Staff Highlight: Earl Ashcraft

Getting to Know the Staff of UVA Chemistry

Compiled and edited for clarity by Hannah Musgrove

Earl Ashcraft

What is your position and how long have you worked at UVA?

“Instructional and Research Chemical Instrument Technician, for 5 years at UVA.”

What do you enjoy about working in UVA Chemistry?

I like the wide variety of work I do on a day-to-day basis.  One day I am a chemist, one day I'm a field service engineer, and another day I'm a consultant.  I enjoy doing method development work for grad students and faculty to help them with their research or teaching lab experiments.  The most enjoyable work is maintaining or fixing a valuable piece of equipment, avoiding a costly service call.”

What is a piece of advice that you would like to pass on to UVA students?

“After you graduate, you probably won't be doing the exact same thing you did in grad school.  Make sure you don't specialize in something in which there is no job market for that skill.  Learn as many analysis techniques as possible so that job recruiters see you have a broad skill set and can adapt to their needs for the position.” 

What activities do you enjoy outside of work?

“Running and lifting weights.  Before having kids, I also used to brew beer.”