Tiffany Wood: Scotland Committee and Membership Affairs Committee

12 Jan 2015

Tiffany Wood joined SCI in 2011. She was elected as an ordinary member of the Membership Affairs Committee in 2013. In 2013, she was also elected to the Scotland Group committee. She became Chair of the Scotland Group in late 2014. Tiffany is the Operations Director at the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership at the University of Edinburgh.

If you want to find out more about Tiffany or get in touch with her, you can contact her via the Members' Directory (you will need to sign in to view). If you need help searching the directory please click on the how-to guide below.

When and why did you become a member of SCI?
I was attracted to SCI by the slogan 'where science meets business' which has synergy with my interests in linking academic science with the needs of industry and start-up businesses. I joined the SCI in 2012.

Why did you decide to get involved in an SCI Committee?
I am involved with both the SCI Membership Affairs Committee (MAC) and the SCI Scotland Group Committee.  I joined MAC to gain a better understanding of the essence of SCI, its mission and how it works.  I am enthused by the energy of its members to continually renew the way in which SCI operates to ensure it remains relevant to business and society.  I also joined the SCI Scotland Group Committee to develop connections across Scotland to gain a sense of community in the chemical sciences.  In October 2014, I was voted in as Chair of the SCI Scotland Group

How do your SCI activities reflect your personal/professional interests?
In my day job I am Operations Director at the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership (ECFP) at the University of Edinburgh. ECFP is a gateway for companies to connect with world leading academics in complex fluid science at the University and so I deal with matching the concerns of businesses with developments in the academic world in reaching a deeper understanding of complex fluid problems and innovations in soft material science.  Typically, we deal with investigating how components interact with one another in a mixture, e.g. a composite or formulation, to understand how to control the bulk properties of a material, e.g. processability, stability and performance.  SCI offers me the opportunity to gain insight into the interface between companies and academics through the range of Technical Interest Groups.

What has driven your continued involvement?
I have continued to remain involved since I believe that SCI fills an important role in linking science with business.

How has being involved in SCI activities impacted on your career? 
Being involved with SCI activities has enabled me to connect with some very interesting people and attend some fascinating talks arranged by the SCI.  For me, this is a way of networking which always serves a useful purpose.

I have recently received funding from the SCI for a PhD studentship in conjunction with being awarded a Royal Society Industry Fellowship to work with the Mentholatum company.  This support will be immensely helpful in ensuring that we can complete the scope of exciting work that we have planned.

How do you think that your contribution has helped to shape your Group or SCI as a whole?
I have only been a member of SCI for 2 years so I cannot claim to have had much impact on the SCI.  However, I strongly believe it is useful for all types of people to make a contribution to committees, I make my contribution as a (relatively) young female of which there are few.

By being involved on a committee, what opportunities have been presented to you which you would not have otherwise had?
Through being on committees I have learnt a lot about what drives learned societies and their importance in connecting people with one another and developing initiatives that can have important economic impact.

How do you balance your SCI commitments with your job and workload?
Sometimes it is difficult to balance SCI commitments because a lot of activities and meetings are in London and I am based in Scotland.  This can make it expensive, although my costs are covered by SCI, and takes a lot of time (or exhaustingly long days!). I try to make it to London events at least three times a year and other times I connect via teleconference.

What is the most important lesson you have learnt by being an SCI committee member?
I very much enjoy hearing from the experienced scientists who have an entire industrial career behind them and hearing about how the relationship between science and business has evolved over the years, particularly in the large multinational companies.  I have learnt that it is important to have a positive outlook towards the future and a vision for what could be achieved.

What advice would you offer to anyone thinking about becoming involved in an SCI Group or Standing Committee?
I would particularly encourage early career members to join an SCI Group or Standing Committee.  Not only does the experience give you great insight, but a balanced blend of both experienced and early career people will provide the society with continuity, stability and relevance for the years to come.

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