Perfecting His Process – on the Ice or in the Lab

Ian Tomlinson

Ian Tomlinson Research Fellow, Dow Water & Process Solutions and Dow Microbial Control

From the Welsh Countryside to the Chemistry Lab

From curling to chemistry, following your passion is key.

Coming from a working class background in an industrial region of North Wales, Ian Tomlinson knew that going to college offered him the best chance of a better life.

He joined Dow in the U.S. with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry right after completing graduate school. Over the years, Ian’s research experience has covered a wide variety of fields, from contract manufacturing and biotechnology to pharmaceuticals and drug delivery and now membranes and microbial control.

One of the most exciting projects he worked on involved developing a new anti-nausea drug for surgical and cancer patients. During the drug development phase, Ian and his team confronted some challenges that required a change in the chemistry very late in the process. Ian and his team had to quickly solve and overcome numerous hurdles to meet impending deadlines, but the drug was eventually commercialized. Years later, Ian’s father-in-law ended up being treated with that very drug while he was battling cancer. “It was very satisfying to know that something I created was helping someone close to me,” Ian said.

Still Welcoming New Challenges

“The favorite part of my job is trying to solve difficult problems, especially process-related problems,” Ian said. “These projects always involve teams of researchers bringing their own expertise to the table. The challenge of taking the technology from the laboratory to commercial scale is always full of surprises. We’re almost like detectives, looking for clues in chemistry.”

Ian’s passion for challenges also carried over into his life outside of work. When he and his wife first moved to Midland, they took up the sport of curling as a fun way to pass the long winters. They still spend three to four nights a week at the curling center, determined to improve their throwing and sweeping skills.

From curling to chemistry, Ian says following your passion is key. “Today, as I work on the chemistry involved in membranes for water purification and biocides for food safety, I’m still fascinated by the process of finding solutions to big challenges. That’s why I advise young scientists to always challenge themselves, tackling the most difficult problems and learning completely new skills whenever possible,” Ian said. “When you follow your passion, you will be the most creative and happy in your work. Most of all, you’ll be excited and ready to take on the next challenge.”

Awards

Six Sigma Green Belt Project Leader Certification, 2008

Developmental Scientists Award, 1998

Global Core Technologies Scientists Award, 1996

Associations

Member of Royal Society of Chemistry

Member of the American Chemical Society

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Active Patent Applications

US 20140348937: Microcapsules

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US 20140199483: Composite polyamide membrane including trihydrocarbyl phosphate

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US 20130196893: Hard surface cleaners comprising low voc, low odor alkanolamines

US 20110028732: Nitrated hydrocarbons, derivatives and processes for their manufacture

US 2009/0227798: Novel processes for the preparation of (R)-a-(2,3-Dimethoxyphenyl)-1-[2-(4-fluorophenyl)ethyl]-4-piperidinemethanol

114 issued CRI reports

“Recent Advances in Low Energy Brackish Water Membranes”, Northwestern University, May 28, 2014

“Innovative solutions for Microbial Control”, U.C. Berkeley, November 9, 2013

“Recent Advances in Low Energy Brackish Water Membranes”, U.C. Berkeley, November 9, 2013

“Innovative solutions for Microbial Control”, Caltech, May 13,, 2013

“Recent Advances in Low Energy Brackish Water Membranes”, Caltech, May 13, 2013

“Enhancement of dissolution rates of poorly soluble drugs by production of stabilized nano-structured particles,” Nanomedicine, Commercializing Drug Discovery, Delivery and Diagnostics Conference, SRI Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2005

“Enhancement of dissolution rates of poorly soluble drugs by production of stabilized nano-structured particles,” Nanotechnology for Drug Delivery (Barnett Conferences), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2004

David B. Gorman, Ian A. Tomlinson, “Iron (III) 2-ethylohexanoate as a novel, stereoselective hetero-Diels-Alder catalyst, Chemical Communications, 1998

Timothy Burkholder, Stephen Horgan, Mark Webster, David Wenstrup, Edward Daugs, Russell McConnell and Ian Tomlinson, “Process development of MDL 105,212,” Poster at 216th, ACS National Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, 1998

I.A. Tomlinson, M. LaPack, K.Bell, S. Gupta, J. Pauls and D. O’Shaughnessey, “Process safety considerations for borane reductions,” Midwest Pharmaceutical Process Chemistry Consortium, Searle, 1996

R.B. Appell, I.A. Tomlinson, I. Hill, “New reagents for the reductive quenchrus or ozonolysis reactions,” 34th National Symposium, June 1995, and later published in Synthesis Communication, 25 (22), 3589-95, 1995

“Dolasetron mesylate: Evolution of a process,” Midwest Pharmaceutical Process Chemistry Consortium 1994, Abbot Laboratories, 1994

Dow Bucknell Lecture, “Radioimmunotherapy – A magic bullet?” 1989