It may sound a bit nerdy but I’m really proud of being a chemist. It’s allowed me to unlock a deeper understanding of the world around me and I love it.

My name is Lewis. I work here at Owlstone Medical. Our mission is to save 100,000 lives and 1.5 billion dollars in medical costs through the early detection of disease through breath analysis.

Salary range and qualifications required 

  • Minimum qualification for role: Undergraduate science degree. A master’s degree or PhD can help with entry into more advanced research roles. 
  • Starting salary range: £18,000–£24,000 (dependent on experience, qualifications and location).

I spend a lot of time in the lab, I’m working on TD GC-MS instruments, which are how we analyse our breath samples, separate the breath into its individual components and analyse potential biomarkers for disease.

Every day brings something new and its a very fast-paced environment where I’m constantly learning and I feel like I’m actually making a difference to the world of medicine and disease detection as well, as we’re working on really cutting edge science here. Its a really exciting place to be.

Literally everything around you contains some aspect of chemistry. As a teenager I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I picked the A-levels that I thought would get me the best career and one of them was chemistry. I shot off a bunch of university applications and by chance ended up at university studying chemistry. However within my first year, I really fell in love with the more medicinal and pharmacology side of the subject and was really inspired by one of my tutors and it’s made me inspired to follow a career in medicinal chemistry.

Pursuing a career in chemistry can open the door to so many new opportunities. Whatever you find interesting, there is a career path in it within chemistry. Chemistry is vital in today’s modern world. With so many issues going on such as cancer epidemics, climate change, plastic pollution. All these problems are potentially problems that chemistry could fix and there’s so much research going on in the world that you could get involved with to solve these issues. The opportunities are endless.

If I could turn back the clock and do it all again, I’d absolutely choose to be a chemist through and through. I love my job and I’m constantly learning and I’m proud of what I do.

Want to know more?

  • Find out about work experience opportunities and speak to your school career adviser.
  • Check out our YouTube channel for chemistry experiments you can do at home.
  • Attend virtual or in-person science events, fairs and talks to find out more about chemistry.

First published 2020