Meet our scientists

RSSL scientists give us a picture of how they got into their current career and advice for anyone looking to follow in their footsteps.

Video transcript


Gas chromatography and analytical science for the pharmaceutical industry and then I moved on into food analysis. In the flavour team at the beginning I was working mainly on Oreo biscuit um coco liquor chocolate, and then I went to the lipids team.


Calibration officer and archiving assistant. I use a technique known as mass spectrometry to help clients solve problems so that their products are as safe as can be for patients. I do lots of different work looking at unknown materials. So you're trying to work out what they are from their chemical and elemental composition.


I'm Maddie and I work as a trainee scientist at RSSL and so as a trainee i get to move around different departments whilst I'm also studying for my hnc.


I work in the pharmaceutical division looking at primarily at investigations so looking at unknown species in drug products.


I currently work in the functional ingredients department as a senior scientist however I previously was working in the pharmaceutical department.


I did a degree in chemistry at Birmingham so that was my stepping stone into I don't think you necessarily need to do a degree but i think it helps. I have worked in science or technical backgrounds ever since I left college.


I started working at Portsmouth polytechnic in the geology department many many many years ago and from there spent nearly 30 years working in the oil industry.


So for my a levels I did maths physics chemistry and biology and then after that I did an undergraduate degree in forensic science in south wales and then after that I went to the university of Warwick to do a PHD in mass spectrometry which is my specialism.

So I did a masters at the university of Southampton um and it had a year placement in which was a really good opportunity to get that sort of experience.

As a trainee i get to move around different departments whilst I'm also studying for my HNC and so that's two years and then i can then look to obtain a permanent role to then study for a full bachelor's degree

I like the variety i like the getting a call with a customer and them asking you uh you know they have a problem and you're trying to solve that problem off the top of your head

Being able to ask questions and there are no silly questions

I quite enjoy trying to solve complex problems and when I'm able to use the skills I've learned over many years it's quite enjoyable when I can go to a client and say this is what your problem was.

 I get to work on lots of different types of samples so from glass fragments that are found in food to marks on pharmaceutical tablets

I think it's just being able to be part of something that's bigger than just myself and i know that i'm playing a small part in what is a really important thing My favorite part of the job is probably looking at the investigations it's genuinely good fun to get the ms data look at it and try to interpret it and identify this unknown people the client has us asked us to identify.


Being involved in something the way you're you're giving back so whether that is more recently my job where it's both food and pharmaceutical products or in my previous role it's pharmaceuticals, where you're actually you're doing testing that is genuinely really important to get that product out to their end user seeing our teams deliver safe products to market creating beautiful tasting sugar-free products for example helping with managing allergens in the marketplace helping companies decide do they need to make a product recall or is it safe to go on the shelves



I think the advice I would give them, um, is to really think about what role that might be. There's so many roles in science that people might not necessarily know about so to do a bit of research. If they can get work experience that would be amazing, I know it's difficult though I think the first thing I'd say to them is if you're going to have a career in science make sure it's in an area that you're passionate about because this could be your career for many decades.


If you have one science and another subject say English or Maths whatever you can cover a lot of bases you don't have to do science at degree level but any science degree level you wish to do they're going to want an A level in a science. Don't be scared I think the role that you choose right at the beginning doesn't have to be forever um you are allowed to chop and change and try new things and there's no real time limit on that so don't be scared to take a leap and try something um and then see what happens.




Thinking of joining the team? Find out how to kickstart your science career with RSSL

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