Committee Members' Biographies
Dr Helen Keenan CSci CChem MRSC
Dr. Helen Keenan is an analytical chemist, with expertise in the determination, monitoring and modeling of persistant environmental pollutants (POPs). This includes pollutants that are endocrine disruptors, such as bisphenol A (BPA) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's). She was appointed as an academic lecturer within the DLCS in 2008, following on from her role as Laboratory Manager.
Dr. Keenan was awarded her PhD from the University of Strathclyde in 2001 for research on oestrogen fate during water treatment. She is currently Director of the MRes programme within the department and teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She co-leads the Environmental Pollution and Health Effects Group with Dr. Christine Davidson in the Department of Chemistry and has other collaboration projects with Naval Architecture-Marine Engineering, the University Marine Station at Millport and two Strathclyde links projects. She supervises 5 full time PhD students, 2 part time PhD students and is external co-supervisor of 2 other PhD students.
In 2007, Dr. Keenan was invited to join the United Nations GESAMP (Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection) and currently serves as Chair of Working Group 37, dealing with mercury and its compounds.
Helen Keenan University of Strathclyde
University of Strathclyde
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Mr Simon Gillespie CChem FRSC
Simon Gillespie joined the Scottish water industry as an analytical chemist in 1989 after starting his career in nuclear fuel manufacturing, then spending several years in the oil industry in Saudi Arabia. Since Simon joined, responsibility for provision of water and wastewater services in Scotland has been rationalised from 12 local authorities, by way of 3 regional authorities (1996) to Scottish Water (2002). Over this period, the number of supporting laboratories has reduced from around 14, to just two. Simon’s main area of technical expertise is in elemental analysis by ICP-AES and ICP-MS, though he has accumulated experience in many areas of analytical chemistry and microbiology, and he now heads the Scottish Water Laboratories Department. As well as being a member of the Water Science Forum, Simon sits on the RSC Admissions Committee and the strategic board of the Standing Committee of Analysts, which publishes the renowned “blue book” series of reference methods for the examination of water and associated materials. Simon also participates in water quality related BSI and ISO committees and is currently Convenor of an ISO Working Group developing international standards for discrete analysis.
Dr Roger Wellings FRSC
Following a Doctorate at Imperial College in Public Health Engineering, Roger has spent over 35 years experience in the water and the environment industry as an environmental chemist, initially with consultants followed by the British Standards Institution. While in consultancy Roger had experience in both the clean water and wastewater areas but also had comprehensive experience in the field of industrial and toxic wastes. At BSI he has managed the water quality standardization activities for 25 years covering national, European and international standardization work. In addition Roger was responsible for the secretariat of the International standards committee on water sampling. He was also team leader of the BSI Sustainability team, which covers standardization matters not only in the environmental quality areas but also sustainable issues such as carbon and water footprinting, sustainable procurement and sustainable events.
He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry for some 20 years, was a member of the RSC Analytical Methods Committee for a number of years and joined the Water Science Forum Committee in 2008
Mr Jonathan Mace MRSC
Jonathan is Quality Manager at ALS Environmental’s Wakefield Laboratory. Jonathan’s career in the water industry started with Yorkshire Water’s scientific services at their Sheffield Laboratory in 1985. He has been involved in quality management since 1992, is an active member of the Chartered Quality Institute and a Chartered Quality Professional. His particular areas of interest include analytical quality control, method validation, uncertainty of measurement and the promotion of continuing professional development.
Dr Richard Allan CSi CBiol FRSB CChem FRSC
Richard Allan is Head of the Centre of Expertise for Waters Research in Scotland (CREW) and a senior research fellow in sustainable water systems at the James Hutton Institute. CREW leads on policy focused research in the area of Water. The research agenda is focused on four main themes; Drinking Water Quality; Flood Risk Management; Catchment Management and Sustainable Rural Communities. In the first 5 year program CREW has successfully delivered over 90 high impact projects that inform policy. CREW also delivers the Hydro Nation Scholars Program which currently has a cohort of 17 PhD students embedded in Scottish Universities and covers water law, infrastructure, Asset management, catchment management and resource efficiency. Prior to this, Richard was previously the Chief Scientist at Scottish Water and then latterly Managing Director of Scottish Water Horizons and was responsible for delivering sustainable renewable energy for Scottish Water through wind, hydro, solar and waste recycling projects along with providing a range of other services. Richard has 24 years’ experience in industry and current holds the Chair of the Strategic Advisory Board: Environment at CEN. His PhD is in Risk Analysis and is focused on risk management performance of utilities.
