Aug 08, 2023

VSU, CJB Industries collaborate on employee training initiative

Valdosta State University was recently asked to teach a team of five employees from CJB Industries Inc. how to better use high-performance liquid chromatography. Pictured are Victoria Maskule, analytical chemist with CJB Industries and VSU alumna; Dr. Yakov Woldman, professor in VSU's Department of Chemistry and Geosciences; and Charlie Bolin, quality manager at CJB Industries.

VALDOSTA — A team from CJB Industries Inc. recently returned to the classroom for three days of instruction on high-performance liquid chromatography.

Valdosta State University’s Dr. Yakov Woldman, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Geosciences, was asked to teach the chemical manufacturing industry employees — five total, including four Blazer Nation alumni — how to better use high-performance liquid chromatography in their roles with CJB Industries Inc.

An important analytical method, high-performance liquid chromatography is commonly used to separate and quantify components of liquid samples.

“It allows the user to discover any impurities and whether the sample is really what it is supposed to be, in quality and quantity,” Woldman explained. “The CJB Industries employees that I worked with use this method for analysis of their products. They know how to use the method on a practical level, but they sought out instruction because they were not so sure what to do if something goes wrong or how to make the analysis more efficient, for example, less time-consuming.

“We briefly discussed the theory of the technique and then spent three sessions in the laboratory working directly with the high-performance liquid chromatography instrumentation we have in the Department of Chemistry and Geosciences. The employees use similar instruments in their workplace.”

CJB Industries uses high-performance liquid chromatography to test 90 percent of the products it produces for its wide range of customers, shared Charlie Bolin, the company’s quality manager. Knowing how to use this analytical chemistry technique “is very important to all of us,” he added.

Bolin said that he is happy with the training the CJB Industries employees received at VSU, and he hopes “to be able to tweak it and do it some more” in the future.

“We enjoy seeing how our training immediately benefits local companies like CJB Industries,” noted Dr. Kurt Winkelmann, head of the Department of Chemistry and Geosciences with VSU’s College of Science and Mathematics. “An industrial lab can be a little different from our VSU research labs, so it’s interesting to learn about the real-world technical challenges that businesses face and help them solve those problems.”

Winkelmann said he would like to see VSU faculty, staff, and students continue to provide technical training and services to more industries across South Georgia.

This type of collaboration supports VSU’s efforts to positively impact regional progress. A thriving manufacturing sector has significant economic and even social impacts across the university’s 41-county service area, the university said.

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