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Award-Winning Alumnus Shares Analytical Insight


Writer(s): Steve Scherer


Alumnus Shane Tichy, R&D LC/MS Single and Triple Quadrupole Manager at Agilent Technologies in Santa Clara, visited the West Lafayette campus to talk “Redefining the Tandem Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer” at a recent analytical seminar.

In 2017, he was named The Analytical Scientist Top Ten Inventor. And the magazine named the Agilent Ultivo Triple Quadrupole LC/MS system together with the Agilent 1260 Infinity II Prime LC and Agilent Captiva Enhanced Matrix Removal—Lipid technology on its list of the top 15 innovations.

Tichy, who earned his Ph.D. in 2001 under the direction of Professor Hilkka Kenttämaa, says one of his best memories at Purdue was when he struggled for weeks to obtain a signal on a Tandem Flowing Afterglow Guided Ion Beam Apparatus, recommissioned from Professor Bob Squires’ laboratory.

“In an effort to identify the problem component, I designed a residual gas analyzer to test each mechanical assembly – the detector, Q2, collision cell and Q1 – sequentially starting from the back of the instrument,” Tichy explained.

He found on the brand new component that the first quadrupole (Q1) assembly wasn’t functioning correctly. After taking apart and rebuilding the quadrupole, he discovered the Brubaker prefilter was assembled to the quad with a screw of the wrong dimensions, causing the quadrupole to fault as it warmed up.

“I learned a critical skill as a graduate student at Purdue. When faced with head-on challenges, don’t quit!” he said.