Job profiles

Real-life stories from real-life chemical scientists. Find out what jobs in chemistry can involve and the qualifications that will get you there.

  • Photograph of Misbah Sarwar, Computational chemist, Johnson Matthey

    Senior principal scientist

    Misbah uses computers to predict which catalysts will be best at removing harmful pollutants from road-using vehicles.

  • Photo of Aruna Nelson, Senior software developer, CCDC

    Senior software developer

    Aruna writes, modifies and debugs code to improve the user experience of a database which is used by scientists to make new discoveries.

  • Photo of Paul Wrathmall, Senior Science Manager, British Sugar

    Senior science manager

    Paul’s circular approach to manufacturing sugar enables the creation of bioethanol, other products and virtually zero waste.

  • Ian is smiling at the camera with a tree in the background.

    Associate professor and enterprise, partnerships and innovation lead

    Ian’s research mitigates climate change and has led to the production of energy-generating coatings for buildings. 

  • Daniel Stewart in the lab

    Chief executive officer

    Daniel is helping the world to reach net-zero carbon emissions by creating a way to turn manufacturers’ waste carbon dioxide into chemicals that can be used in everyday products.

  • Photograph of section lead, Maria Conway

    Section leader, wind

    Maria develops new and innovative coatings for wind turbines so that they can generate more renewable energy for longer.

  • Photograph of Vikki, marketing development manager

    Market development manager

    Vikki helps develop sustainable packaging with less carbon dioxide impact and the ability to reduce food waste.

  • Head of research and sustainability, Ananas Anam

    Head of research and sustainability

    Raquel develops a sustainable fabric called Piñatex that comes from pineapple leaves that would otherwise be burnt.

  • Photo of Dr Iqbal, Research Fellow, the University of Birmingham

    Research fellow, battery recycling

    Zubera is discovering ways to recycle precious materials from electric car batteries.

  • Ben Fisher

    Marine biogeochemist

    Ben’s research focuses on how the biology and chemistry of our oceans are responding to climate change in order to learn how we can protect our marine environments and ecosystems.

  • Giorgia Raci

    Research & development team leader - smart food labels

    Giorgia leads a team at a small company that is helping to fight food waste by developing smart labels technology

  • Celine_still

    Analytical technician, plastics

    Celine modifies the molecular structure of plastics so they can biodegrade in the natural environment

  • Sam Lawton smiling.

    Scientific consultant

    Sam provides advice on batteries and energy storage devices to customers across the world 

  • Photo of Research and Development chemist Oceane Gaudinet

    R&D chemist

    Océane researches ways to make packaging biodegradable

  • Michael Hughes

    Teaching technical specialist

    Mike ensures that chemistry practicals run smoothly for everyone using the lab. He’s also involved in Manchester University’s apprenticeship scheme and attracting future technicians

  • University of Nottingham, Tyler Harvey-Cowlishaw

    University laboratory technician apprentice

    Tyler carries out experiments linked to covid-19 reseach and lung diseases

  • Image of Ryley

    Solar technology engineer

    Ryley develops cutting-edge solar cell technology to make solar power cheaper and more efficient so that this renewable source of energy can become more mainstream.

  • A close-up photograph of a mobile phone and a lithium ion battery

    PhD researcher

    Lizzie investigates new battery materials for lithium-ion batteries which power devices such as smart phones, laptops and electric vehicles

  • Florence Gschwend, CTO of Lixea

    Chief technology officer and co-founder of Lixea, a sustainable solutions company

    Florence is developing a way to produce raw materials that are renewable, reusable, recyclable and toxic free

  • Professor Herbert Sixta

    Professor of biorefineries

    Professor Sixta converts cellulose, a renewable resource found in wood or plants, into products like yarn for making clothes

  • Photo of Professor Patricia Forbes

    Professor of environmental chemistry

    Patricia uses chemistry to develop new ways of detecting, monitoring and analysing quantities of environmental pollutants. 

