Randhir, who fell in love with chemistry during her PhD, works as quality manager at early-stage medical device company Oxtex.
Throughout Randhir’s school education, she found chemistry difficult. It was her inquisitive mind and the fact that she didn’t want to let her parents down that motivated her to keep studying. “I knew I had opportunities that they never had,” she explains.
Randhir began to really enjoy chemistry at PhD level where she found both the investigative and explorative aspects both challenging and exciting. During this time, the supportive nature of her PhD supervisor, Dr Ramaier Narayanaswamy, not only directed her research but took an active interest in the personal welfare of all his students.
“The enthusiasm he had for his research was infectious and his commitment and dedication to his students allowed for opportunities to fulfil potential.”
An exciting but challenging career
Randhir is currently a quality manager for Oxtex, an early stage medical device company based on technology generated from the University of Oxford. She makes sure their quality management systems are in accordance with all applicable European and worldwide regulations. Randhir enjoys working in a multidisciplinary team towards a real application of the technology, after years of research with a pragmatic, focussed and resilient approach.
“The road from research and development through to placing a product on the market is touch, exciting, challenging and rewarding.”
Giving something back
In the world of medical devices, there are countless safety and efficacy regulations that need to be met. She has been fortunate to be involved in the various stages of getting product to market. Looking beyond the immediate challenges and to the bigger picture, Randhir has contributed to making a real difference to the way diseases are diagnosed, monitored and event treated.
Randhir’s career hasn’t just been in the private sector, she also spent two years teaching O-level science in Zimbabwe. At the time, there was a policy of ‘education for the masses’ so she didn’t see any evidence of discrimination at the school where she taught.
“I felt and do feel very fortunate to have the opportunities I have, so I wanted to give something back.”
Mentoring played a vital part in Randhir’s career and she feels it has helped her reach her full potential. She sees the importance of giving children and teenagers a vision of what they can do with science and technology. “Chemistry at GCSE can be boring but it’s essential to know the basics. Chemistry is everywhere and a chemistry degree can open so many doors to the future.”
Words by Jenny Lovell
Images © Ian Farrell/Royal Society of Chemistry
Published February 2015