24 November 2016
Stefan is our Lab Automation Scientist; he has worked in industry for a number of years and has brought his excellent skills and knowledge to Aptamer Group. This week we chat to him as our spotlight…
Hi Stefan, so tell us a little bit about your role here at Aptamer?
My main responsibilities are the maintenance and programming of our automated liquid handling robots. I ensure that they are up to the job of high throughput screening and selection. I also have a hand in assisting with the day to day testing and analysis within the lab. It’s a bit of a mix really!
How did you move from Research Scientist to Automation Scientist?
My previous experience has mainly been focused on ELISAs and the liquid handling robots have been an integral part of my career thus far. As I learned more about them I began to appreciate how much work goes into running and maintaining a high-throughput system. Once colleagues began relying on me to assist them with the machines I realised that my role had shifted from research to automation. Once I saw the post at Aptamer Group I leapt at the opportunity to work for a great up-and-coming business in an area I’m passionate about.
What do you find most challenging as Lab Automation Scientist in a biotech company?
The robots are incredibly sophisticated, but like all machines they provide a myriad of problems if certain things aren’t done correctly. Problem solving on the fly has been a skill I’ve had to work hard to build. Being able to keep a logical and calm mind when problems appear means that these issues can usually be resolved with a quick work around.
Can you recommend any tips for anybody wanting to move from Research role into an Automation role?
Just to know your system really well and keep up with any updates. Eventually someone will ask you to do something or solve a problem you’ve never experienced before. Having a good knowledge of the system will help you figure out how to solve the problems and deliver on your targets.
Last but not least, what would you be doing if you were not in the Biotech Industry?
Writing has always been a passion of mine, probably journalism or something like that!
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