Kevin Blaxall: Member of the Separation Science and Technology Committee
16 Mar 2015
Kevin Blaxall joined SCI in the 1960s and is currently an elected ordinary member of the Separation Science and Technology Committee. Kevin is retired, having previously been a consultant in the chemical industry.
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When and why did you become a member of SCI?
I became a member of SCI in the 1960s in order to interact with other members on topics of mutual interest and to help further the key aims of the Society i.e. expanding the involvement of chemistry and industry in the interest of business.
Why did you decide to get involved in an SCI Committee?
To contribute my personal experience in the above mentioned matters and to detail any individual ways in which the Separation Science and Technology Group can provide information which will assist in the general ambitions of the Society.
How do your SCI activities reflect your personal/professional interests?
I joined SCI because I was attracted by the primary concept of encouraging a better understanding of chemistry that is used in industry such as food and pharmaceuticals, which is both a professional and personal interest of mine. I would like to see more of this and am actively encouraging this premise in all my SCI activities.
What has driven your continued involvement?
I have a keen interest in the expression of knowledge, particularly in Separation Science, by learning from other members and SCI’s publications.
How has being involved in SCI activities impacted on your career?
SCI activities have impacted on my career by contributing to a general ‘pool’ of available scientific information and being able to draw from the ‘pool’ wherever possible.
How do you think that your contribution has helped to shape your Group or SCI as a whole?
I have particularly assisted in shaping the Separation Science and Technology Group on the Ion Exchange Resin Side and the use of absorbents. I have also had major involvement in organising the IEX Conferences over a period in excess of twenty years.
By being involved on a committee, what opportunities have been presented to you which you would not have otherwise had?
By being involved in the committee, I have been able to contribute more precisely into the activities of the Separation Science and Technology Group and to learn overall from the contribution of other members.
How do you balance your SCI commitments with your job and workload?
Balancing SCI commitments with my job and workload is not a problem for me as I retired 16 years ago from normal business activities.
What is the most important lesson you have learnt by being an SCI committee member?
I have learnt not to be frightened of expressing personal views even if they are seen as controversial by others. It is natural that there will be differences of opinion between members and there may be disagreements from time to time but it is important to remember that your fellow committee members will all be working towards the same long-term aim as you, which is ensuring the longevity of the Society and that it remains current and relevant to existing and future members.
What advice would you offer to anyone thinking about becoming involved in an SCI Group or Standing Committee?
My advice would be to be prepared to seriously contribute to all activities of the Group and SCI at all times and don’t be concerned if other members disagree with your views.