Dr Ian Barnabas CSci CChem FRSC
Ian is the clean water Laboratory Manager for Northumbrian Water and has over 15 years experience in the environmental testing industry. Following completion of his Doctorate in environmental organic analysis, he worked as an analytical chemist in both clean water and environmental labs focusing on the analysis of trace organics before moving into various operational roles within Northumbrian Water. Ian has many years of experience participating in various groups including SCA, CEN and ISO committees, focusing on environmental analysis where he is always keen to share and promote new ideas.
Mr Adrian Clark MRSC
Adrian worked at the Defence Science and Technology Research Establishment (Dstl) for 33 years until his recent retirement, where he managed research projects for the Ministry of Defence and various other Government Departments. Research areas for which he had responsibility as a senior project manager included development of novel chemical and biological sensors, molecular detection methods, bio-reagent production, chemical decontamination, bioremediation techniques, environmental monitoring and water security issues. He was a founder member of the Sensors for Water Interest Group (SWIG) and sat on the conference organising committee for the three UK Water Contamination Emergency Conferences sponsored by the RSC. He has a BSc(Hons) degree in Chemistry from the University of Leicester and undertook 7 years of academic research and teaching at the Universities of London and Leeds prior to joining Dstl. He held the RSC Chartered Chemist qualification until his retirement in December 2012. His hobbies include bird watching, photography, and gardening.
Mrs Margaret McGuinness FRSC
Prof Graham Mills CChem FRSC
Professor of Environmental Chemistry at the University of Portsmouth
Graham Mills joined the University Portsmouth in 1990 as a Senior Lecturer in Applied Chemistry and was promoted to Principal Lecturer, Reader and in 2008 to Professor of Environmental Chemistry. Previous to this he held a number of research posts in the University of Southampton, where he also undertook his PhD. He is Chartered Chemist, Chartered Scientist and Chartered Engineer. His main research interests are analytical chemistry (chromatography and mass spectrometry methods) and the use of these techniques to measure water quality. He has worked on a number European projects in the use of passive sampling methods to monitor both inorganic and organic priority pollutants in the context of the Water Framework Directive. Together with other colleagues he invented the Chemcatcher® passive sampler that is used worldwide to a wide range of pollutants in water. At Portsmouth he manages of the Professional Doctorate programme within the Faculty of Science. He joined the Water Science Forum in 2014.
Dr Martin Padley CChem FRSC
Martin is the Director of Water and Scientific Services at United Utilities – responsible for all aspects of the collection and treatment and distribution of water services to over seven million customers in the North West of Engalnd. In addition, Martin leads all aspects of the companies scientific, sampling and analytical functions. Martin joined the water industry in 1994 and has held a wide range of scientific, operational, technical, process, management, regulatory, asset, quality and project roles.
Martin joined the Water Science Forum committee in 2012, has a degree and PhD in chemistry.
Ms Tilele Stevens MSc CChem MRSC
Tilele is a Chartered Chemist and has been a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry since 2010. She completed her BSc in chemistry in South Africa and her MSc in environmental technology at Imperial College London. She now works as a technical officer in groundwater protection at the UK Environment Agency in the East Anglia area.
For her MSc studies, Tilele studied the effects of climate change on agriculture and food security in the home country, Malawi. Before undertaking the MSc she worked as an analytical chemist, but left the pharmaceutical industry to pursue a career in environmental protection.
Tilele is an advocate for education and has experience of working with young people. In the final year of her undergraduate studies, at Rhodes University, she was a tutor for first year chemistry university students; this included supervising their chemistry laboratory practical classes. Furthermore, as a STEMNET (Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering Network) Ambassador, she has experience of delivering careers talks in secondary schools and demonstrating chemistry workshops; she is also a science tutor, specialising in A-Level chemistry. Tilele has a major interest in international development and is involved with projects in Malawi.
Prof K Clive Thompson CChem FRSC
Chief Scientist at ALcontrol Laboratories
Chief Scientist at ALcontrol Laboratories which is one of the largest food and environmental contract laboratory organisations in Europe with over 1800 staff. The company operates in 11 European countries and is currently expanding to take its services into new markets. Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry; Chartered Chemist; Chartered Scientist; Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management; Fellow of the Royal Institute of Public Health; Member of the Water Management Society (MWMSoc); Visiting Professor at Brunel University of London; Member of the American Chemical Society and Member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Mrs Gillian Williamson CChem MRSC
Gillian has worked for Northern Ireland Water, Analytical Services for over 24 years. Based within the clean water chemistry section for 12 years covering the chemical analysis within the laboratory and process control work at Water treatment works, firstly as an analyst and then as Laboratory Manager. Gillian then moved to the waste water chemistry section where she was responsible for all waste water and trade effluent chemical analysis for Northern Ireland. She has recently been promoted to the role of Analytical Services manager, having accountability for NIW’s two laboratories based in Belfast and Londonderry. Working within the water industry she gained membership of the Institute of Water, and following completion of a competence portfolio and an interview was awarded Chartered Environmentalist status in April 2011. Gillian joined the Royal Society of Chemistry in September 2012, and was delighted to be accepted on the direct route to Chartered Chemist status, which was achieved in March 2012, and shortly afterwards gained Chartered Scientist status too. She works as a mentor with a number of the chemistry staff within the laboratories of NIW promoting the benefits of Chartership/Registered Scientist.