  • Margot still 3

    Research innovations manager

    Margot is at the cutting-edge of science developing ways to make plastic biodegrade quickly and explaining this to others

  • Emma working at a computer in the laboratory.

    Bioleaching lab technician

    Emma collects and processes precious metals that are extracted from electronic waste products

  • Ian McKinley standing upright on a site.

    Radioactive waste consultant

    Ian ensures radioactive waste is handled safely and also applies waste management techniques to technology that reduces risks of climate change

  • claire4

    Bioanalytical scientist

    Claire’s work involves stress testing new medicines in various stages of drug development to ensure they are robust and reliable before being released onto the consumer market

  • Tilly_still2

    Analytical chemist

    Tilly does research on human breath samples to potentially diagnose conditions like asthma and infectious diseases including cancer

  • Holly_2

    Associate scientist, pharmaceuticals

    Holly develops new medicines at a global pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca alongside completing her degree apprenticeship

  • Mariam Khalfey

    Development chemist, printing and inks

    Mariam shares how she makes custom inks for their customers so they can safely print on food (like eggs) and food packaging providing vital information to the public 

  • Lewis_still

    Research assistant

    Lewis contributes to cutting-edge scientific research using specialist equipment to potentially diagnose diseases like cancer sooner

  • charley renney

    Patent attorney

    Charley explains how he makes an impact by helping inventors get legal protection for their new inventions and medicines

  • Photo of a scientist taking a soil sample

    Environmental chemist

    James helps protect the environment by assessing the risks to life from certain chemicals in soil, water and air

  • Chemical plant_sustainability manager

    Sustainability manager

    Mike discusses his vital role in advising businesses and chemists about how to be more green and sustainable

  • Erin Maciejewski working in a lab.

    Process chemist – higher apprentice, pharmaceuticals

    Erin helps turn new medicines into finished products so that they can be mass-produced for patients.

  • Katie Lim

    Executive editor, scientific publishing

    Katie uses her chemistry background and works with scientists around the world to advance the chemical sciences by publishing the latest leading research in scientific journals

  • Katty O'Brien-Quilty

    Analyst – higher apprentice, organic chemistry

    Katty monitors the levels of organic materials in drinking and wastewater to ensure it is safe to drink.

  • Sandrine Bouchelkia school science technician

    School science technician

    Sandrine works with teachers to design and safely prepare exciting classroom chemistry experiments

  • Forensic toxicologist

    Forensic toxicologist

    Calum helps ensure public safety through the toxicological testing of everyday items like food, cosmetics, electronics, medicines and textiles to ensure they are safe to use and consume

  • Robert still 2

    Associate principal scientist, food

    Robert builds computer models to predict how different food chemicals will enhance the taste and texture of chocolate, biscuits and other snacks

  • Joe still 2

    Laboratory analyst and higher degree apprentice, water

    Joseph helps ensure there is clean, safe, water for 15 million people in the UK whilst studying towards his chemistry degree

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    Policy adviser, UK government

    Tom works for the UK government and briefs ministers and politicians about the latest scientific research to inform their policies

  • Food testing

    Flavourist and innovation director

    Claire creates new flavour combinations to improve the taste of everyday food products

  • A view of Earth from space

    Atmospheric chemist

    Zoë’s role involves finding ways to minimise the impact of humans on the natural world

  • Secondary school children in the laboratory

    Head of chemistry and teacher

    Kay teaches and oversees the work that goes on in a secondary school chemistry department

  • Side view of Andrew Hallett smiling with a green background.

    Senior research and development scientist

    Andrew develops emergency exit marking for aircraft, helping to keep passengers safe. 

  • Dr Geertje Van Keulen is smiling in a laboratory filled with equipment and items, including petri dishes and pipettes.

    Associate professor

    Geertje teaches university students and leads the development of materials made from bacteria.

  • Tom is inside a cave wearing a protective helmet.

    Senior curator

    Tom identifies and unravels the mystery behind the rocks and minerals of Wales.

  • Stephen and his son, Michael, are giving the thumbs up at the camera. Both are wearing London Marathon finisher T-shirts and medals.


