Alex Jurgens

The Vice-President and General Manager

Vice-President and General Manager of Sepracor Canada
Windsor, Nova Scotia

B.Sc. (Hons Chemistry), Dalhousie University, 1979
M.Sc. (Organic Chemistry), Dalhousie University, 1982
Ph.D. (Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy), University of Mississippi, 1989

Career Path
For two years after completing an M.Sc. degree, I worked as a Lab Technician at the National Research Council of Canada in Halifax: I studied the polysaccharide composition of marine algae. After completing a Ph.D. at the University of Mississippi I became an American Cyanamid Post Doctoral Fellow (1989-1991). I then worked with Lederle Laboratories (Pearl River, NY) as a Research Scientist in Chemical Process Research and Development. In 1995 I returned to Nova Scotia and became the Research and Development Manager with Seprachem (the Fine Chemicals division of Sepracor), in Windsor, and was promoted to the position of Director, Chemistry and Technical Services for Sepracor in 1997. I stayed with Sepracor in Windsor, becoming the Senior Director, Technical Services and Quality Control in 2000. I was promoted to the Executive Director, Technical Services and Quality Control in 2003, and then to my current position of Vice President and General Manager in 2006.

Chemistry in Action
My chemistry degrees enable me to use what I love doing to enjoy an exciting and rewarding career with limitless possibilities. I have been able follow a career path that has taken me from a bench chemistry position, where I had unlimited resources and freedom to pursue independent research ideas towards a goal, to a management position, firstly directing research and then presently directing a whole manufacturing site.

Last Words
Chemistry is a wonderful starting point for someone interested in a career in industry. After graduation there are endless possibilities in industries as varied as pharmaceutical, food, oil and even government research labs. Even within my own industry, there are possibilities to use a chemistry degree in many varied areas including medicinal chemistry, quality control, process research and development, quality assurance, outsourcing, legal, regulatory affairs, project management and these are only a few that are available! I know people that have done a Ph.D. in chemistry and then done a law degree or a medical degree or an MBA. All of these people then use their chemistry background in their new field of choice to become very specialized (and usually highly in demand!) in their areas.