Our team is continually expanding and one factor that stays constant is not only the strong Stakam sense of humour but the base degree knowledge of chemistry.
Meet Mike, our latest Chemist to join the Stakam team. After achieving his PhD, Mike started working in commercial R&D roles not only in the UK but in Canada, he is now part of Stakam helping us on our latest projects.
It's safe to say that we know what we are doing when we say “We craft chemistry”
1. Describe yourself in 3 words?
A peripatetic technologist
2. Tell us a bit more about your background and how you came to work for Stakam?
“I began my science career by carrying out doctoral research on neglected diseases; specifically, I worked on African sleeping sickness: this entailed the synthesis of complex carbohydrates.
After my doctoral work, I focussed on the development of biomolecular assays in several academic-industrial partnerships. These employed a range of reporter modalities including impedance, stable-isotope enrichment, fluorescence lifetime, and chromogenic.
Building on my commercial experience, I then returned to carbohydrate research working both as a consultant on an Alere Inc. project in England, and on a contract research project for a Canadian custom synthesis company, Synthose (formerly LC Scientific). I subsequently moved to Canada, to work exclusively for Synthose, on their contract research project, and, upon completion of that project, I remained in Toronto working as their senior scientist working on research and development projects, producing bespoke molecules to clients’ specifications.”
3. What was it about Stakam that encouraged you to become involved?
“My initial contact with Stakam was concerned with instrumentation servicing. Subsequently, I have been involved with various chemistry roles including quality assurance/control and synthetic route development. The latter includes scale-up tests on Potassium Formate from our kilo plant through to our 9-ton vessel via the pilot plant. We have several parameters to record during the batches so that we can develop a process for Q4 2021. The other main synthesis project work is a 3-stage azeotropic distillation process to produce a tracer monomer that we will polymerise during the Summer months.”
4. What is the biggest career lesson you’ve learned thus far?
That escalation of commitment is the biggest obstacle to project completion, and that employee experience is the largest asset of almost all businesses.
5. What exciting things are you working on with Stakam right now?
One of the great things about Stakam is that no two days are the same, and you never know what new challenges will arise.
6. Now the most hard-hitting and most important questions we could ask any Stakam employee…. What’s your favourite chemistry joke?
Two chemists walk into a bar, one says, “I’ll have H2O.” the other says, “I’ll have an H2O, too.” : the second chemist dies!