Exploring the world of radiopharmaceuticals

Hi, my name is Ollie, and I am currently in my first year of sixth form studying maths, physics and product design a-levels, and would like to pursue a career in mechanical engineering. Recently, I completed a one-week work experience placement at Scitech. For me, this fantastic experience not only helped develop my knowledge in specific areas (e.g. radiopharmaceuticals and radiation) to assist me in my current studies, but also provided an insight into future career options and the workplace.

Meeting the team

Upon arrival, I was greeted by HR Advisor Joanna Finch. I was shown around the office and introduced to many smiling faces, including heads of departments, and managing director Dave Grant. For the week, I was assigned to the Mechanical Engineering Department, working closely with Senior Mechanical Engineer Malcolm Hart. Throughout the week, I completed a project on radiopharmaceuticals and radioisotopes which I presented to several people at the end of the week. I collected information from various sources including past projects of Scitech, allowing me to meet and engage with people from various backgrounds, with specific skill sets and experience.

In addition to the project work, I was given the opportunity to meet members of the various departments, such as architects, process engineers and mechanical engineers. During these introductions I was able to ask questions and develop my knowledge in areas I had not explored prior to the week. These introductions were an amazing part of my work experience and the most useful to aid me in the future.

Virtual tour of radiopharma project site

One of the most memorable moments was a video call with Mechanical Engineering Team Leader Lewis White. As Lewis was working on a project on site in Europe at the time of my placement, I was unable to meet with him, so I was introduced over video call. During this call I was given a virtual tour around the facility, filled with hot cells (containment boxes for radioactive material) and various equipment. This was one of my favourite parts, as I was able to see the equipment I had been researching for the past few days and meet a team of people producing it 1000km away.

It was an interesting and very enjoyable week. Going into the week I was hoping to gain knowledge on mechanical engineering and the workplace. Reflecting on my week, this placement provided me with everything I had hoped for and more. Not only did it meet my expectations but additionally aided me in my current studies, as well as provided information about other disciplines.

Thank you to Scitech for this work experience opportunity, and to everyone involved who accommodated me for the week and provided support and advice to allow me to make the most out of my placement.

Spotlight on Emma Dawas, HR Director

In the six years since HR Director Emma Dawas joined Scitech, she has made it her mission to enhance the workplace culture to attract and retain exceptional talent. Her steadfast belief is that a thriving company requires a positive and inclusive work environment that fosters collaboration, creativity, and employee well-being. Here Emma sheds light on how Scitech collectively prioritises these aspects and the initiatives that are contributing to success.

Emma is clear in her belief that HR is not responsible for a company’s culture, yet it has been her team’s mission to ensure that Scitech is a supportive and positive workplace. In pursuit of this vision, Emma has overseen several new initiatives designed to help colleagues across the organisation, from introducing a support and networking group for women to EDI plans, well-being initiatives, and an in-house graduate programme to develop the talent of junior team members.

The importance of listening

Yet Emma is keen to point out that, while HR instigated and developed many of the initiatives, they very quickly became owned and run by employee groups. “Our role as an HR department requires listening to our colleagues and responding to their needs,” Emma explains. “We have formal mechanisms for internal feedback and to gather ideas, such as our staff survey and through our employee forums. But many of our ideas also come from just listening, the water cooler moments where someone makes a comment and sparks an idea.

“For example, our Women at Scitech group was created during the Covid-19 pandemic we realised that a new female employee could potentially feel isolated working on her own from home in a male-dominated team. We set up virtual calls to bring our female colleagues together from across our offices to provide mutual support during what was a difficult time for everyone.”

The Women in Scitech Group collectively decide the focus and what issues they would like to tackle. Topics are varied and include women’s health, menopause, attracting women to engineering and construction careers, improving working life for women, unconscious bias in the workplace and gender bias in recruitment.

Emma adds: “Together, the Women at Scitech group has also tackled subjects such as how we ensure its female staff have access to women’s toilets on its construction sites and making sure there is appropriate PPE and workwear clothing for women rather than smaller versions of men’s clothing, which never really fit correctly.”

Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace

When considering new ideas, Emma explains that she isn’t just introducing initiatives to please her colleagues. She must carefully weigh the strategic implications. “Ultimately, we’re running a business, and any changes we introduce have to align with our commercial objectives.

