2018 Symposium Committee


Kurt Vogler

Hello, I’m Kurt Vkurtogler and I am starting my sixth year as a member of the MCF Symposium Committee.  I also work for Shimadzu as the sales rep covering Minnesota and the Dakotas.  Born and raised in the Chicago area I received a bachelor’s in Chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1997.  I cut my teeth on HPLC and GC while working for Monsanto before being hired by Shimadzu where I have been for over ten years now.  I also have been part owner of a pizzeria and a winery along the way.  Currently I live in the great city of Golden Valley with my new wife Ana, son Vlad, and dogs, Little Jerry Seinfeld and Lily.  I like to travel to exotic locations like Korea, Japan, England, France, Ireland, and…Oxford, Mississippi where I saw Ole Miss beat BAMA two years ago!  College Gameday was there and I got my picture with the Washington State University flag (upper left corner, you have watch Gameday to understand).  Obviously I love football and Seinfeld but also great food and beer.  Bar La Grassa and Surly Furious are my local favorites.  Other interests are the Green Bay Packers (greatest franchise in sport despite what Raj Bhandari thinks), Crossfit, movies, and non-fiction.  Cheers!



Kris Murphykris

The name is Kris Murphy.  I’m a Field Service Engineer for Agilent Technologies and I’ve been part of the MCF Symposium Committee for the last three years.  I’m also a gun nut from North Dakota.  Though my name begins with “K”, I am in fact a dude – I’ll prove it to you.  I’m also exceptionally tall (6’8”) and excel at all things nerd including D&D and PC gaming.  I also have a tattoo of Nonane on my back.  When I’m not at Valspar fixing Rachel Loeber’s Q-TOF, I can be found chasing a toddler and an infant around my house while my wife is off playing with gorillas at Como Zoo.




Will J. Backe

Will J. Backe is a Research Scientist at the Minnesota Department of Health where he is the lead chemist for the Public Health Laboratory’s Contaminants of Emerging Concern program. The goal of that program is to expand the analytical capabilities of the Public Health Laboratory to emerging contaminants for which analytical methods are not readily available or where existing methods do not meet the needs of program partners. Backe has Ph.D. from Oregon State University in environmental analytical chemistry with a minor in toxicology. Prior to receiving his doctorate, Backe worked as a support chemist for the EPA’s Mid-Continent Ecology Division Laboratory and received a B.S. and a B.A. in Environmental Science and Chemistry, respectively, from Bemidji State University. Backe’s research focuses on novel analytical method development as a tool to help understand how contaminants of emerging concern impact environmental and human health.