Dave Lathbury: Distinguished Service Award 2024

20 June 2024

Launched in 2001, the Distinguished Service Award recognises the enthusiasm, hard work and goodwill of longer-serving members from all parts of the Society. This year's winner is Dave Lathbury, who will receive his award at SCI's AGM on 3 July 2024

1. When and why did you become a member of SCI?

I think I became involved around 1997. I saw the need to promote the chemical sciences. And joining the Fine Chemicals Group was a way to interact with a like-minded group drawn from academia and industry.

2. Why did you decide to get involved in committee work?

At the same time, I had often attended the one day meetings and helping to organise them was a way to get more deeply involved in the various topics and also meet key researches in the various fields.

3. What has driven your continued involvement with SCI?

The SCI process development meeting has been my main focus over the years. It continues to serve a need for the many industrial practitioners to meet and exchange ideas and views about science and business.

4. How has being involved in SCI activities had an impact on your professional career?

It has vastly broadened my network of industrialists and young academics, which has enabled me to have a better knowledge of how other companies are dealing with issues such as recruitment, and helped me formulate better strategies for my company and the community.

5. How do your SCI activities reflect your personal/professional interests?

The slightly more industrial focus on issues is good. Now being self-employed, I find the network fills a vacuum now that I don’t work for a large company.

6. What motivates you to participate in SCI activities?

I guess I’m still interested in the science and it’s just good to network with a bunch of like-minded individuals.

7. How do you think that your contribution has helped shape SCI?

I'm not totally sure if it has, but I do have an influence on the Process Development Symposium. I’ve really tried hard to make sure that it follows the developments that are ongoing.

8. What are your thoughts about receiving a Distinguished Service Award?

I think it’s a mixed blessing. It’s nice to know that you’ve had some appreciation for what you’ve done, but it’s also a bit of a reality check as to the fact that you are coming to the end of the road with respect to influence. I hope I can extend this as I draw nearer to retirement and hope the younger members of the community have the same opportunities that I’ve had.

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