“So, the work we are doing on equality, diversity, and inclusion is clearly driven by a desire to do the right thing, but it’s not just that. We know it will make our organization a more diverse and inclusive workplace. It creates a better culture, and it is a positive culture that drives high performance.”

Emma and her team are aware that younger generations hold a greater desire for flexible and remote work arrangements, they demand a higher quality of life with a solid work-life balance and priority on mental health, and they want to work for a company that shares similar values regarding ethics, social causes and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Emma says: “Companies won’t survive if they can’t attract younger staff, so we know this is something we have to get right. We are working hard to ensure that we remain attractive to graduates and that, once they join, we offer a clear career progression path.”

In-house graduate training

Scitech has recently launched its in-house graduate training programme, Xcellerate, which is aimed at recent graduates and trainees from all areas of the company. It provides a comprehensive programme designed to equip participants with the necessary personal, technical, and behavioural skills to tackle the industry’s biggest challenges.

“We also make sure that every employee at Scitech has their own personal development plan that is designed to help them progress on their chosen career path. This could include supporting colleagues to achieve Chartership or an appropriate professional qualification.”

Emma has recently completed her Institute of Leadership and Management Level 7 Executive Coaching and Mentoring qualification, however, she is aware that not everyone wants to continue to study.

“We know that not everyone wants to strive for promotion,” she explains. “So we also include other ways for staff to achieve personal growth and development so that when they come to work, they feel fulfilled.”

Supporting the health and wellbeing of employees

Some of the opportunities available at Scitech include getting involved with various forums or developing new initiatives. For example, the well-being forum has been behind many of the initiatives designed to support the health and well-being of Scitech employees. “Through the well-being forum, we have introduced mental-health first-aiders who can signpost support to those in need. It’s becoming less of an issue now, but part of this initiative is to challenge the stigma around mental health and to make it clear that if someone is struggling for whatever reason, then we will help them – that it’s ok to not be ok and we will support them in whatever way appropriate.”

Summing up her approach, Emma says: “The key to the success of these groups lies in collaboration, joint accountability, and collective responsibility. Relying on one person or a specific team to drive initiatives hinders innovation and entrepreneurial thinking. This is embedded in our roots as an Employee-Owned organisation. We all have a stake in Scitech’s success and so we are all in it together. Collectively, we can ensure we succeed.”

To learn more about Scitech browse our web pages.

Spotlight on Lauren Wilkinson, Design Engineering Manager

In our latest Spotlight feature, we delve into the career of Lauren Wilkinson following her ascent from graduate engineer to Design and Engineering Manager – a role in which she oversees and leads Scitech’s Design and Engineering Team. Join us as we explore Lauren’s path to becoming a leader committed to supporting Scitech’s clients to overcome the complexities and challenges often associated with capital projects.

Looking back, Lauren attributes her career choice in part to the positive influence of her father, a chemical engineer who exposed her to possible career opportunities. “From a very young age I took an interest in engineering,” Lauren explains. “I was just naturally intrigued and found science and maths very easy. So it was quite an obvious career choice.”

She was passionate about the practical application of math and science, stating: “I never really enjoyed the theoretical side, I wanted to do something that made a real difference in practice.” This led her to a graduate role at GSK, where she spent several years, gaining valuable insights into capital projects and hands-on experience working on manufacturing equipment.

When Lauren found herself looking for new challenges and the opportunity to progress her career further, her search led her to Scitech. “I had spent 7 years at GSK and had gained a lot of experience, but I wanted to continue to stretch myself. Scitech offered a fantastic opportunity, as it enabled me to work on different client projects that each had different challenges and requirements. Professionally, it provided the variety and opportunity for growth that I craved.”

The Path to Design Engineering Manager

In her 8 years with Scitech, Lauren has gradually taken on more responsibility, and with it, secured several promotions – most recently into her current role as Design Engineering Manager. Lauren’s trajectory reflects Scitech’s commitment to nurturing internal talent and providing comprehensive on-the-job training.

“Scitech always tries to promote internally first,” Lauren explains. “Right from your development review within the company, managers will be thinking about your career trajectory, supporting you with on-the-job training and exposing you to expertise within the company so that you can gain more experience.

