Steven P. Kaul
B.S. Natural Sciences: Biochemistry, 2007
Associate Manufacturing Chemist, Sigma-Aldrich
Sigma-Aldrich, located in St. Louis, MO, is a world-class chemical manufacturing company operating in 35 countries with over 6,800 employees. Facilities are located around the globe and include Madison, Milwaukee, and Sheboygan Falls of Wisconsin. Sigma-Aldrich prides itself on being a role model and leading life science and high technology company. Employees take great pride in the products they produce, from bench top to industrial scales, within a high quality environment with outstanding Quality Assurance Systems in place. The 180,000 products offered by Sigma-Aldrich are used in a wide variety of domains from scientific research, to biotechnology, to key components in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and industries regularly utilize Sigma-Aldrich’s products.
I proudly work in one of Sigma-Aldrich’s production facilities in St. Louis. My primary responsibility as a production chemist is to manufacture proteins and enzymes from natural sources for sale to customers worldwide. A few of the many techniques utilized in such manufacturing procedures include: fermentation, extraction, low- and high-pressure column chromatography, centrifugation, diafiltration, and numerous analytical procedures. While the scale is drastically different, most of what I learned at the UW-Madison is integral on the job. Safety and quality are also foremost concerns that are unique to the industry setting. Some of the more notable products my group directly produces are Proteinase K, Pepstatin A, Collagenase, and Superoxide Dismutase from microbial sources.
The UW-Madison provided me with an outstanding educational background to join and quickly succeed at Sigma-Aldrich. Each day I go to work I find myself utilizing the skills and knowledge learned in the classroom. Perhaps the greatest “asset” I obtained was through my internship with Sigma-Aldrich during my junior year. The internship provided me with invaluable hands on experience in an industry setting that allowed me to easily integrate from an academic setting into a corporate culture upon graduation. Both Sigma-Aldrich and I benefited from that internship. The project yielded outstanding benefits for the company, Sigma-Aldrich was able to see how I worked as an effective employee within its culture, and I was ultimately offered a full-time position upon graduation, which I eagerly accepted!
Living and working in St. Louis is outstanding. The city has much to offer, and not just Anheuser-Busch products. There are numerous parks spread out among the city (Forest Park is tremendous); countless sporting clubs to participate in; professional football, baseball, and hockey teams to cheer on; and a one-of-a-kind culture. The Gateway to the West is a great place to live, work, and grow.
Missing the Badgers’ games is hard, but I have found comfort with the St. Louis chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association. Whether meeting to watch the game on the big screen, competing in a Big10 alumni blood drive challenge, or squaring off against Marquette alumni on the Kickball diamond, St. Louis is just as much fun, with a hint of Madison in the mix!
To check out potential careers at Sigma-Aldrich, visit the Career Section of the Sigma Aldrich Website.