Mr Paul Bolas CChem FRSC
After his early career years in a National Coal Board laboratory, during which time he gained his External London Degree, Paul joined the Mid Kent Water Co. as Chemist and Bacteriologist, and established their laboratory service. He stayed with the company until he retired, by which time he had become Chief Scientist, Scientific Director, and Managing Director of the company's subsidiary consulting arm (Mid Kent Scientific Services).
A founder member of WSF he has been an active committee member on many occasions and is a past Chairman. His hobbies and interests include, The Environment, Nature Conservation, Bee Keeping, Angling, Gardening, and his dogs.
Dr John Gray CChem FRSC
John Gray has over 40 years’ experience in the water industry both as an operational scientist in water companies and as a regulator. He managed analytical laboratories in Kent and Sussex and before retirement was Deputy Chief Inspector (Operations) with the Drinking Water Inspectorate. He has investigated and reported on a number of high profile contamination incidents in the UK and abroad.
John established significant national and international linkages enhancing the security of drinking water supplies and managed a number of associated research projects. He continued working in this area after retirement and is a member of a number of research steering committees for projects being undertaken for the Environmental Protection Agency in Ireland. He was a panel member for DEFRA reviewing appeals against the designation of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones.
John was co-editor of the proceedings of the first three and the latest (the fifth) Water Contamination Emergencies Conferences and has contributed to a number of books. He also gives occasional lectures to University students.
John became a Licentiate of the Royal Institute of Chemistry in 1972 and a Fellow of the RSC in 1985. He obtained his Doctorate in 1978 and a Diploma in Ecology from the University of Canterbury in 1987.
Mr Kevin Prior EurChem CSci CChem FRSC
Kevin is a process chemist with over 35 years' experience in industry. He initially worked as a raw materials chemist in the pharmaceutical industry gaining RSC membership via the HNC, LRSC route becoming a Fellow in 1994. This was followed by 25 years in the water industry where Kevin became General Manager (Environment and Quality) for a UK water company. Kevin is currently joint owner and director of a niche consultancy with a particular interest in the "Sustainable Use of Water". He has been an Honorary lecturer at the David Livingstone Centre for Sustainability at the University of Strathclyde, and the Dept. of Chemical Engineering at UMIST (now University of Manchester). He has major interests in Business Strategy and Sustainability plus Global Water Policy. He is currently Chair of the Water Science Forum.
Ms Natasha Page MChem CChem CSci MRSC
Editor - WSF Newsletter
Natasha is in the early stages of her career, having graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham in 2009. In 2016 She joint Anglian Water, one of the largest water supply and water recycling companies in the UK. Her role as Water Quality Performance Manager is within the drinking water section of the business managing Water Quality reporting. Prior to this Natasha spent seven years as the Laboratory Manager for a leading independent industrial water treatment company, covering R&D for water treatment chemicals, quality control and technical support. In 2015 she gained both Chartered Scientist and Chartered Chemist status with the RSC.
Prof Gary Fones BSc MSc PhD FRSC
Professor of Environmental Aquatic Chemistry at the University of Portsmouth
Gary Fones joined the University of Portsmouth in 2006 as a Senior Lecturer in Marine Biogeochemistry and was promoted in 2013 to Reader and in 2017 to Professor of Environmental Aquatic Chemistry. Previous to this he held a number of research posts at the University of Southampton, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA) and Lancaster University. He has a background in oceanography (BSc and MSc) and environmental analytical chemistry (PhD). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal ‘Continental Shelf Research’ and is a core member of the NERC Peer Review College. His main research interests are water and sediment quality monitoring using in-situ passive samplers for trace metals, nutrients and polar organic contaminants. Other research interests include trace metal and nutrient sediment water interactions (including sediment resuspension), benthic fluxes, transformations and benthic-pelagic coupling. He has worked on a number of NERC funded projects (Macronutrients and Shelf-Sea Biogeochemistry) and currently works closely with a number of UK water supply companies on integrating passive sampling monitoring into their catchment management strategies. He joined the Water Science Forum in 2017 as Co-Editor of the WSF newsletter.