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22nd November 2018

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Meet Davy Rowan

Author: Davy Rowan, KTP Associate

davy-pap-of-glencoeI’m Davy Rowan, a 25-year-old Scot from Edinburgh. I have a MEng in chemical engineering from University of Edinburgh and a MSc in Industrial Biotechnology from University of Strathclyde.

What is your role within Biocatalysts?

I am a bioprocess development scientist which means my role is focused on improving current and future bioprocesses, specifically downstream processing. I am also a Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate (KTP), which means I will oversee technology transfer from University College London (UCL) to Biocatalysts Ltd. A particularly exciting area to explore currently is the use of ultra-scale down devices which UCL has expertise in, and we are looking to incorporate into Biocatalysts.

How did you find out about this opportunity?

UCL obviously has a great reputation, but I was not sure I wanted to go back to university, at least for now. Stuart West, Managing Director at Biocatalysts, gave an insightful lecture on biocatalysis at University of Strathclyde during my Industrial Biotechnology Masters, which was my first exposure to Biocatalysts as a company. From then on, I kept tabs on the company’s job advertisements and eventually this opportunity emerged.

Why did you apply to this Knowledge Transfer Partnership?

When I read the job description I couldn’t imagine a better opportunity. The prospect of interacting and learning from academic experts and implementing their ideas directly in an enzyme manufacturing company is truly exciting. The investment in professional development is also unique and attractive, both at UCL and Biocatalysts, as well as at KTP Ashorne Hill. The chance to combine and apply my process engineering and biotechnology knowledge learned throughout university was too enticing to pass up.

What are your initial impressions of Biocatalysts, UCL and Cardiff?

I’m excited to be part of a manufacturing company that takes improvement seriously, in terms of people and processes. The people are really welcoming and inclusive. The practical goal-based structure the company adopts make it obvious what we are trying to achieve, which I think is invaluable.

The staff at UCL have been excellent. Having already taken part in a Fermentation MBI course I already had an insight into the high standard of teaching there, and the discussions pertinent to my project have been productive, generating interesting ideas to develop. It’s been great to experience London too.

As for Cardiff, the people are friendly and it’s a nice sized city, not too big with plenty to do and loads of green space making it a great place to be. Still getting used to some Welsh accents though!

Look out for my next blog to find out more this exciting new project and how it develops.

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