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Bhavik Patel

Professor of Clinical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, School of Applied Science & Centre of Stress and Age-Related Diseases, University of Brighton, UK

A mentor or educator who inspired you?I have been fortunate to have many inspiring mentors and educators over the years. One that stands out is my PhD supervisor Danny O’Hare, who taught me three important words that govern my way of thinking in analytical science: fitness for purpose. This has resonated in my approach to educating students and directing the way my research group approaches tasks.

Qualities of a successful mentor and educator? Listen to mentees and ensure you provide the best support and encouragement possible. An educator's most important quality is to inspire the future generation of analytical scientists – making it critical that underrepresented groups are encouraged and their voices are amplified.

Attracting talent… This should be easily achieved given how cool analytical chemistry is! As analytical chemistry educators, it is our responsibility to inspire the future generation – reaching out to schools to showcase the important role analytical scientists play within society. It is important that we amplify and provide opportunities for talented early career analytical scientists to showcase their work.

Biggest challenge facing the field? Our approach towards developing the future generation of analytical chemists has not moved with the times – the curriculum is quite static. We must ensure creative processes are developed for the delivery and assessment of analytical sciences. This will boost the employability of graduates and prepare them for a diverse range of careers.

Most exciting development or trend? As an electrochemist, the emergence of 3D printing has provided new avenues towards accessible manufacturing of electrochemical sensors. This has driven a new wave of sensor fabrication and development across analytical devices for a variety of applications.

Controversial opinion? There are occasions where we forget the roots of analytical science, which manifests as bad habits within undergraduate students. With a lack of routine assessment of the fundamentals, students are failing to fully grasp the importance of accuracy, precision, and statistical analysis. We must not forget the vital nature of these principles for all aspects of analytical science.

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