    Stephen supports several businesses to become sustainable including using organic materials for wastewater treatment.

  • Jill is sitting on some rocks, wearing sunglasses and smiling. There are hills in the background.

    Qualified Person, pharmaceuticals

    Jill ensures that the medicines her client companies provide to the public comply with quality and safety standards and are fit for purpose. 

  • Jamie smiling with rocks and a stream in the background.

    Environmental process specialist

    Jamie improves steelmaking processes to reduce their impact on the environment.

  • Gemma smiling at the camera.

    Product and process development manager

    Gemma manages the production of high-quality tin and chromium coated steels for everyday items found in a kitchen and bathroom. 

  • Emma is standing in an outdoor office with equipment inside.

    Pollution control officer

    Emma protects our health and the environment by monitoring levels of environmental pollutants in the land, air and water. She sets the conditions on industrial processes to minimise their release of pollutants. 

  • Emma Withers in a laboratory smiling.

    Soil scientist

    Emma investigates the link between climate change and increased greenhouse gas emissions from the soil.

  • Hilde Kneblewski in a laboratory smiling at the camera.

    Scientist, Incident Management & Crisis Resolution

    Hilde investigates consumer complaints for beverage company, Coca-Cola

  • Photo of Harsh Shar and Michael Wevil who are chemists at ThamesWater

    Analytical chemists, Thames Water

    Harsh and Michael describe their vital work keeping the region’s water and sewage systems safe and operational at all times

  • Nanotoxicologist


    Vicki examines how tiny nanomaterials present in everyday products such as medicine, electronics and clothing interact with our bodies to ensure they are safe to use or consume

  • shutterstock_130293152

    Computational toxicologist

    Tim works in this rapidly expanding area of toxicology using computer modeling to more efficiently assess the risk of chemicals to people to keep the public safe

  • Andy Kowalski in front of white, patterned wallpaper.

    Science careers coach and mentor

    Andy supports chemistry students to make good career decisions 

  • John Woodland sitting at his desk with surrounding equipment

    Medicinal chemist

    John explains how he’s changing lives by designing and synthesising potential medicine for infectious diseases like malaria

  • MediSieve’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr Cristina Blanco-Andujar

    Chief technology officer

    Cristina helps develop technology that could change lives by extracting disease from the body

  • Fernando Gomollón-Bel _science communicator

    Science communicator

    Fernando uses his scientific knowledge to explain complex science to the public so they can understand and appreciate the value of these discoveries that are important to their everyday lives

  • 0712CW-FEATURE-Olympics_Fig1_630

    Sports scientist, British Olympic Association

    Brian talks about his exciting role working with Team GB athletes and his part in the 2012 London Olympics

  • Photo of robot scientist creator, Benjamin Burger with robot in the background

    Chief technology officer and co-founder of a robotic chemists’ company

    Benjamin explains how he’s innovating industry by creating robotic chemists who can speed up new discoveries

  • Head and shoulders photo of secondary science teacher, Alice Parr

    Secondary school science teacher

    Alice teaches in a secondary school chemistry department helping her students thrive in the future

  • Conservation scientist sitting in her laboratory

    Museum scientist

    Lucia analyses museum objects to help the Victoria and Albert Museum curators understand, date and authenticate them.

  • Toxicologist chemical

    Toxicologist, chemical company

    Nicholas discusses his challenging work bringing together scientific fields to ensure that their company’s chemicals are used safely and comply with strict rules and regulations

  • A picture showing solar panels with blue sky and white colours top left corner to illustrate an article about fuelling the future with hydrogen, solar and wind power

    Laboratory technician and higher apprentice, solar

    Rebekka tests and finds ways to improve solar panels whilst balancing her studies towards her Foundation Degree apprenticeship

  • Autosampler of NMR spectrometer loaded with samples for analysis. Institute of Organic and Biochemistry Academy of Sciences the Czech Republic

    Scientific associate, NMR spectroscopy

    Christopher uses NMR to identify the structure of new and unknown chemical compounds to support the development of new medicines

