About CSci

  • Steven Pearce
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Steven Pearce
Featured Profile: 
At A Glance
Licensed Body: 
First Degree: 
BSc Applied Biochemistry
Managing Director
Works For: 
Omega Ingredients Limited
Pet Hates: 
dishonesty and laziness in others
Burning Ambition: 
To be successful…
Some kind of super vision would be great…especially to be able to see at the molecular level!
Big Picture
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
A navy Pilot or a Doctor
Who or what inspired you to become a scientist? 
Isaac Asimov and especially his essay on photosynthesis I read about 1960…
What do you love about your job and being a “scientist”? 
Constant challenge of solving problems and helping others
What would you change? 
I would like it to pay better.
What qualifications did you take at school? 
Various (10) O levels and A Levels (Physics, Chemistry & Biology)
Why did you choose your first degree subject? 
Applied Biochemistry – was a route into Medicine and Medical research
Do you have a Masters or PhD? If not, was it difficult to demonstrate Masters-level equivalence in order to achieve CSci? 
Had started a PhD but Government cut-backs and boundary changes in late 70’s/early 80’s meant grants were lost and programs terminated…started again at Manchester Poly as part time PhD sponsored by company which then made me redundant…it is unfinished business! Never thought it prevented CSci…
How do you describe your job when you meet people at a party? 
I make smells – Flavours & fragrances really…but it starts the conversation with some humour!
What is ‘cutting-edge’ about your work? 
Constant new development and innovation – how do smells/aromas work on the mind?
What are the biggest implications your work will/could have in the future? 
Mood influencing approach of fragrances and satiety impact of flavours for treatment of obesity
Describe some of the highlights of your average day. 
Meeting people and working on new and exciting projects
Describe briefly how your career has progressed to date. 
Randomly…and not how I expected when at school!
How is your job cross-disciplinary? 
I do everything from making the tea to working with the BBC on TV and Radio programs. Developing new extracts and other materials, managing people and processes, selling to customers, dealing with the banks…as well as understanding the chemistry, writing articles and lecturing at schools, universities and research centres. I have to be part Chemist/biochemist, chemical engineer, lawyer, fork lift operator, factory worker, office worker, manager, salesman, marketeer and creative consultant…all at once!
How well is your job compensated? What is the starting salary for your field, and how much can this be expected to rise? 
Basic salary for a trainee flavourist or perfumer would be at least £20K p/a – Top salaries for Senior Flavourists and perfumers could easily be packages of at least £100 K p/a
How do you see your field developing over the next 5-10 years? 
More restrictions/changes in legislation…and return to cheaper synthetic ingredients in flavour
What’s the most unexpected thing about your job? 
The difficulties in employing people…it is rare to find someone who really wants to work and do a good job!
What’s the biggest achievement of your career so far? 
Building three business’s so far and giving employment and opportunity to may young people.
Would you say you have a good standard of living/ work-life balance? 
No – too much work and not enough cricket and golf!
What do your friends and family think about your job? 
They think I am lucky to have a “job” that is really my hobby as well…..and they are generally right!
What kind of hobbies or extracurricular activities do you do to relax? 
I am also an ECB qualified cricket coach, head coach at my club and have coached both county junior and ladies teams. It is very rewarding to see young cricketers develop their skills…and it takes my mind of work for a few hours
Why did you choose to apply for CSci and what do you value most about being a Chartered Scientist? 
I was invited by RSC to apply and saw it is a natural progression.
What is the value of professional bodies? 
Important that we represent science properly and professionally to the public and the world at large…we are generally very poor at that….so we are all seen as Frankensteins creating monsters. Professional bodies improve the reputation and should be encouraging effective communication of science
How important is CPD? What do you think of the revalidation process in ensuring that CSci is a mark of current competence? 
CPD is very important…we must all move with the times and keep abreast of developments. The re-validation is important..although I found it a pain quite honestly…when I am so busy with so much else on my plate…but that’s life!
Advice & Reflection
What words of wisdom would you give someone interested in getting into your field? 
Be prepared to be flexible, open minded and to work hard – be patient and give it time – it is not 9-5 for 5 days a week…it is a 24 hour a day 365 day process - there are over 8000 materials now identified as being responsible for the flavour of food – getting to know them will take time
How important is the mentoring process in your field and to you personally? 
To have the opportunity to work with and train with a senior flavourist or perfumer is extremely important and beneficial
How would you define “professionalism”? 
A demonstration of Integrity, competence and honesty in your chosen sphere
What would you do differently if you were starting out in your career now? 
Probably finish my PhD…and get into this industry sooner
What would you like people to remember about your life as a scientist? 
That I tried to help others and show youngsters the excitement of science and chemistry in particular and also that I tried communicate the benefits of science and chemistry to society
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