About CSci

  • Professor Mel Richardson MBE
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Professor Mel Richardson MBE
Featured Profile: 
At A Glance
Licensed Body: 
South East
First Degree: 
B.Tech Polymer Technology
Works For: 
University of Portsmouth
Pet Hates: 
Irritation with people who think climate change is ONLY caused by the human race.
Burning Ambition: 
To see my Tibetan/Chinese Charity Friendship Centre I have built be fully used to help local poor people
To alleviate poverty and disease worldwide
Big Picture
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
Initially no idea other than I dreamed of standing on the Great Wall of China
Who or what inspired you to become a scientist? 
I went to a Schools Lecture on Plastics at the Royal Institution
What do you love about your job and being a “scientist”? 
The joy of making a difference to society by developing materials useful both in the affluent West but also in very poor areas of the World
What would you change? 
Nothing – other than I wish I had started my Charity Work earlier
What qualifications did you take at school? 
Why did you choose your first degree subject? 
B.Tech Polymer Technology inspired by Royal Institution Lecture
Do you have a Masters or PhD? If not, was it difficult to demonstrate Masters-level equivalence in order to achieve CSci? 
I have a PhD
How do you describe your job when you meet people at a party? 
I am a University Professor in UK and am “Visiting Professor” to universities in China and Portugal too
What is ‘cutting-edge’ about your work? 
My research team is in the forefront of nanotechnology research making plastics tougher, stronger, and harder!
What are the biggest implications your work will/could have in the future? 
My new materials are being used in as diverse applications as aerospace, boats, medical appliances, and helping the world’s poorest people to make cheap affordable building materials from waste fibres
Describe some of the highlights of your average day. 
Interacting and inspiring students, and making breakthroughs in research.
Describe briefly how your career has progressed to date. 
From working in a humble industrial laboratory to being a young university lecturer and finally being appointed a Professor and Director of Research
How is your job cross-disciplinary? 
I interact daily with physicists, chemists, engineers, designers and businessmen
How well is your job compensated? What is the starting salary for your field, and how much can this be expected to rise? 
Currently a lecturer starts around £25,000 pa and rises to around £70,000 pa as a professor (+ extra consultancy fees)
How do you see your field developing over the next 5-10 years? 
Nanotechnology is one of the most exciting scientific areas currently available. Quote: Nicholas Hartley (Director EU Research)“…nanotechnology is the flagship of the next industrial revolution….”
What’s the most unexpected thing about your job? 
The freedom to pursue hugely interesting research topics and travel the world meeting other scientists. Also in applying my technology to help poor people in the mountains I was awarded an MBE by the Queen and an Honorary Citizenship of China!!
What’s the biggest achievement of your career so far? 
Creating groundbreaking new nano-enhanced plastic materials that will help both the developed and the undeveloped world
Would you say you have a good standard of living/ work-life balance? 
My work is intellectually challenging, pays me well, and gives me time to pursue things that matter in life
What do your friends and family think about your job? 
They are happy and proud
What kind of hobbies or extracurricular activities do you do to relax? 
I am a committed Christian seeking to care and share with other people both in this country and abroad. I love actively leading teams of volunteers up into the Tibetan/Chinese mountains to help those in need
Why did you choose to apply for CSci and what do you value most about being a Chartered Scientist? 
Because it is an internationally recognized endorsement of my scientific capabilities and training
What is the value of professional bodies? 
They enable the sharing of knowledge, help to maintain high standards, and give a level of “street cred”
How important is CPD? What do you think of the revalidation process in ensuring that CSci is a mark of current competence? 
It helps to keep us all “on our toes” and makes sure we always keep up to date
Advice & Reflection
What words of wisdom would you give someone interested in getting into your field? 
Never give up and always keep positive. A poem for reflection: “Two men look from prison bars, one sees mud the other one stars…”
How important is the mentoring process in your field and to you personally? 
Having people around you who encourage and “believe in you” is immensely important
How would you define “professionalism”? 
Displaying competence, skill, knowledge, flexibility and integrity
What would you do differently if you were starting out in your career now? 
Use my influence and skills to help others in need at an earlier stage in my career
What would you like people to remember about your life as a scientist? 
He always sort to share with others the good things he had been blessed with
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