“Over time, you have the opportunity to take on more responsibility, if that is your ambition. You are also able to shadow colleagues and work with people in other departments, which helps to broaden skills within the team.”

Lauren benefitted from Scitech’s mentoring scheme and was supported to grow into her roles. “I have to admit that I didn’t always feel ready to take on more responsibility,” she reveals. “However, my line manager Nicky Hale always pushed me to stretch myself, and I’m glad she did. She seemed to recognise when I was ready to step up before I was, and she was always right.

“My mentor, Dan Newell (Scitech’s Commercial Director), was always there to turn to for advice and support. He was fantastic as he had followed a similar career progression within Scitech. Sometimes it is beneficial to talk to someone outside of your team to get different perspectives.”

Leading Complex Capital Projects

Throughout her time at Scitech, Lauren has played a pivotal role in numerous high-value projects. Notably, she led the process design for a significant project in Ireland. She was tasked with increasing production capacity on the existing site by adding a new production line.

Lauren successfully led the process design of the project to completion, installing a new Grade C Compounding Suite and automated vial filling line and freeze dryers contained in a Grade B cleanroom with associated Grade D / unclassified support spaces. She went on to successfully lead many other projects. As Design Lead she successfully doubled production capacity at another facility, leading the project through multiple phases.

“This was the first large project in which I was the overall Design Lead. It was challenging as the available space was limited and we were unable to shut the site while work was being carried out. As a result, we designed the project so that works were carried out in a series of sub-phases to minimise disruption and downtime to ongoing production in adjacent areas.”

Reflecting on her experiences, she explains that her favourite projects involve starting from a blank piece of paper, illustrating her passion for bringing innovation to life and supporting clients’ visions.

“Our clients are scientific experts at the forefront of drug discovery. It’s fascinating to be part of these projects and to help them scale new pharmaceuticals into something that can be manufactured and ultimately change people’s lives for the better. We get to learn about some innovative science – there’s always something new to learn and challenges to solve.”

Lauren is now focusing on supporting her team and helping the more junior members to progress their careers within Scitech while also delivering the very best service to Scitech’s growing number of clients.

● To find out more about career opportunities at Scitech, visit our careers pages.

● Learn more about life at Scitech by reading our previous Spotlight features:

A day in the life of the HR department at Scitech

Hi, my name is Eve Taylor, and I am a second-year Criminology student at the University of Bath. As someone eager to explore a career in HR after completing my degree, I was determined to gain a deeper understanding of this vital role. So, I reached out to Scitech, and I’m thrilled to share with you the experiences from my insight day.

Introduction to the day

I was warmly welcomed by Emma, HR Manager (pictured) and her colleagues Joanna and Vicky who made me feel comfortable and engaged from the very beginning. They were clearly passionate about their work and eager to give me insight into HR at Scitech.

The team individually ran me through different aspects that would typically be dealt with by the Human Resource Department. Emma provided me with an overview of the day-to-day experiences of HR within a small-medium company like Scitech. One of the fundamental roles I discovered from Joanna was HR’s responsibility to monitor, review, and support the staff whether it’s during the onboarding process for new employees or throughout their career at Scitech. The HR touchpoints outlined by the team gave me a greater understanding into the impact the department has on the company and the responsibilities held by an HR professional.

A glimpse into recruitment

One of the highlights of my day was a detailed explanation from Vicky who explained the recruitment process at Scitech. I was taken through the recruitment journey, from job advertising and headhunting to interviews and final employment decisions. I learned about the different tools that were used to help make the process more efficient and effective. This knowledge will undoubtedly be invaluable as I continue to explore a potential career in HR.

Dynamic nature of HR

My day in the department taught me that a Human Resources job is constantly changing, and how they must adapt to the evolving needs of both the company and the world at large. They are responsible for creating an inclusive and diverse company that allows for a positive effect on employee well-being.

The HR department strive to make the company the best it can be through improving policies that can allow employees to feel safer and more supported. Emma spent time explaining to me that they did this through their ‘Equality, Diversity, and Inclusive Strategy’. She highlighted the importance of setting achievable and measurable goals within specified time frames. This strategy serves as a driving force for the company, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

I was given the opportunity to sit in on a webinar that focused on the steps that could be taken to support Neurodivergent people within the workforce creating a better work environment for everyone. It was interesting to hear the discussions between Emma, Joanna, and Vicky on what they could improve and where the company is already succeeding.

