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Celebrating JMP Superusers: Mark Chahl, ExxonMobil Chemical

markchahl3.jpg"I have used JMP almost exclusively for DOE and analysis for the last 25 years," says Mark Chahl of ExxonMobil Chemical.

Mark Chahl, Engineering Associate, ExxonMobil Chemical
JMP user since 1994
Fun fact: Fluent in English, French, Dutch, Punjabi and currently working on mastering Spanish


What is your favorite feature in JMP?

JMP features are like my children: I love them all. But recently, I am in awe of Predictor Screening. It is great for manufacturing problem solving.

What was your first job (ever)?

I was a cook at McDonalds. The uniform pants didn’t have front pockets – so you couldn’t stand around with your hands in them. Due to this fact, the lesson we were taught was: “Time to lean? Time to clean.”

How did you get interested in chemical engineering?

I did a degree in chemistry and realized I really need to be an engineer instead. A great decision! Engineering had more hands-on, problem-solving work (and better job prospects)!

What was your first experience with statistical quality and process control?

In the summers of 1987 and 1988 I had the ultimate summer job for a young Canadian man: quality control at Labatt’s Brewery in my hometown of London, Ontario. Yes, I was working with beer and getting paid for it!

It was this summer job where I was first introduced to specifications, testing, SPC and SQC. I did a lot of testing of incoming materials, beer ready for bottling/canning, beer pasteurization, packaging quality. One of the tests I had to perform daily was bottle cap torque testing. A case of 24 bottles with twist-off caps would be taken off the line and put in a refrigerator for 24 hours. Then, using an inch-pound ranged torque wrench with a socket that fit the bottle cap, I would open each bottle, record the peak opening torque and chart it. Now the sad part of the story, the whole case of 24 was then dumped down the sink! It took some skill to grip the case in a way such that none of the bottles fell out.

What is your proudest professional moment?

Getting a patent for my work and convincing Exxon Mobil to try JMP! US Patent 5990256 was for a process that improved melt strength for making film. I did the math and convinced a few PhDs that my idea would work. It did!

What do you like most about the work you do?

I like it because it is technically challenging, and I get to teach and mentor others.

How are you currently using JMP?

Polymer manufacturing troubleshooting and improvement. We analyze time-series sensor data and product quality data.

What was the first project you worked on using JMP?

It’s been too long ago to remember, although I am certain the work on US Patent 5990256 was done with JMP. I have used JMP almost exclusively for DOE and analysis for the last 25 years.

vertical.pngIs there anything you would like to say to JMP development or John Sall?

We adopted JMP because of its product excellence and your customer care. Keep up the great work!

How do you see the field of data science/analytics progressing in the next 20-50 years?

More people will be doing it. I do hope that it becomes a required course for engineering undergraduates.