#SmashingStereotypes – An Interview with Amy Parekh-Pross

British Science Week photo of AmyAs we continue to celebrate British Science Week, we interviewed Amy one of our colleagues leading the chemistry laboratories at Nicholls Colton.

The science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) sectors are much more diverse than people may first think. We are supporting @ScienceWeekUK and highlighting that the construction industry needs scientists too. Read on to find out more.

Amy Parekh-Pross (BSc, MSc) is an Associate responsible for the development of our Environmental Chemistry Laboratory and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in Analytical Chemistry and Regulations, gained by working for over 25 years in the USA and UK.  She started off her career at Dames & Moore in Petaluma, California and has worked as a Laboratory Manger for major commercial environmental laboratories before moving into Technical Business Development roles. She participates in numerous industry committees and has delivered engaging seminars at Conferences (London, Belfast, Scotland), Universities and Contaminated Land Forums. As part of her role Amy provides in depth technical guidance, training and solutions to clients throughout the UK.

What first got you interested in Science?

I have always been fascinated by Science!Marie Curie Quote

Marie Curie was obviously a big inspiration for me, along with my brilliant Chemistry teacher, Mr. Carpenter (Harrow Girls school). He was inspiring in the best possible way as he was technical and highly knowledgeable, good at delivering scientific concepts and he encouraged us to think.

What do you enjoy about your role?
I have been fortunate enough to work in collaboration with clients on many technical case studies, one of the highlights being a site that involved the use of Environmental Forensics and total hydrocarbons testing. For those interested to know, Hydrocarbons are a class of organic chemical compounds composed of the elements carbon (C) and hydrogen (H). Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) covers a large group of chemical compounds that originally come from crude oil. They include Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene, Jet fuels, lubricating oils and Asphaltenes. At Nicholls Colton, we work regularly with clients who are interested in hydrocarbon analysis, especially when they encounter sites with fuel contamination.

I love working in this field as it has provided me with the opportunity to work with some amazing Chemists and clients with the added benefit of working in an industry that strives to have a positive impact on the Environment.

Why would you encourage people to consider a career in STEM?

It would be wonderful to see more women work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) related careers. If like myself you are fascinated by science, I would definitely encourage you to pursue a career in it, as it is really rewarding to work in an industry you are passionate about.

STEM fields are constantly growing due to exciting advances in technology & innovation and a career in STEM means you are part of an inspirational scientific community, utilising science to solve problems.

What do you like doing out of work?

When not working I enjoy going for family walks in the countryside, and before Covid we used to love going for weekend trips to the Cotswold’s. I also enjoy reading and watching Sci-Fi movies.

#LoveScience #EnviornmentalChemistry #Mariecurie #Environment

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