Christopher Nilsen is an educator, engineer, and inventor with an unwavering passion for chemistry. Chris began his chemistry career as a child with a chemistry set in his basement, mixing various solutions together, all the while being curious as to why the colors changed, smells formed, or (mild) explosions occurred. As time passed, Chris formalized his interest, graduating from Columbia University with a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry.
Chris joined Bristol-Myers Squibb Company where he worked as a chemical engineer in their Process Research and Development Group designing chemical processes to produce oncology, cardiovascular, and virology drug candidates for First-In-Human clinical trials. Among other accomplishments, Chris was part of a team that brought a drug candidate from its discovery to human trials in less than one year. Several of these compounds have been commercialized. Chris continued his career at Johnson & Johnson in their Research and Early Development Group, working on drug candidates in asthma, oncology, and metabolic disorders leading to four U.S. Patents and various international patents. This has led Chris to give talks on his work at national and international chemical engineering conferences on topics such as polymorphs and crystal engineering.
Chris has always had a passion for learning, and since the 10th grade he has thought about sharing that passion by becoming a teacher. After a decade in the industry, he made the career transition to teaching chemistry and has loved it ever since. The students he teaches and tutors score a five on the AP Chemistry exam three times more frequently than the national average. His chemistry set is now the high school chemistry lab where he engages young minds on how our world works at the microscopic and macroscopic level.