After graduating from the University of Lancaster in 2007, I joined Shell Research, where I was an integral member of the Aviation Fuels team, working on alternative jet fuels and lead free Avgas. I developed expertise in a wide range of analytical techniques for testing jet fuel, diesel and Avgas, as well as novel fuel analysis and jet fuel thermal stability.
I then undertook a five-year PhD and Postdoctoral research project at the University of Sheffield (co-sponsored by Shell Research Ltd. and Airbus), investigating the impact of alternative fuels and novel materials on microbial communities in conventional aviation fuel systems. The project developed a predictive and mechanistic understanding of microbial biofilm formation and proposed novel management/remediation approaches; building up expertise in a wide range complex molecular biology techniques, as well as developing non-standard methods for analysing microbial contamination.
In my new role as Research and Technology Manager at Conidia Bioscience Ltd., I manage a variety of research and development projects, including the design of innovative tests kits for the rapid detection of microbiological contamination in fuels. (Major airlines, large fuel distribution companies and maritime suppliers are all important customers.) I also act as consultant on all aspects of microbial contamination in fuel systems and participate in industry standards committees.