James Walter, a chemical scientist for FMC Agricultural Products, defies the stereotype.
is interesting, witty and has one of those refreshing laughs that make people smile.
and Bob Albright love working in the lab.
As for being gawky ... once upon a time in the early 1980s, Walter
played basketball at the University of Virginia
, an Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse at the time.
But, yes, Walter
, a Ph.D. and director of project management for FMC Agricultural Products
, is a bit geeky.
But what's wrong with that?
"Geeks have become part of the upper echelon in a lot of ways," the 56-year-old Walter
says, not intending to sound assuming because he's
But, like Walter
enjoys the good things in life, like fine Italian food and old Bruce Springsteen records.
and Albright work out of FMC's
campus in Ewing, N.J. Albright is from the area and was educated at nearby universities, including Drexel and Temple
Walter grew up in Virginia and has a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Virginia.
He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Like a lot of working people, James
and Albright have concerns about their profession.
For instance, Walter
is concerned that increasing environmental regulations could price potential new chemistries out of the market.
Ideas aren't in short supply, but they must be analyzed and prioritized for their potential value, Walter
"We have a very organized stage gate process for monitoring projects as they go through the development process," he
"A big part of the stage gate process is to throw out the ideas that aren't going to work as early as possible so we don't waste a lot of time and effort working on them."
and Albright are constantly fielding their share of curveballs during the research and development process.
will continue to give climate change a lot of thought as it pertains to product development.
ideas won't necessarily come from racking his
brain in the laboratory.
He's a scientist, but he garners his best ideas like a lot of people do.