In Her Element
Building a Career on a Passion for Science
Dr. Patricia McDaniel, Army Senior Technologist (ST) for Chemistry, DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center
April 20, 2022—4–5 p.m.
A career can fulfill your basic daily needs and pay your bills, or it can fulfill your soul and make you feel alive. Trish McDaniel did not have to choose – she found a career where passion and career advancement has been tightly intertwined, ultimately leading her to one of the most prestigious positions in science as the Army’s Senior Technologist for Chemistry. In this discussion we’ll talk with Dr. McDaniel about her journey – how did she get started, who helped her along the way, and what advice does she have to women at the beginning of the journey.
As an Army Senior Technologist, Dr. McDaniel serves in a general officer position and provides advice to Army leadership on science matters. Dr. McDaniel’s position is one of about 40 senior research scientist positions across the Army.
Dr. McDaniel also directs the Army-funded Basic Research and Innovation fundamental exploratory science programs, In-House Laboratory Independent Research, and Chemical Biological Materials & Manufacturing Science at CBC. Additionally, Dr. McDaniel is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Institute for Security Science and Technology at Imperial College London. Prior to joining CBC, Dr. McDaniel served as a program manager in the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO). In these roles, she spearheaded 50-60 technical projects along with more than 30 international collaborative efforts each year. Dr. McDaniel received a B.S. in chemistry from Kent State University, then began her technical career at NASA Langley as a Chemist, where she received her M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from Old Dominion University, developing air sampling technology for in-situ characterization of biomass burn smoke plumes; and a Ph.D. in Applied Science – Polymer Chemistry from William & Mary, synthesizing high performance polymers and adhesives for aerospace applications. She also held roles in other government agencies and served as an R&D manager in private industry.
This year, WID Mid-Atlantic’s “Wind Down With WID” webinar series will feature the stories of accomplished women in our local defense community. During these virtual one-hour interactive discussions, we will hear their perspectives on career building blocks, how gender impacts advancement, and their recommendations for other women to enjoy similar success.