In conclusion, my day at Scitech was both valuable and enjoyable. It provided me with great insights into the world of HR professionals as well as reaffirming my desire to pursue a career in HR. Thank you to the Scitech team for inviting me to their office and generously sharing their knowledge. As I continue my academic journey, I will carry these lessons with me, eager to explore and grow.

Scitech hosts Seminar and Industry Networking Evening

To mark the official launch of our new Manchester office, we proudly hosted a Seminar and Industry Networking Evening on Thursday, September 14, 2023. This event took place at our Manchester office – a hub in the North where we continue to provide consultancy, design, engineering, construction and validation services to pharmaceutical, life sciences and advanced technology companies.

The event featured an engaging programme that included enlightening talks by industry leaders and Scitech experts, each bringing their unique insights to the stage:

● Tony Hitchcock, a Bioprocess Consultant, presented on “Engineering Solutions for Tomorrow’s Medicines.” His expertise lies in developing innovative bioprocesses that are instrumental in the production of advanced pharmaceuticals.

● John Spenn, a Validation Consultant, delved into “Quality Culture and its Impact on Business.” With his extensive experience, he explored the crucial role of quality assurance in ensuring business success.

Marlous van der Hooft, our new Managing Director and General Manager of Scitech GmbH, discussed “Annex I Implementation in Radiopharma.” Her talk shed light on the regulatory landscape and its implications for the radiopharmaceutical industry.

In addition to the three main speakers, Lauren Wilkinson, Scitech Design and Engineering Manager, and Nadira Adjali, Scitech Principal Building Services Engineer, shared their insights and expertise, providing a well-rounded perspective on the evening’s discussions.

Networking opportunities abound

The Seminar and Industry Networking Evening was not only a platform for learning from thought leaders but also a valuable opportunity for attendees to connect, collaborate, and forge new partnerships with colleagues from across the sector.

Dave Grant, Managing Director of Scitech Ltd, said: “We are delighted that so many colleagues, clients, and partners could join us to celebrate the latest milestone in Scitech’s journey. Our expansion into the north of the country through the Manchester office positions us as a pivotal centre for delivering innovative solutions across various sectors, including pharmaceuticals, life sciences, high-value manufacturing, research, emerging technologies, and other highly regulated fields. This strategic move perfectly aligns with our ongoing dedication to providing top-tier services and support to our clients while addressing the growing demand for specialised expertise in the region.”

  • Delve into our news section to discover more company news.

Scitech Engineering Ltd. establishes Scitech GmbH in Germany

We are delighted to announce the establishment of a new subsidiary business, Scitech GmbH, in Germany. This strategic move is part of Scitech’s growth and succession strategy, aimed at expanding our service offering and capitalising on new opportunities.

An integral part of the Scitech family, Scitech GmbH will provide quality and regulatory consulting, qualification and validation services, design and engineering, and other consultancy support within the traditional pharmaceutical environment, primarily in German-speaking Europe. Additionally, Scitech GmbH will operate as a global centre of excellence in radiopharmaceuticals, supplementing and drawing on the extensive proficiency of subject matter experts from across the Scitech group.

By consolidating and developing Scitech’s global radiopharmaceutical proposition, we will enhance our strong reputation and capabilities in the sector. Scitech GmbH will leverage Scitech’s portfolio, relationships and ongoing projects, particularly in North America and Europe, to create a compelling global radiopharmaceutical proposition.

“Our expansion into Germany with the establishment of Scitech GmbH marks a significant milestone in our growth strategy,” said Dave Grant, Scitech Engineering Ltd. Managing Director. “We are delighted to strengthen our presence in Europe and seize the growing opportunities globally in the radiopharmaceutical sector. This move aligns with our vision to provide exceptional technical, quality and regulatory consulting services while further solidifying our position as a global leader.”

The office of Scitech GmbH will be located in Braunschweig (Brunswick), Lower Saxony, Germany. The subsidiary’s service offering will complement the existing delivery capabilities of Scitech’s UK and Antwerp offices. Antwerp, in particular, will continue to play a vital role in engineering, quality, and regulatory consulting across Europe, while the UK offices will remain integral to Scitech’s global radiopharmaceutical project delivery.

