Debra Gale: Council of Early Career Engineers

Award Year
Graduation Year
Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering

Debra Gale utilizes her engineering skills to develop products and solutions that help Thermo Fisher Scientific customers advance life sciences research and make new scientific discoveries. Gale leads a global, cross-functional team with the purpose of developing the next generation of the Qubit Fluorometer — a device that enables customers to accurately measure DNA, RNA, and protein quantities in biological samples. She is involved in every phase of the product development process: user experience, software design, hardware testing, manufacturing, and customer support.

Mentors have been fundamental throughout Gale’s education and career. She credits her Ph.D. advisor, Gregory Rorrer, a professor of chemical engineering at Oregon State, with giving her many leadership opportunities, ranging from mentoring interns to managing an instrument facility. “I really appreciate the people who have helped and encouraged me,” Gale said. “I value the guidance I have received from my mentors.”

Early on, Gale has also mentored others through community outreach activities. While attending the University of Utah she was a counselor for “Expanding Your Horizons” and “Girls Engineering Abilities Realized.” The goal of these programs is to give girls early exposure to science and engineering fields. She continued her outreach activities at Oregon State by mentoring young females in the Summer Experience in Science and Engineering for Youth, the Oregon Academy of Science, and the Johnson Scholar Programs.

Today, she is a Girl Scout leader for her five-year-old daughter’s troop. Gale is motivated by Thermo Fisher Scientific’s mission of making the world healthier, cleaner, and safer. “We are the world leaders in serving science and we’re on the cutting edge of life science technology and research,” she said. “This is madepossible by talented and innovative colleagues that are motivated to solve complex, real-world problems. We are passionate about taking these challenges on as a social responsibility.”


  • Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2012