The Power List 2020 – Europe
Professor, Head of Bionanotechnology and Analytical Chemistry, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Reason for pursuing analytical science: I think I was destined to be a scientist from a young age. I was one of those (very) annoying (to their parents) children who constantly asked “Why?” and carried out experiments and made terrible concoctions, usually involving my Mum’s perfume and flower petals! I enjoyed all the sciences at school, but my true passion was always chemistry. I need to carry out work that has a purpose – where my research could have an impact on peoples’ lives or environments – and analytical chemistry was always the natural pathway for me.
Greatest inspiration: I am most inspired by the early-career researchers I have the privilege of working with every day. Research can be challenging, frustrating, and disheartening, and on top of that there are personal issues to deal with – but it is also highly rewarding and offers many experiences and opportunities. It is always inspiring to watch researchers grow in their capabilities and confidence as they overcome challenges.
Advice to younger self: Take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way, even if they challenge and scare you at first!