requires passion, curiosity, skills and lots of hard work. Science can also combine with many other professions and create great roles.

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