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Brilliant minds finding solutions to complex problems, made easy to understand. Making complex easy.

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Celebrating 30 years at RPS With Jonathan Tucker, Divisional Director

As a Divisional Director, Jonathan Tucker is faced with complex challenges to solve and targets to meet daily. But he didn’t reach this point overnight.

04 March 2024 | 5 min read
JT testimonial

Fresh out of Aberystwyth University with a degree in Environmental Biology, Jonathan first started out surveying and removing asbestos. Since then, he’s spent the last three decades years working in various roles within RPS as a Project Manager and Sales Manager and consistently securing high levels of business within competitive marketplaces before eventually securing his post as the Divisional Director for Occupational Health and Labs.

Now, thirty years later, Jonathan has an impressive track record and arsenal of experience, creating change and making a difference. With Occupational Health, Jonathan is demonstrating a commitment to employees' well-being while in the Laboratory division, he leads a team of experts conducting scientific analysis, monitoring, and compliance services across the UK and Europe.

Here Jonathan shares what he does, what he’s learned along the way, and his invaluable advice for those seeking a fulfilling career at RPS.

What do you do?

I am the Divisional Director responsible for the UK Laboratories and Occupational Health and Hygiene businesses.  A lot of my role requires balancing various things. At the same time, I need to be able to demonstrate success by generating new business through negotiation and cultivating high-level business relationships with key client decision-makers in many organisations.

I am also managing various teams in multiple locations across the UK, delegating and guiding decisions along the way. I am also responsible for driving sustainable growth through active management and the use of structured business plans to grow the business and create new opportunities for everyone.

How did you gain and build your expertise over the years?

I left University with a degree in Environmental Biology and started undertaking scientific work related to asbestos, occupational hygiene, and emissions monitoring. After starting work in London, I transferred to Liverpool and then to Milton Keynes. I then had the opportunity to get involved with sales and commercial activities where I spent most of my career. I have had the opportunity to use both key field area skills in RPS.

How did you end up joining RPS?

Pretty much straight out of University, I joined a company called Casella. We worked at the BBC TV Centre surveying and removing asbestos. Casella was purchased by RPS, and I transferred over.

Within a short amount of time, my interest in what RPS does grew and I began to contribute the skills I had learned in university to the role and to building my career.

What does your job entail?

I support the business operationally but am also heavily involved with commercial activities- This means I get an opportunity to meet with our clients, develop relationships and secure new opportunities to continue helping people keep their workplace safe.

What critical things have you learned during your career?

There are many lessons I have learned, but one I always try to remember and keep close to is to be flexible and adaptable. If you can adjust your perspective and the way you approach a problem, there’s nothing you can’t solve. Adapting to changing environments and differing situations is critical and I contribute this aspect to my longevity and success over the years.

The second thing is of course to enjoy your work!

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I enjoy working with some exceptional colleagues. At RPS, I am in the company of leading experts in their respective fields all with something interesting to contribute ranging from fields in Healthcare, AgroScience, Water and Environmental Analysis among many others. Every day you learn from them and collaborate on fascinating ideas which are making a significant impact in our communities.

I also am proud to work for an organisation that supports career development and provides opportunities to grow, develop and learn new things.

Environmental analysis
view of the offshore platform and windmills of Rampion windfarm off the coast of Brighton, Sussex, UK

What changes have you seen in the industry over 30 years, both in laboratories and occupational health? What have you learned?

One of the significant changes is the greater degree of specialisation. When I started, we would work on all aspects of environmental work (e.g., asbestos, occupational hygiene, contaminated land, and emissions), now people are much more focused on roles and how those roles contribute. There is also the immense growth and development in technology too (I remember faxes and sending reports in hard copy!).

I also believe that technology and training are key to improving the industry and continue developing it. Bringing in new talent and adapting new resources is how we’ll adjust to changing times and continue innovating.

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What's the best advice you can give to someone who just started their career? Or wish to follow a career path like yours?

Learn your trade. Be a specialist in your field. Be the one who people come to when they have questions and slowly build your confidence so you can be a leader in that space. And always be open to new ideas and opportunities. You never know where they may take you.

Why join RPS?

Joining RPS is an exciting choice. Because of the extensive breadth of experience and opportunities, there’s no end to career growth and no dead end to the types of things you can learn. You can always find interesting ways to make a difference and develop new ideas.

Jonathan Tucker - Interview Image
RPS scientist in the laboratory