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Steve Pye
Featured Profile: 
At A Glance
Licensed Body: 
Scientist Type: 
North West
First Degree: 
BA Business Studies
Technical Service Manager
Works For: 
Walki Ltd
Pet Hates: 
Litter and laptops with virus infections
Burning Ambition: 
Travel to Argentina to eat steak
To travel to places quickly without the hassle of flying in aeroplanes !
Big Picture
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
No idea! I became a printing apprentice on the grounds of steady employment and escape from school
Who or what inspired you to become a scientist? 
I rather fell into the role as I never set out to become or ever considered myself to be a scientist
What do you love about your job and being a “scientist”? 
The research and application of materials development to enable efficient use of valuable resources
What would you change? 
to try and gain greater dialogue with Government with regard to materials use, recycling and recovery
What qualifications did you take at school? 
I hated school and left with the barest of CSE and O level qualifications
Why did you choose your first degree subject? 
I undertook a BA in Business studies as at the age of 32 and was the first person in Liverpool to do so without the benefit of A levels
Do you have a Masters or PhD? If not, was it difficult to demonstrate Masters-level equivalence in order to achieve CSci? 
My Chartered Scientist status came via the Institute of Materials as being a Fellow of the Institute, it gave me a route to apply directly for the qualification
How do you describe your job when you meet people at a party? 
I develop specifications for barrier and functional packaging materials using paper and polymers
What is ‘cutting-edge’ about your work? 
The development of renewable polymers for coating purposes and the potential for new recycling methods for existing plastics
What are the biggest implications your work will/could have in the future? 
The husbanding of non renewable polymers, reduction in carbon emissions and reduction in landfill of plastics
Describe some of the highlights of your average day. 
Establishing new specifications to improve pack performance and or gain economy / efficient use of materials. Meeting new people and raising the profile of the packaging industry
Describe briefly how your career has progressed to date. 
In 2009 I completed 40 years in the Packaging Industry. I left printing after 12 years. Became a mature student and then worked in the paper industry as Technical Officer which involved trouble shooting and customer relations. I later became a packaging technologist for a leading carton manufacturer and eventually Technical Manager for a polymer extrusion coating company
How is your job cross-disciplinary? 
I am involved with polymer and paper suppliers, process engineers, designers, marketeers, packaging technologists, recyclers, consumer groups and various industry institutions and special interest groups
How well is your job compensated? What is the starting salary for your field, and how much can this be expected to rise? 
I have a salary commensurate with my position within the UK but less well paid than colleagues who work in similar positions abroad
How do you see your field developing over the next 5-10 years? 
This is a dynamic area for anyone interested in both environmental and social aspects of packaging development
What’s the most unexpected thing about your job? 
The degree to which I have traveled the world. Apart from the USA , I have visited many countries to give training and lectures on the benefits of appropriate barrier performance packaging
What’s the biggest achievement of your career so far? 
The introduction of biodegradable polymer coatings and the increased use of recyclable materials to reduce pack weight and allow for improved pack disposal at end of life
Would you say you have a good standard of living/ work-life balance? 
My career has given my family a higher standard of living than that of my parents and siblings. Long hours and commitment are essential if you want the rewards but it has also given me friendships and worldwide contacts that will last well into retirement
What do your friends and family think about your job? 
I've never asked them but I know they think all the travel is more exotic than it actually is!
What kind of hobbies or extracurricular activities do you do to relax? 
I collect Napoleonic Military miniatures ( lead soldiers), I shoot small bore indoor target rifle at the local club in Liverpool and during the better weather I play golf
Why did you choose to apply for CSci and what do you value most about being a Chartered Scientist? 
Having left school without qualifications I have worked hard to win professional recognition. Colleagues and customers often comment upon my post nominals but Chartered Status is seen as a deep personal achievement which more than offsets the negative encouragement I received as a boy
What is the value of professional bodies? 
Without doubt, networking and the opportunity to meet and talk with likeminded people. To attend lectures, meetings or visits with people from a wider cross section of Society and Industry
How important is CPD? What do you think of the revalidation process in ensuring that CSci is a mark of current competence? 
CPD is a self discipline which encourages stimulation and prevents stagnation in one's day to day work. It allows one to take stock of what has been achieved and what still requires work to be done. It encourages active participation in research, reading, and contribution to the relevant disciplines within one's working environment
Advice & Reflection
What words of wisdom would you give someone interested in getting into your field? 
Join a relevant professional Institute and get involved in as many related activities as possible
How important is the mentoring process in your field and to you personally? 
Without the encouragement of senior executives ( both in work and met socially) at critical times, my career would not have been as successful as it has
How would you define “professionalism”? 
A term of respect and achievement which reflects the depth and sincerity to which a person should aspire/strive for in terms of their chosen career
What would you do differently if you were starting out in your career now? 
Apart from learn another language ( Chinese would be my recommendation) or play the piano I would not change anything as my career has evolved in a unique and thoroughly enjoyable way
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