Kat Sneade, our technical service chemist, spoke to us about all things chemicals and her career in the chemical industry.
Originally from Liverpool, Kat graduated with a First Class MRes in Chemistry in September 2019, which included a year in industry in Cambridge working as an ink formulation chemist. During her studies, Kat completed a university placement in the University of Hyogo, Japan in summer 2018 before going on to travel through Asia.
How long have you worked in the chemical industry?
I have been at Trimite since September 2019, but have held two roles, R&D chemist and more recently moving into Technical Service in the field.
Please tell us a bit more about what your work entails.
As a technical service chemist, I am responsible for supporting customers out in the field. This includes on-site paint support issues, running trials and developing new products to meet customer demands.
Tell us how you became a chemist. Why did you decide to pursue a career in chemistry?
I gained an interest in science at school and decided to pursue a degree in the chemistry field. During my degree, I completed a placement year working as an ink formulation chemist, initiating my interest in coatings.
I went on to study for an MRes before gaining my first post graduate role as a R&D Chemist, but this time in paints!
Why chemistry in the paints and coatings industry?
I chose to go into industrial chemistry because I enjoy seeing the scale up between lab formulation and real life applications in the field. Paint is used in many aspects of everyday life, so getting it right is key!
What’s your career highlight been, and why?
My career highlight has to be moving from R&D into tech service. I really enjoy going out and meeting customers and building relationships with them, but also seeing our products being used on a wide range of applications.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen since you started working in chemistry?
Brexit and Covid-19 have presented huge challenges to the chemical industry including supply chain, raw material shortages and costs. It has meant we have had to adapt as best as possible during these times whilst still meeting customer demands.
Best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Don’t make the same mistake twice.