10 November 2021

1881-2021: 140 years of supporting Mid-Career Professionals to drive innovation

Organised by:

SCI’s Mid-careers Group

Online Webinar: 14:00 - 16:00 GMT

Registration Closed

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In the SCI’s 140th Anniversary year, the Mid-Careers Committee invites you to join a celebration of supporting mid-career professionals to drive innovation in chemistry-using businesses and help develop future leaders.

We will explore what’s changed for mid-career professionals over the last 140 years, what career journeys can look like today and hear a keynote presentation from Dr David Bott, Head of Innovation at SCI, and formerly Director of Innovation Programmes at the Technology Strategy Board, on what’s important in shaping a happy and successful career in the 21st Century.

The SCI Mid-Career Group aims to provide support, tools and strategies to ensure that the mid-career professionals of today can advance their businesses as innovative leaders of the future. The group has an underlying objective to understand future challenges around experience and skills gaps – using this to inform relevant support for the next generation of technical leadership.


This event will be of interest to early and mid-career professionals from the biological and chemical sciences.


Dr David Bott

After 26 years with BP, Courtaulds and ICI, spent leading research groups in both their corporate centres and business units, David discovered an interest in start-ups 16 years ago. He was diverted into spending 7 years setting up and directing the Technology Strategy Board (now rebranded as Innovate UK), the UK's innovation agency where he was responsible for all the innovation programmes. He is the Head of Innovation at SCI, a Principal Fellow at WMG, non-executive Director of Oxford Advanced Surfaces, has been a member of Sheffield University Council, chaired Oxford Biomaterials and has engaged in a wide variety of activities involving materials, design, sustainability and innovation.

Dr Ivalina Minova

Ivalina Minova graduated in MChem Chemistry from Durham University in 2016 and obtained her PhD at the University of St Andrews under the supervision of Prof Paul Wright. Her PhD focused on the development of infrared spectroscopic techniques for the study of zeolite catalysts and catalytic reaction mechanisms. Subsequently, Ivalina joined Johnson Matthey in 2020 as a research scientist where she is applying her material synthesis and characterisation skills to design and scale-up Johnson Matthey’s eLNO® cathode battery material for use in electric vehicles. Ivalina is a recipient of prestigious Society of Chemical Industries scholarship and research mobility grants. She has presented at 10 UK and 3 international conferences, including 2 keynotelectures and 3 industrial seminars. Her PhD work was awarded best thesis by the Royal Society of Chemistry SURCAT interest group. She is interested in working at the interface between science and business and is a member of the SCI, RSC and ACS chemical societies.

Matthew Gill

Matthew graduated in BSc (Hons) Chemistry through the ICI Agrochemicals day release training scheme in 1995 and remained at Jealott’s Hill Research Station with Syngenta for 13 years as a synthetic chemist working on Fungicide and Herbicide projects. Matthew joined the Automated Synthesis group led by Dr Gary Walters, for his last two years, exploring his interest in technology and its application in synthetic chemistry.
Matthew joined Argents Discovery, drug discovery CRO, in 2002 as a principal scientist. Following the acquisition of Argenta Discovery by Charles River Laboratories in 2014, Matthew increased his focus on technology through becoming Group Leader for Analytical Sciences at both the Harlow and Chesterford Research Park CRL Early Discovery sites, driving a range of projects such as challenging the acceleration of drug discovery through process efficiencies, leading a cross departmental New Technologies Group and supporting the next generation of technicians through CRL’s Scientific Apprenticeship program.


Wednesday 10 November

Welcome & Introduction
1881. A Chemist's Perspective
Alfred Jones
Graduate SCI scholar Ivalina Minova: my career journey
Dr Ivalina Minova, Research Scientist, Johnson Matthey
We grow through challenging ourselves…even at 50!
Matthew Gill, Analytical Sciences Group Leader at CRL UK
Keynote: How to have a career (mostly) as a chemist
Dr David Bott, Head of Innovation at SCI
Q&A and discussion
What’s coming next from Mid-Careers Group?
Close of Event


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Organising Committee

    Robin Blake, SCI/ Compliance Services International
    David Freeman, SCI/Croda
    Dan Smith, SCI/CatSci

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T: +44 (0)20 7598 1561 
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