Al Ribes, Core R&D Global Learning Leader, Dow
Al has a PhD in chemistry and is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt. He started his Dow career in Analytical Sciences R&D, developed expertise in polymer characterization, and contributed to the startup of a quality control lab in Argentina. Al moved into a Six Sigma role in 2000 to strengthen his project leadership and problem-solving skills and drove improvements in manufacturing, R&D, maintenance, purchasing, commercial, and Environment, Health & Safety work processes. He has also served as a senior operational excellence consultant for Supply Chain and for Human Resources.
He is currently in the role of Core R&D Global Learning Leader, responsible for developing Dow’s Digital R&D Academy and the change management and communication aspects of Dow’s Digital Material Science program. Al has worked for Dow for 30 years and is located in the Netherlands.
Al is an ACS Fellow, and currently a member of ACS’ Committee on Chemical Safety.
What is the one essential piece of personal tech you always travel with?
My iPhone 12 – It keeps me connected with work and with the world. It helps me capture memories with its camera.
Window or aisle?
Emergency exit or bulkhead aisle
Where would your dream business trip take you? What appeals to you about this destination?
Shanghai - Chinese gardens, art, and culture.
How do you pass the time while flying?
On transcontinental flights, reading, eating, watching movies, eating, occasionally working if needed, eating, sleeping, and eating before offboarding.
Favorite ACS meeting site?
Washington, DC. I love the Smithsonian, the world-class restaurants, and Shenandoah National Park.
What do you do to alleviate jet lag?
Flying westward across the Atlantic, arriving early evening, stay awake until regular sleep time on the new time zone. Traveling east, arriving at lunch time, take a refreshing nap at home upon arrival.
Was there a business trip you have taken that went particularly badly? What happened?
After one hour in the air, the flight had to turn around and go back to destination because of an engine malfunction.
Your best business travel tip for readers of ACS Industry Matters?
If checking luggage, bring with you a carry-on bag or backpack where you include a change of clothes which have been vacuum-packed in a plastic bag (i.e., removing the air so that the volume of the clothes is minimized) in case your checked luggage gets lost or you miss a flight connection and do not arrive to your destination on the same day.
This article has been edited for length and clarity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of their employer or the American Chemical Society.