University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Go to chemistry home page.

15th Annual Chemistry Graduate Student

Research Symposium

June 7th, 2016

University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota


James A. Jensen, Ph.D.
Director, Research & Development, St. Jude Medical

James "Jim" Jensen received bachelor degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where he conducted research in organometallic chemistry with Professor Wayne Gladfelter. He received his doctorate in chemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, under the direction of Professor Gregory Girolami, working on early transition metal complexes as models for olefin polymerization and chemical vapor deposition precursors.

Jensen has worked in industry throughout his professional career conducting and directing product development research in the areas of inorganic ceramic precursor polymers, ceramic materials, performance coatings, fluoropolymer composites, and medical devices at companies including Hercules Incorporated, Lanxide Corporation, and W.L. Gore & Associates. He has authored 17 journal articles and holds 23 U.S. patents.

Since 2005, Jensen has been at St. Jude Medical, where he is currently director of research and development for cardiac arrhythmia, vascular and structural heart products.

Lynn A. Swanson, Ph.D.
Retired, Director of Quality Assurance/Quality Control, CIMA Labs

Lynn Swanson, Ph.D., received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Minnesota and his doctorate from the University of Iowa under the direction of his mentor, Ronald T. Pflaum. His field of study was metal chelates synthesis and analysis.

In 1969, Swanson took a position as a research chemist with Commercial Solvents in Terre Haute, IN. A major part of his work was to develop methods for the analysis of pharmaceuticals in animal tissues at the parts-per million and parts-per billion levels. These methods were used to study the metabolism of the pharmaceuticals in the target animals and were part of their new animal drug application. This work earned Swanson the 1986 Special Achievement Award at what had then become known as IMC. He became director of analytical research at that company, now known as Pitman-Moore, bringing good laboratory practice/good manufacturing practice (GLP/GMP) into the company's culture.

With the dissolution of Pitman-Moore in 1993, Swanson moved to Fermenta Animal Health in Elwood, KS, as director of quality control. There, he again brought GLP into the company culture after rescuing the laboratory from a disastrous Missouri River flood of 1993. He received the Deck/Light Prism Award for his efforts.

In 1997, Swanson moved back home to take a position as director of QA/QC with CIMA Labs, in Eden Prairie, MN. GLP was a major issue, but he helped develop a tracking software that increased lab efficiency. Swanson retired in 2002.

Steven Tinker
Senior Vice President, Research & Development and Marketing, Gurtler Industries.

Steven Tinker has been with Gurtler Industries since 2002, and is currently its senior vice president of Research & Development and Marketing. Gurtler is a national manufacturer of institutional and industrial laundry detergents and processing chemicals. He has more than 40 years of experience in the professional laundry industry as a product development scientist and marketing executive. During his years with Gurtler and in his previous positions with Ecolab, he has developed and brought to market numerous institutional and industrial laundry detergents and specialty chemicals. At Gurtler, Tinker and his staff are responsible for new product development, corporate quality assurance, product maintenance, and customer technical service support. Gurtler is an ISO 9002 certified company, meeting International Organization for Standardization models for quality assurance in production, installation, and service—a status achieved through his leadership.

Tinker was previously the president of the American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA), a voluntary non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the appreciation of reusable textiles, and currently serves on the board. He is also one of the founding members of the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) and has served as the vice chairman of that organization. He was instrumental in authoring the initial standard published by HLAC for processing healthcare textiles. In 2006, HLAC began providing an inspection and accreditation process that recognizes those laundries seeking accreditation on a voluntary basis. It has become the largest accreditation body in the laundry industry.

Tinker holds one patent concerning a method for chlorhexidine gluconate stain removal from textiles. Over the years, he has been a key speaker at industry seminars and educational conferences. He has published numerous articles on a range of laundering technology issues in industry publications.

He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1975, with an emphasis in environmental chemistry.

Stephen M. Willging, Ph.D.
Global Technology Adviser, Global Technology and Innovation Group, H.B. Fuller

Dr. Stephen M. Willging is currently the Global Technology Advisor in the Global Technology and Innovation group of H. B. Fuller Company.

Stephen started his industrial career 34 years ago as a bench chemist in the Fine Chemicals group of Henkel Corporation. He joined H. B. Fuller 29 years ago, and has held various technical positions from bench chemist to lab manager to his current position. As Global Technology Advisor, Stephen is responsible for longer term new technology platform development. Stephen also spent 10 years in H. B. Fuller's sourcing group, where he was responsible for assessing the impact of upstream feedstock trends on the adhesive industry.

Stephen has a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry and a M.S. in Management of Technology from the University of Minnesota.


Evaluation Forms

  • Judges Evaluation Form (PDF)
  • Audience Evaluation Form (PDF)