Employee Spotlight: Athena Spencer, Scientist 1

Video Transcript

There are a few things that set an experienced custom water treatment blender like QualiChem apart from the rest: unparalleled support, best-in-class manufacturing, continuous development, and formulatory expertise. But the real difference starts at the foundation, with the people who work here and strive to deliver the best possible solution for our customers. Athena Spencer is no exception.

In April 2021, Athena Spencer will be celebrating 9 years with QualiChem Water Treatment. As Scientist 1, Athena operates as a development chemist in our new Research Center, which opened in 2020.

“When I came to QualiChem, I wanted to get out of the independent testing environment and into manufacturing,” says Athena. “I’ve always been drawn to the manufacturing environment since I had an internship with a chemical manufacturer in college.”

Athena leverages her degree in Chemistry from Carlow University and experience from working in an independent analytical laboratory to guide our research team’s day-to-day responsibilities. On any given day at the Research Center, you’ll find our team of scientists formulating water treatment products, conducting stability testing, developing test methods for quality control, and performing analytical analysis on field samples.

One of Athena’s major contributions to the Research Center has been her deep knowledge of analytical instrumentation. The new laboratory is host to spectrophotometers (UV-vis, infrared), chromatograph (gas, liquid, and ion), auto-titrators, and elemental analysis. With these pieces of equipment, Athena has developed various analytical methods used to test the wide variety of samples and formulations we work with at QualiChem Water Treatment. This testing is just one of the many ways we’re able to support our customers with troubleshooting in the field.

“Another project that stands out to me is bringing our Filming Amine products line to life at QualiChem,” she recalls. “That was a challenge because it leveraged different raw materials than we are used to working with and a new way of thinking in terms of water treatment.”

Outside of the lab, Athena enjoys Southwest Virginia by way of running and practicing yoga. As a runner, she’s also participated in Ultra Marathons and serves as the Council Director of a local non-profit called Girls on the Run Roanoke Valley, which is “dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldy pursue her dreams”.

“Girls on the Run Roanoke Valley is a program for girls from third through eighth grade,” she adds. “It focuses on social and emotional learning skills while creatively integrating running.”

After 9 years, Athena feels that she made the right choice to come to work for QualiChem. She felt like she fit in right away and has continued to enjoy the quality work-life balance that QualiChem offers.

“I really enjoy the people that I work with,” says Athena. “I feel like I’m making a difference and that my ideas are heard.”

Athena Spencer is just one of the many water treatment experts that take QualiChem Water Treatment a step above the rest. If your blender isn’t providing a foundation for success, talk to an expert at QualiChem, because we know the blender matters.