Chris Waddling

Field Application Scientist

Individual responsibilities

I provide product demonstrations for prospective customers. The demo process starts with a pre-demo technical call to understand what the customer is trying to achieve scientifically. Getting the instrument delivered and setup, I’m then able to demonstrate features and benefits tailored to each customer’s needs. Post-purchase, I provide application support for customers who wish to develop their processes further. Internal training and assisting my colleagues also plays a part in my role— this includes software and relevant scientific concepts.



Understanding a customer’s project and laboratory management needs; seeing issues in context and charting a clear path to the best solution.



I am part of a team of Field Applications Scientists (FAS). 

Our team of Field Applications Scientists is focused on our customer’s scientific projects from the very first interaction during the purchasing process. During this period, we provide instrument and software demonstrations which give scientists the opportunity to visualize how our technology fits with their workflows. The FAS team also assists with instrument installation, provides customized applications training and helps with experiment design and protocol optimization. We are also engaged in the ongoing scientific and technical support. 


Best parts of the job

I get to work with amazing customers and colleagues— scientists who are really making a difference in the world. I also enjoy seeing in action how crystallography fits into the broader picture of science. The best part is working with colleagues with background and insights that help me seem smarter than I actually am!


Professional Achievements

I have obtained several professional achievements in a number of roles over the years. As a student in graduate school, my greatest achievement was receiving multiple TA of the year awards. As manager of a core lab, it was setting up and running a state-of-the-art high-throughput crystallography facility from scratch and expanding our user base five-fold. As an Application Scientist, my greatest achievement so far is being part of a collaborative team both internally and externally which pushes the boundaries of scientific accomplishment.


Professional Ambitions

I’d like to continue to learn about different areas of science outside my field of study (crystallography) including, genomics, assay development and cryo-EM. I’d like to see my role in the company grow to include management responsibilities and to help in even more meaningful ways to chart its future direction.


More about Me

I chose science because I have a desire to understand the physical world around me in a rational, evidence-based way. Through hard-work, determination, failure, recalibration and ultimately success to achieve a modicum of that understanding, with the knowledge that there will always be scientific questions that need answering, is what drove my passion for science in the very beginning and is what continues to excite me today. 

Following my PhD studies in Chemistry at the University of Hawaii and a two-year protein crystallography post-doctorate at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, NY, I headed the crystallography facility in the Macromolecular Structure Group at the University of California in San Francisco for 17 years. Then, in the autumn of 2017, I joined SPT Labtech as the US West Coast Field Application Scientist.

Outside of work I have several hobbies including spending time with my family, cycling, gardening and cooking/baking.