Doreen Clark

What was your position, and what did you do?
I am happily retired, enjoying travel, gardening and grandchildren after 30 years spent developing and managing my own analytical laboratory

How did you transition into this current role from a science degree?
I completed my PhD in 1964 at UNSW, studying the chemical structures of insect secretions followed by employment as a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Chemistry Department. As was usual in the 1960’s, I left my job when my son was born. Maternity leave had not been invented.  

With encouragement from family members, and in collaboration with colleagues, as a commercial venture, I developed a series of lectures and practical exercises teaching atomic absorption spectroscopy, gas chromatography, and other new instrumental techniques to industry. Shortly after, I set up a small laboratory, Analchem Bioasay Pty Ltd, which provided analytical services for mining exploration. The business expanded and diversified under my leadership over the next 30 years.

What has been your biggest challenge, career-wise?
Matching analytical chemistry and microbiological testing services to industry needs.

What achievement are you most proud of?
Developing and sustaining an enthusiastic and skilled staff. Contributing to professional life as President of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Vice-President of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and membership of government and university committees.

What advice would you give to students starting their science careers?
Anything is possible. Be alert for opportunities and follow them up. Being a scientist is wonderful.

~ Doreen was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1997 for services to science and to education ~

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