Thom Opal is the Laboratory Safety Specialist at Bakar Labs, coordinating safety programs including chemical and biological safety, hazardous waste, fire and life safety, emergency response and planning, building evacuations, and programs for other hazardous operations involving radioactive materials, engineered nanomaterials, toxic gas, lasers, electrical systems, etc.
Thom earned his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley’s Botany Department in 1986, and he has held a number of laboratory research positions over his 35-year career at UC Berkeley. He has been formally employed in the EH&S field for 25 of those years. From beginnings as the Campus Chemical Safety Specialist, Thom branched out into the full spectrum of laboratory and facility safety services when he joined QB3 in 2007. Since 2009 he has pioneered coordination of laboratory safety services in partnership with private entrepreneurial startup businesses in the QB3 Garage, QB3 East Bay Innovation Center, and as a consultant to campuses in the University of California.