A Day In The Life of a Gas Chromatography (GC) Analyst

Hannah Swainston, A GC Analyst from our Bedford Laboratory gives us a snapshot into her role within RPS.

Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to be working in your role?

I have been working at RPS for over two years. I studied Environmental Science at university, and I have work experience within a range of different sectors during and after my time at university and found laboratory work to be the most enjoyable. I like working in a lab as each day is different and there is always something new to learn. 

Since joining RPS, I have started my master’s degree, which I will be studying part-time, in Analytical Science at the University of Lincoln to develop my technical knowledge further to help me to progress in my career. 

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What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy that no day is the same and there is a mixture of lab work and computer work within my role. Working at RPS, we have a wide range of instruments available to work with and learn about. I enjoy the instruments the most, understanding how they work and how to fix them. Part of my role is to interact with the engineers when dealing with instrument issues, which allows me to develop my knowledge further.

What do some of your day-to-day activities involve?

As an analyst, I maintain instruments, so they are ready to run the batches prepared by the extractors. I load and quantify the data acquired and schedule the extractors, so all the work is completed. I oversee/assist with the VOC section of GC, so I am involved in method development and troubleshooting.


What challenges have you faced during your career and how does working at RPS work for you?

Working at RPS has helped me to develop my confidence and work a lot more independently. This has allowed me to become a much better problem solver and enabled me to support and train others more effectively. Improving these skills has been beneficial as it has empowered me to progress from organising my own workload, to now being in the project team and scheduling a group of extractors and solving any queries they may have. 

RPS prepares you with a skill set that allows you to be more adaptable to a changing working environment.

What key advice would you give to someone who was considering joining RPS?

At RPS laboratory, we are small and compact part of the company. Having a smaller team means everyone knows each other and gets along well, which makes it a very sociable place to work and each day enjoyable.

If someone was interested in joining RPS I would say it is a very friendly place to work and you settle in very quickly. It is a very good place to be for progression and development in your career, as you are entered into a development program, meaning you have regular reviews and new goals set to ensure you are developing your skillset. 

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  • Are you interested in joining our laboratory team? Visit our careers page for more information on how you could be a part of our team and be involved in the work that we do.

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