Marlous van der Hooft, has been appointed as Managing Director and General Manager of Scitech GmbH and will spearhead the expansion within Germany and Europe’s German-speaking markets.

With a background in pharmaceutical microbiology, Marlous’s proficiency spans a wide spectrum – from lean manufacturing and process enhancement to quality control, QC method development, validation and compliance, supply chain management, regulatory strategy, and medicines licensing.

Marlous has been responsible for the project management (from design up until full operation) for 13 radiopharmaceutical manufacturing sites, led new product launches, implemented new quality systems, and led manufacturing plants. She works with her customers to deliver the best-fitting solution in order to ensure compliance, safety, and efficiency in their processes. With her skills and knowledge in GxP, ISO13485, validation and operations and quality control, it is her passion to safely and compliantly deliver at the right time against the right cost.

Marlous said: “I am delighted to lead Scitech’s expansion into Germany, a vibrant hub of scientific innovation and collaboration. This new role presents an extraordinary opportunity for Scitech to further solidify its presence on the global stage, contributing to groundbreaking advancements in radiopharmaceutical manufacturing. Together, we will unlock new possibilities, forge impactful partnerships and continue to drive excellence in delivering cutting-edge solutions to benefit patients and the healthcare community.”

Welcoming Marlous van der Hooft: Leading Scitech’s Expansion into Germany

Having nearly two decades of expertise in establishing, managing and leading radiopharmaceutical manufacturing processes, facilities, and sites, Marlous is well-respected within the field. Marlous’s exceptional track record includes the successful launch of 13 production sites across Europe, both for principal and contract manufacturing. Her dedication and leadership have left an indelible mark on the industry, setting the stage for operational excellence and continuous improvement.

With a background in pharmaceutical microbiology, Marlous’s proficiency spans a wide spectrum – from lean manufacturing and process enhancement to quality control, QC method development, validation and compliance, supply chain management, regulatory strategy and medicines licensing.

Marlous’s appointment as Scitech GmbH Managing Director and General Manager underscores our commitment to driving innovation and expanding our horizons. As an integral part of the Scitech family, Scitech GmbH will provide quality and regulatory consulting, qualification and validation services, design and engineering and other consultancy support within the traditional pharmaceutical environment, primarily in German-speaking Europe. Additionally, Scitech GmbH will also operate as a global centre of excellence in radiopharmaceuticals, supplementing and drawing on the extensive proficiency of subject matter experts from across the Scitech group. 

Marlous’s extensive knowledge and visionary leadership are poised to elevate Scitech’s presence in Germany and beyond. 

Marlous said: “I am delighted to lead Scitech’s expansion into Germany, a vibrant hub of scientific innovation and collaboration. This presents an extraordinary opportunity for Scitech to further solidify its presence on the global stage, contributing to groundbreaking advancements in radiopharmaceutical manufacturing. Together, we will unlock new possibilities, forge impactful partnerships, and continue to drive excellence in delivering cutting-edge solutions to benefit patients and the healthcare community.”

We warmly welcome Marlous van der Hooft to the Scitech family and eagerly anticipate the incredible contributions she will make as we venture into new frontiers.

Empowering Women at Scitech: Overcoming workplace challenges with confidence

In our latest initiative to support professional growth of our female colleagues, our Women at Scitech group recently held an empowering session aimed at helping women break through workplace barriers. Colleagues from across Scitech’s various offices took part in an enriching interactive session led by the experienced Executive Coach and Trainer, Anne Messer, Managing Director of Bespoke Training Services.

The session revolved around addressing common challenges faced by women in the workplace, with a specific focus on imposter syndrome, lack of confidence, and assertiveness. These obstacles have been known to hinder individuals from reaching their full potential and delivering their best work.

As a coach and an industry expert, with specific experience of designing and delivering leadership programmes for women, Anne Messer was the perfect facilitator for creating awareness to support personal and professional growth.

During the interactive session, Anne delved into the concept of imposter syndrome, which plagues even the most accomplished individuals. Attendees were encouraged to share their experiences and challenges openly, fostering a supportive environment where everyone felt heard and understood.

