What is your current position?
Technical Supervisor in the Chemistry Department, as part of the Science Faculty.
How long have you worked at the University?
As of September, it has been 15 years: I started in September 2005.
What did you do before that?
I did a PhD in Organic Chemistry in Paris, and then moved to Milan, Italy, for a short voluntary Post-Doc position. It was a wonderful experience to work abroad and for me, it was just the beginning of my research career. After that, I moved to Sheffield, England with my husband to-be, where I worked as a Research Associate and I have worked in England ever since.
Tell us about your journey so far at Bath
Well, I started as a Med Chem research chemist in a spin-off called Sterix (in the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology) and stayed there for almost 5 years. I enjoyed the applied and multidisciplinary part of the research but having the clear purpose of improving people’s health became paramount. Also being able to explain, in simple words, to anyone in my family or friends that we were trying to find a new medicine to help people with type 2 diabetes, was important for me.
When the company closed, I was pregnant with my second boy, so I took some time to be at home. Upon my return to work, I took on a temporary post in an industrial setting, making a colour library, learning lots about inks and printing techniques. I really enjoyed doing something new, but when an academic from the Chemistry Department asked if I would be interested in covering a short-term position with their group, I was delighted to get back in the lab. The project was new and exciting, and I ended up working with the team for 5 years, collaborating with a rather large group of people, going to international conferences and even doing a bit of teaching.
After working on 2 long term research contracts and embarking on another for only 14 months, I realised that the uncertainty of being a “forever post-doc” was not for me. I wanted to find a permanent post that involved research and teaching and that would allow me to stay at the University of Bath, but I knew that was a lot to hope for! Then, one day, I was told that the position of “Technical Supervisor for the Chemistry department” was opening-up. Some close friends and colleagues thought I would be good fit, so I considered it for a bit, wondering how easy it would be to jump on “the other side” of the décor… from research to technical. I realised knowing so many people from the Faculty, having experience of research and teaching and being interested in H&S, would all be really beneficial to the role. After 5 years in Pharmacy & Pharmacology and 6 years in the Chemistry department, I knew a lot of researchers, I always appreciated the support of the technicians I really wanted to keep working with such lovely people. Fast-forward to now, I think you will know I applied, got an interview and got the job!
Really, I only have been in post for a year, and with this year’s pandemic, much of it has been disrupted, but I love it. No two days are the same, I meet new people all the time. I love the daily challenges, especially when I solve them! I have learned a lot of the ropes from behind the scenes and I see this position as a long term one. I am planning to get as much training as I can to develop as a manager, as giving my best to the people around me, technicians or academics alike, is really important to me!