DSA Honour for Karl Swift

9 Jun 2015

Karl Swift has served on the SCI Fine Chemicals Group (FCG) committee for a total of 20 years. Karl has been selected to receive a Distinguished Service Award, which will be presented to him at the 134th SCI AGM. Here Karl talks about his experience as an active SCI member.

When and how did you become a member of SCI?
I believe it was around 1995-6 when the head of department asked if I would be interested in taking over from him as the Quest International representative on the Fine Chemicals Committee.

Why did you decide to get involved in committee work?
The main driver in the beginning was to ensure that a regular chemistry conference servicing the needs of the flavour and fragrance industry continued to be organised. I could also see the benefits of being able to widen my network of contacts, and being involved with meetings outside of my everyday work area.

What has driven your continued involvement?
The energy and drive that is the Fine Chemicals Group. The members of this group have a real passion for the dissemination of quality science and learning through the organisation of conferences covering a wide breadth of subjects.

How has being involved in SCI activities had an impact on your professional career?
This is very difficult for me to judge but the network of contacts that I have built up over the years has been invaluable.

How do your SCI activities reflect your personal/professional interests?
I strongly believe that it is important to ‘give something back’ to the chemistry community and throughout my career I have done this through my activities with both the SCI Fine Chemicals Group and the RSC BMCS group. SCI, with its business focus, is particularly relevant as the application of chemistry/science to fulfil a commercial need or challenge is what I find most exciting.

What motivates to you to participate in SCI activities?
Working with like-minded individuals from a wide range of backgrounds to deliver top quality scientific meetings to the scientific community. The breadth of learning from organising and attending scientific meetings outside of one’s normal area of expertise.

How do you think that your contribution has helped shaped SCI?
I believe that the energy, efficiency, and consistent year on year success of the Fine Chemicals Group has helped shape SCI. My contribution was merely to continue to steer this group during my time as Chairman.

What are your thoughts about receiving a Distinguished Service Award?
This was totally unexpected and a very pleasant surprise. Thank you.

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