The session also covered strategies to build self-confidence and establish a distinctive ‘personal brand.’ By encouraging participants to recognise their unique strengths and talents, Anne encouraged everyone to leverage these qualities to their advantage.

A significant focus of the training meeting was on assertiveness – a skill vital for women to assert themselves confidently in the workplace particularly in male dominated sectors. Anne provided practical tips and techniques to empower attendees, equipping them to navigate challenging situations with grace and effectiveness.

Anne Messer, Executive Coach and Trainer said: “Success and fulfilment in the workplace come from embracing your uniqueness, believing in your capabilities, and fearlessly pursuing your goals, even in the face of imposter syndrome. Remember, you are your greatest asset, and when you conquer self-doubt, you unleash your true potential, making the possibilities truly boundless.”

Participants left the training meeting armed with tools to conquer the obstacles that may have been holding them back in their professional journeys.

“We believe that fostering an inclusive and supportive environment is crucial for the success of every individual in our organisation,” said Emma Dawas, HR Manager at Scitech. “Through this session, we aimed to empower our female colleagues, providing them with the skills and confidence to excel in their roles.”

The Women at Scitech group plans to continue organising such initiatives regularly, striving to create an equitable workplace where talent and dedication are nurtured, regardless of gender. By investing in the growth and empowerment of its members, Scitech reaffirms its commitment to creating a diverse and progressive work environment.

Exploring the opportunities that process and chemical engineering can provide for humanity: My week at Scitech

Godalming College student, Jake, blogs about his week of work experience at Scitech.

From a very young age I have always been interested in how humans have helped people with medical illnesses or conditions to improve or extend their lives. In particular I am fascinated by how a seemingly small or insignificant thing such as capsule or tablet can help people live healthier and happier daily lives around the world. To me it encapsulates how human intelligence and endeavour has overcome challenges to make the world a better place. The science behind what happens in medicine is truly amazing! I am keen to study biomedical sciences at university and was extremely fortunate that Scitech agreed to offer
me one week’s work experience in July 2023.

Introduction to Scitech – a leading consultancy, engineering and construction company

I started my week with an office orientation and introduction to Scitech from my mentor Hazel. I was impressed to hear about the broad range of services and expertise Scitech offer to their customers ranging from mechanical engineering, architecture, process engineering to computer aided design and project management. In particular, I found the overview on building services very interesting because I had not considered how intrinsic planning makes sure the building is safe for use and also is needed before the project can even start. I was shown how the pressure gradients were controlled to ensure safety which I found interesting as I had learnt about pressure gradients in biology this year.

The monoclonal antibody manufacturing process

Hazel then introduced a research project they requested I work on during my week, for me to present back to a small group on Friday. It was exciting as not only was I being given a view of the type of work Scitech carry out, I was also being challenged to create something to deliver as though I was an employee of the company! I really appreciated being given this challenge so I could do my own research and think around a topic and be able to contribute back with some of my thoughts and ideas at the end of the week, rather than receiving information and trying to memorise them back as though I was at college. This is what I will need to do in a work environment so I thought it was a great idea and would help me to feel engaged and part of their team. In my case, I was asked to research on the monoclonal antibody (mAb) manufacturing process, which in a nutshell is an approach for creating a type of protein in a lab which can attach to cancer cells to diagnose and treat different cancers and other diseases.

Health and safety is everyone’s responsibility

On Tuesday I was given an overview of architecture from Matt, and health and safety from Brian, which was interesting as I learned that health and safety is essentially everyone’s responsibility in the office and we looked at some fascinating real life examples. I was also really impressed by the range of buildings implemented by Scitech.

Wednesday was when Nadira gave me an overview of building services where she explained how factors such as radioactivity and air circulation had to be considered. During most of the afternoon I carried on my research project and started to formulate my presentation structure as well as speaking to Ali about his take on the expanding world of biology.

On Thursday and Friday I worked fully on my project on my computer at my desk, making me feel as though I was an employee in an office conversing with colleagues. I spent the time creating a PowerPoint slide deck to deliver on Friday, and I tried to make sure I could create visually appealing slides with good content for the team to digest. In addition to this, Hazel gave an overview of many different types of laboratory equipment Scitech use, and then asked me to fill in the specifications of the equipment which was insightful.

