5 February 2021

Career Pathways for the Materials Scientist

Organised by:

SCI’s Materials Science Early Career Committee 

Online webinar: 14.00 – 16.00 GMT

Registration Closed

This event is no longer available for registration.


The SCI early career materials committee invites you for a day of talks featuring career professionals in various fields.

This event is primarily aimed at allowing ECRs and students to explore potential career pathways and provide them the opportunity to ask questions to career professionals from various industries.



Ali Saad

Minton Treharne & Davies Group

Ali is an experienced analytical scientist, having held numerous and diverse roles across the oil & gas, polymers & coatings and non-destructive testing industries. His career started in Australia as a contract chemist working for a major lubricants manufacturer, progressing to hold a role as a reservoir engineer within the same organisation. He gained analytical experience as a senior chemist carrying out non-routine problem-solving work and method development, and has worked more recently as an R&D chemist formulating speciality chemicals. Ali now works as a consultant scientist, specialising in polymers and coatings and carrying out material failure investigations for a worldwide client base.

Chen Zhao


I have a bachelor degree in Materials Chemistry and MSc in Environmental and Resources Engineering, now I work as an Intellectual Property Analytics Consultant. My career path has always been in the field IP – from brand protection, patent searching to patent analytics. In the kind of IP analytics work I do, a good knowledge in technical fields (Chemistry in my case) is required and that was one of the initial attractions for me. One of many reasons I love my job is applying my knowledge in both Chemistry and IP fields to make a real impact in innovation – to help our clients to innovate more efficiently and sustainably.

Dinu Iuga


Dinu is the Technical Director for the EPSRC High-Field Solid-State NMR National Research Facility based at Warwick. He obtained a PhD at University of Nijmegen in Netherlands and performed postdoctoral research at MIT and CNRS. Dinu worked more than 15 years as manager of NMR research facilities in Canada and UK assisting hundreds of users to perform NMR experiments for structural characterization of solids with applications across chemistry, materials science, life sciences and environmental sciences.

Dr Stephen Hughes

DST Innovations Ltd

After completing my PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry in 2013 I started a position as Product Development Manager for a local defence supplier, BCB International, and founded a factory to create a novel flameless fuel.
After setting the facility up, I changed tracks and moved to a young technology firm looking to disrupt the display area, DST Innovations. Since then, I have been involved in a number of large commercial projects and had the opportunity to work in a variety of different areas. I now function as Solutions Manager and oversee the entire R&D project base of our maturing start-up.

Dr Neil Hammond

RSC Publishing

Neil holds a PhD in Nuclear Physics from Liverpool University, and conducted research at Argonne National Lab in the USA, co-authoring more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, before leaving scientific research to begin a career in academic publishing. He has served in various roles for a number of publishers over the last 15+ years and has worked with a diverse range of academic communities and learned societies. He is currently the Publisher for Open Access Journals at the Royal Society of Chemistry, carrying responsibility for the strategic development and growth of the RSC’s open access journals programme.

Scott Board


Scott holds a degree and masters in Chemistry from Cardiff University, and an MPhil in Catalysis from Aston University. He now works within the Counter-Terrorism and Security Division of Dstl, within the Explosives Trials Detection team. He is a subject matter expert on new and emerging technologies for the detection and identification of explosives and controlled substances. His work is primarily military focused, involving a variety of high profile projects, and he is an accredited military trainer for explosives detection systems.


14:00 Welcome and introduction

14:05 An unexpected journey to a dream destination
Ali Saad, Minton Treharne & Davies Group

14:25 The science keeping you safe: counter terrorism at Dstl
Scott Board, Dstl         

14:45 Materials Scientist Graduate - My Career path in Intellectual Property
Chen Zhao, Clarivate

15:05 Solutions aren't all about solvents - Solutions for commercial situations

          Dr Stephen Hughes, DST Innovations


15:25 Career experience: from researcher to publisher
Dr Neil HammondRSC Publishing


15:45 High-Field Solid-State NMR for materials characterization 

           Dinu Iuga, EPSRC NMR NRF    


16:10  Meeting close


Booking Process/Deadlines

Booking terms and conditions

Organising committee

Shereen Aboarkaba, Synthomer
Lois Afua, Open University
Hatem Amli, University of Lincoln
Isidro Cobo-Cardenete, Henkel
Alex Evans, Synthomer
Mark Isaacs, University College London / HarwellXPS
Leanne Jones, University of Liverpool
Chris Parlett, University of Manchester / Diamond Light Source
Jack Swallow, Oxford University




For further information please email conferences@soci.org.

Conference team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561

Email: conferences@soci.org