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Consumer Products Technician

Robert Finch

I help develop desirable properties for consumer products, from cosmetics to chewing gum.

00:16 Revolymer Limited are a polymer science company

00:18 and we aim to use polymers to solve problems in common consumer products.

00:23 In real terms that means developing materials which can improve the properties

00:27 on products in many areas such as cosmetics, adhesives, household products,

00:33 and the main one for Revolymer is our chewing gum.

00:40 When I started off at secondary school, the sciences and maths were always my favourite subjects.

00:45 So I stuck with those all through school because I was good at them and I enjoyed them as well,

00:50 then I continued that on to A level, so I studied the three sciences and maths there,

00:55 and it was always the chemistry which I preferred more to the other sciences, 

01:00 because I tend to prefer the practical side and problem-solving side,

01:03 rather than just the theoretical side.

01:06 So that led me on to study a chemistry degree at Manchester University.

01:13 Towards the end of my final year of my degree, I was tending towards doing, studying a PhD.

01:18 So I decided to apply for jobs in the chemistry industry,

01:22 and it was always polymer science which was most enjoyable to me at university,

01:27 so I decided to apply for polymer chemistry companies.

01:31 As well as the large companies I actually decided to apply to smaller companies,

01:34 because I thought there there’d be a better chance of progression and

01:39 I knew Revolymer as a growing company so I thought it’d be a great company to join.

01:48 I’d say working for an SME (small and medium enterprise)

01:50 you get a lot more of a feel for what’s going on in the rest of the business,

01:54 You get involved with things you wouldn’t do in a much larger company,

01:59 where you’d just be, you’d have a much more defined role,

02:01 you help out with lots of other project areas and it’s a lot more diverse I find.  

02:07 In a typical day I’ll come down to the lab and I’ll put a reaction on

02:11 and then polymers that I’ve prepared on previous days, I’ll test the properties of those, 

02:15 analyse those, and I’d also write up previous experiments

02:20 and one of the other tasks which I do quite often is I read up on research papers

02:24 or patents to study what other things have been done I the past,

02:29 and try to think of a best approach to solving the problem.

02:34 I think it’s important that you go into an area of chemistry that you enjoy because

02:38 then you’ll come into work and you’ll enjoy it and you’ll enjoy the work that you’re doing,

02:42 on a day-to-day basis, and having an interest in work will help you go a lot farther in the industry, rather than

02:48 somebody who’s turning up to work every day and not really enjoying what they’re doing.

02:53 Chemistry’s such a broad subject that because you can go from,

02:56 on one side you can be working on developing pharmaceutical ingredients,

03:02 whereas on the other side you can work on developing plastics.

03:07 In our case we work on developing polymers to go in to everyday products,

03:10 rounds with the work we can use every day.

03:13 Plus there’s also the analytical side as well.

03:15 There are lots of jobs in quality control, just to make sure that the products which are being made

03:21 by all the major organisations are up to scratch and meet their specifications.

03:28 The most important thing is to get the company right, so you come into work every day and have the job satisfaction,

03:34 and then you find the right balance in your personal and your work lives.

“Chemistry's such a broad subject because you can go from developing pharmaceutical ingredients to developing plastics.”

How did I get started?

I always had a preference for maths and the sciences at school, so I took chemistry at A-level. I then did chemistry at university.

Career progression

I had an industrial placement with a small firm whilst doing my degree, and wanted to stay on with them once I graduated as I think there could be a better chance for progression.

“The most important thing is to get the company right so you can come into work every day and have job satisfaction, and then you find the balance in your work and personal lives.”