On Friday, finally it was time to deliver my presentation to the group. I must say I was quite nervous, but I was able to get the main points across and answer the questions which were asked. I believe I was able to answer everything. When I told my parents about this they were amazed that in 1 week I was able to learn about Scitech and the pharmaceutical engineering industry, gain office experience and deliver a presentation in such a short time!

Highlights of the week

My three key highlights of the week were:

  • The research I did for the manufacture of monoclonal antibodies
  • Learning about process engineering
  • The overview sessions of architecture and building services

I would like to thank Scitech for giving me such a fascinating insight into their operations and culture. In particular Emma Dawas, Joanna Finch, Hazel Hatley and all members of staff who were extremely helpful and friendly, making the week such an unforgettable and incredible experience.

  • Read Adam’s work experience blog about how he gained an understanding of engineering and commercial management as he contemplates what career path to take.

Exploring career opportunities at Scitech

Sixth form student Adam joined us for two-days of work experience to gain an understanding of engineering and commercial management as he contemplates what career path to take. Here he shares his insights from his time with us.

My experience at Scitech was short but insightful. I experienced first-hand what it was like to contribute to a project as a member of the multiple teams at Scitech. I was constantly engaged with hands-on work by an amazing, warm, expert team of professionals in their fields. In an office in Godalming, the Scietch team is like a close-knit family.

I was placed with two teams during my two-day placement: the commercial team, and the engineering team. These teams are both groups of specialists working in their niches to provide the desired outcome for a client; whether it be a building to house a new chemical, or to create a new machine to handle a radioactive chemical. These teams offered me lots of activities so I could be engaged with current ongoing projects and see how their niches work together.

Day One: Commercial Team

Day one, I was with the commercial team. John introduced me to Scitech and gave me a rundown of some past, ongoing and future-planned projects. Then I moved to talk to the commercial team who showed me the budgeting and documenting of a project so it goes smoothly. I got the opportunity to construct a financial report to manage payments to the sub-contractors for a project with a pharmaceutical company with regards to lighting in one of their facilities. This tracked the costs of the tasks completed by their sub-contractors and therefore how much Scitech would need to pay them out for the task.

Following a financial report, I then filled out a payment certificate to confirm the payment that needed to be put through to the sub-contractor. As Scitech is also sometimes a contractor for other clients, if a project is finished late and misses a deadline, Scitech would be charged for the time they are late for project completion. To stop this from happening, if there was a delay in delivery of materials, so they could not finish constructing a certain building, a member of the commercial team would need to fill out a change order. I got some more hands-on experience doing this. In my situation I was given details about an extreme weather event that was going to affect the delivery of essential materials for the project; a change order was made to change the scheduled date of the construction of the building so that Scitech wouldn’t be charged extra money. 

Overall, with the commercial team I got a better understanding of the things they do to tie a project together and keep it running smoothly, while also getting the hang of new software including Microsoft Access and Excel.

Day two: Engineering Team

Day two, I was with the engineering team. I talked to electrical engineer Carlos Garcia who informed me of the essential role that he has in delivering the power to the buildings in a project; for any machine to work, there needs to be wiring put into place and placed carefully to ensure it does not interfere with other machinery. His niche is essential in a project, and he communicates with the other engineers with updated schematics in a 3D modelling software – BIM software

I also had the opportunity to talk to Lewis White. As a mechanical engineer, in his department he provides, or constructs, specialist equipment for clients looking for a machine that they can use to synthesize a new chemical compound. I was brought up to speed with a case study in St. Thomas’ hospital – radioactive isotopes are produced in a cyclotron, a particle accelerator that spins protons, which are attached to a pharmaceutical, which can be used in PET scans to pick up a potentially cancerous tumour. The molecule produced is fluorodeoxyglucose – cancer attaches to glucose, then the radioactive part can be picked up on a PET scan as a bright dot.

It was super interesting to have some insight on a real project that I can see for myself in action and the procedures they must go through and work together on.  It’s fascinating the specialised machines that the mechanical engineers need to deliver / produce themselves for one specific job to fit all criteria given by the client; the extent to which they’re specialised is frankly insane.

Overall, I was super happy with my time at Scitech, it completely exceeded my expectations! I’ve absolutely loved having the opportunity to come to Scitech and have a taster of what it’s like as one of the big team. Thank you!