Scott Quarmby


hailing from

Sarasota, FL

Undergraduate and graduate

Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Florida at Gainesville

B.S. in  Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida at Gainesville

Research Experience

My interest in electronics led me to electrical engineering where I focused on semiconductor processing.  I worked various jobs while an undergraduate including processing and characterizing wafers in the fab, incinerator research, and analyzing samples by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).  I became fascinated by analytical instruments.  One of my supervisors suggested I speak with Professor Richard Yost about researching mass spectrometry instrumentation in graduate school.  While in the Yost group, I spent three summers at Thermo Fisher Scientific in San Jose, CA learning from amazing scientists such as Jae Schwartz and John Syka.  After graduate school, I spent 26 years in R&D at Thermo Fisher Scientific in Austin, TX designing gas chromatography and liquid chromatography mass spectrometers.  Together with many innovative scientists and engineers, I have filed over 60 patents.  Sadly, the site in Austin, TX was closed in 2023.  I reflected on what I enjoyed most, innovative research and mentoring.  Having collaborated with Professor Coon over the years, his lab seemed like the perfect place to do what I love most. 

As Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning.  Curiosity has its own reason for existing…  It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.”  Starting as early as you can, find a lab and get involved in research.  The things you see and the people you meet will guide you to a fulfilling career.

Currently Working On

I work closely with Professor Coon on project priorities and research ideas.  As a technical lead, I help perform laboratory experiments, develop data processing tools, model with first principles, design instruments, and generate intellectual property.  I am currently involved in many projects including soft landing and antibody characterization. 

Earn your Ph.D. with us

The Coon Group is always on the lookout for new members.  Professor Coon accepts students from several UW-Madison doctoral programs including Chemistry, the Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB), and Cellular & Molecular Pathology.