Collaboration in the Laboratory

Posted on by George Kemper

I just came upon a blog on Benchfly.com that asked the question How Scientist Really get Trained?  They asked the readers to select from a list of resources including classes, journals, bosses, and lab mates/ colleagues. With 72% of the popular vote it was lab mates/ colleagues followed by: the internet 44%, PI/Boss 41%, journals 38%, product manuals 20%, classes 15%, textbooks 12%, conferences 10% and finally seminars with a popular vote of 5%. The results of this poll are parallel to what I have observed in my own profession as an Architect. We call this type of learning “collaborative learning” – the grouping of peers for the purpose of achieving a learning objective where the success of the learning is the responsibility of those peers.  This poll can be corroborated by a recent survey by R&D magazine  and also in our own…

Hypothesis: Architects and Scientists Have a lot in Common

Posted on by George Kemper

Growing up in a house with a research chemist and designing laboratories for the last 15 years I have observed firsthand that  we share many similarities in what we do and our process.    I guess that my initial predisposition to the above hypothesis starts with a belief that architecture is the marriage between artistry and science.  Architects are trained to manipulate and coordinate materials and technology to creatively design space that is informed by people.  Scientists are trained to symmetrically study and acquire knowledge which leads to solving a problem. I’m not blind to the differences but I feel we share many similarities. So what makes us similar? Vision:  whether it’s designing a building or developing a new compound that will be the active ingredient in the next wonder drug.  Architects and Scientists start with a vision, an abstract idea and develop it into something tangible. Creativity: both solve problems…

Social Dynamics in People at Work | Part 2

Posted on by Brady Mick

Social Dynamics Project Approach: Groups of people at work rarely benefit from a lack of social dynamics.  In general, people strive to perform their functions well with others.  Yet, inevitably, changes in the internal dynamics of a team occur.  As well, the outside forces of business apply change pressures to the dynamics of a group.  Groups at work often require the expertise of an extended team to deliver the process and results.  Often the complexity of the system exceeds the ability of an individual to effectively manage the increasing quantity of work.  BHDP has created and implemented a three part approach to building strong social dynamics in a group at work. Part One – Process Mapping: BHDP implements a three part process designed to visually illustrate the functional work dynamics of the work process.  The first part of the exercise begins with the core team. …

Social Dynamics in People at Work | Part 1

Posted on by Brady Mick

Understanding People and Process Resulting in Design of Place Over the next few blog entries, Brady will be discussing how individuals interact with others and their environment at work and how this affects the planning behind design of space. How do we choose a place to work?  What drives us to join and stay with a company?  It is a complex answer that stems from functional, emotional, physical and social aspects of being a human being at work.  The balance needed to maintain a positive value proposition between an individual and an organization is in constant flux.  Likely the most complex issue that a company should be concerned about is the social dynamics of the work created.  The science of social dynamics is the study of the ability of a group of people who are in relation with each other to react to inner and outer changes.  This mathematically inspired…

AIHA Wish list for 2011 and 2012

Posted on by George Kemper

Today I was reading the EHS today (Environmental, Health and Safety) for December and read that the American Institute of Hygiene Associations, AIHA, Unveils Top EHS Public Policy Issues for 2011-2012 based upon a member survey.  The top issues for 2011 and 2012: Updating Permissible Exposure Limits (PELS):  Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)/Globally Harmonized System (GHS) OSHA Reform and NIOSH Recognition Laboratory Accreditation (only 250 labs qualify now) Three of these perked my interest to expand upon. Updating Permissible Exposure Limits (PELS):  Since these are consensus based limits and are the basic tool that EH&S to protect workers; it floored me that some of these limits have not been updated since 1960.  The bright side is that OSHA has developed an internal group to discuss this very issue.  Material Safety Sheets (MSDS):  The AIHA is supporting the adoption of the globally harmonized system…