  • Houses of parliament

    Senior committee specialist, UK government

    Xameerah talks about her important role in providing specialist advice on science and science policy to inform the work and policies of the UK government

  • Generic software programming language

    Research fellow

    Lynne shares how her PhD led to a university research career working with large pieces of equipment and computer programs to understand how chemical structures work

  • Image of cleaning products in a basket

    Senior scientist, household goods

    Phillip leads a small team of researchers who improve the performance of household products such as toothpaste and shampoo

  • A picture of cosmetics

    Consumer products technician

    Robert develops materials to improve the properties of consumer products from cosmetics to chewing gum

  • High voltage power lines

    Chief chemist

    Stephen oversees the ways in which chemistry can be used to improve a power station’s performance

  • shutterstock_1382559569

    Investor relations manager

    Marcia updates shareholders, managers, staff and external market analysts with Unilever’s financial performance and strategy

  • shutterstock_1529869946

    Senior analytical systems technician

    Christopher describes how his love of science and understanding how things work led him to his role as a systems technician

  • Emma Sargent

    Senior picture editor

    Emma communicates science to the public by sourcing or commissioning engaging and accurate scientific photographs, illustrations and videos for publications

  • Cancer research UK

    Policy researcher, cancer research UK

    Harriet works at the world’s largest independent funder of cancer research where she helps researchers get support from the UK government and other research bodies

  • X-ray crystallography equipment at Diamond Light Source

    Postdoctoral research associate

    Anna explains how she carries out her own cutting-edge scientific research at the UK’s national synchrotron science facility

  • Man fills up the petrol tank in a car

    Project leader in enhanced experimentation, oil & gas

    Stuart brings good ideas to business faster by finding better tools and methods for researchers.

  • Gold bars

    Project manager, world gold council

    Trevor discusses his unique role of promoting the uses of gold to companies across different industries

  • Press conference_Freelance science publicist

    Freelance science publicist

    Sallie develops creative ideas to get good media coverage for science organisations and events

  • old fashioned perfume bottle

    Fine fragrance evaluator

    Sophie helps improve and perfect fragrances created by perfumers. She also gets to travel regularly to Paris, Cologne and Grasse

  • A conceptual image showing evidence for a case

    Forensic scientist

    Joni investigates biological samples for the presence of drugs and alcohol and also examines evidence seized by the police

  • Image of a woman working with smartphone and laptop

    Finance and planning manager

    Lorna’s role in finance gives her an overview of the household, healthcare and personal care products developed at her company

  • Photo of white powder spilling out of a drug capsule

    Advanced apprentice, forensics

    Jamie describes what it’s like to work alongside scientists to deliver a service that supports the criminal justice system

  • hi res shutterstock_526761331


    John investigates the chemistry and physics of the regions of space between the stars

  • Coloured pills and capsules

    Associate researcher, pharmaceuticals

    Discover how you can change people’s lives as a chemist supervising the making of active ingredients in medicines

  • Illustration of a sample of blood, labelled 'doping'

    Assistant analyst, drug control centre

    Nicola describes how chemistry enabled her to play a vital part as an assistant analyst in the anti-doping laboratory for the Olympic Games

  • TaxAccountant

    Tax accountant

    Georgina discusses why she enjoys working in tax and legislation to ensures companies stay compliant and on the right side of the law

  • Medical research board_image

    Medical research council board secretary

    Hazel discusses her vital part in funding groundbreaking scientific research through the medical research council by assessing and discussing funding proposals with the council

  • EiC317 - Feature - New Drugs - Hero

    Director of medicinal chemistry

    Find out what’s involved in leading a team of 30 scientists who are researching new medicines

  • Image of Jason Hyde

    Senior director of chip research

    Jason talks about his team’s important work on a platform that allows scientists to sequence DNA wherever they are and uncover viral outbreaks, or identify new species.

  • glucose-biosensor-275

    Director of IRC in biomedical materials

    Professor Vadgama researches biosensors which monitor changes inside the bodies of patients and athletes