University of Portsmouth 2007 – 2011
First Class BSc (Hons) Applied Science
Wickham Laboratories, Pall Europe, Sauflon CL Ltd.
Favourite thing to do in my job: See germs grow and find out what they are
You dont have to go straight to uni – I didn’t and now I supervise testing cleaning/disinfectant liquids / toothpaste / water for germs
I never knew what I wanted to do when I left school so I took A levels in subjects which I enjoyed in a range of areas; history, spanish and human biology. At college, I was bored of studying and so decided not to go to university and went out to get a job. I got a job in a testing laboratory before moving to a bigger company. This bigger company paid for me to do my degree part time over 4 years – no student debt! Since then I have built my own laboratory and supervise 8 technicians.
I work in a microbiology laboratory which tests disinfectants to make sure they work properly by adding germs to them and seeing how long it takes for the item to kill the germs.
I also test things like toothpastes that come from the manufacturer to make sure they are germ free. These are also tested by adding germs to them because each time you take some toothpaste from the tube, it wipes along your toothbrush which has been in your mouth which is full of germs. I make sure that the germs get killed by special things in the toothpaste so it stays safe for use.
I recently got this job after working for a company that makes contact lenses – over a million a day!! The lenses needed to also be checked for germs to make sure they were safe to put into your eyes.
My Typical Day
I get in and greet everyone in the laboratory. Everyone has their own tasks to do and we get to test lots of different products and add germs to different things to see what happens. I also get to look at the dishes from testing a few days before and see what gooey smelly germs have grown, or have not grown!
What I'd do with the prize money
Get people interested in germs!
Too many people use disinfectants/sanitising gel too often and this is making germs resistant to these and antibiotics. The public have little idea about what testing goes in to making sure that the headache tablet they take/ toothpaste they use / contact lens they wear – will not make them sick.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Tenacious, Crazy, Fun
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Built my own laboratory
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Nobody, it was just something I enjoyed
Were you ever in trouble at school?
A couple of times :)
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
An emergency doctor
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Fish and Chips
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Piloted a glider