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Local Company Appoints STEM Co-ordinator to Inspire Budding Young North East Scientists


Sep 14, 2016

A Durham-based chemical research company, High Force Research, has appointed a STEM (science, technology, engineering and manufacturing) co-ordinator to encourage local youngsters to pursue careers in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.

Iain Lawson, a Senior R&D and GMP Chemist, will be responsible for developing the company’s outreach programme to local schools, colleges and universities. Iain, whose research has helped contribute towards the development and manufacture of treatments for Alzheimer’s, hopes to help inspire a new generation of budding young scientists in the North East.

Having previously worked for a pharmaceutical company in Northumberland, Iain joined High Force Research five years ago. When the company, which provides a range of services allied to new product development in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and fine chemicals industries, was looking to appoint a STEM Co-ordinator Iain was a natural choice. The son of a science teacher, Iain has volunteered to facilitate talks, presentations and activities for local schools for many years.

Commenting on his appointment, Iain said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to help encourage more students to consider careers in science. There are so many different roles and specialisms for young people to consider, the possibilities really are endless. But often career routes within the industry aren’t obvious and young people are surrounded by so many negative perceptions of science, they think all scientists are mad or super clever.

“I really believe that Science should be fun. After all it’s messy and lots of things go bang!

But best of all you get to discover things. I’m where I am today because of a number of inspirational and engaging teachers and mentors who got me hooked on science. If I didn’t pass on what I’ve learnt to young people, what’s the point?”

Founded nearly three decades ago, High Force Research is one of the UK’s longest established chemical research companies. The company is expert in developing and scaling up complex syntheses of molecules used by researchers in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostics and chemical sectors.

Head of Business Development, Stella James commented: “At High Force Research we place a high priority on nurturing home-grown talent and helping young people develop careers in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. That’s why for a number of years, High Force Research has funded a number a Postgraduate placements at Durham and Newcastle Universities. But we need to be inspiring people from a young age if we want to continue to have a thriving chemical research industry here in the North East.

“When we were looking to appoint a STEM Co-ordinator Iain was the obvious choice. He’s so passionate about science and when he’s working with pupils he really helps bring science to life. We’re delighted to have him on board.”

North East schools or colleges interested in arranging activities or talks for students on careers in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry should contact info@highforceresearch.com

By Emily