One training course - Three different perspectives  

We spoke to chemists at different stages of their careers about their experiences of attending our ‘Chemical Development and Scale Up in the Fine Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries’ training course.

Ben Littler 

Ben told us that he had taken the ‘Chem Dev’ course twice as an early career process chemist!  Both courses were held as in-house training events. It was fascinating to hear about Ben’s experiences going back to the start of his career journey! The first time Ben took the course was at AMRI in his first year after finishing his academic career and it was led by Trevor (Trevor Laird – Founder of Scientific Update) with Will (Will Watson Technical Director at Scientific Update) helping him.

Ben said;-

  • ‘It was exciting to learn about so many new topics that I thought I knew from my academic career. Crystallization springs to mind. I’d been purifying compounds by crystallization for over 5 years but before the course had very limited understanding of the theoretical concepts required to systematically develop a process. It was great to see there was an alternative to trial and error’.


  • ‘The experience was a bit overwhelming. Over the next few years I’d regularly be going back to the course manual thinking “I’m sure there was something about Topic X that Scientific Update mentioned” and would within a few minutes find what I was looking for and this helped me greatly to develop the processes that I needed to’.


  • ‘Trevor and Will were engaging and entertaining as presenters in a way that I had not seen before. Both were clearly highly technically competent, but without the stuffiness that I had seen in academia. Watching them present changed my approach to communicating too, and helped understand the cultural differences between academia and industry.’


  • ‘Having the course in-house with my colleagues was really helpful too because it spurred discussions amongst the group – especially during the problem sessions – that enabled Trevor and Will to tailor the content to meet the audience needs. It encouraged me to ask questions during presentations rather than wait until the formal Q&A session at the end.’


  • ‘How much the course spurred my skill and career growth over the next few years. I found the safety testing section particularly interesting because I was working in the kilo lab at the time and realized that there was more I should be doing to make sure that the processes I was developing were safe. This led to my first experience as a leader as I worked to change operating practices for the whole department. Without the course I wouldn’t have known what I didn’t know.’


We also spoke with a female process chemist who is now working in pharma consultancy. The chemist attended the ‘Chem Dev’ course several years ago near the start of her process development career.

She said that the course ‘provided an excellent foundation to the many topics required in a process development role with sources provided for additional learning if needed. The way the course was delivered, a combination of engaging lectures and interactive workshops, was particularly useful in making sure the content was well understood, with time for questions throughout. I still refer to the course book (as recently as a couple of months ago) for some of the topics which I am not as actively involved with in my current role, so it continues to be useful years on.’

A group of early stage chemists working at a top pharma company in the US recently took our Chem Dev course in-house and their comments were;-

‘It was a very well-organized and comprehensive crash course for new process chemists to transition from academia to industry. I’m glad that the department made me take the course as I’m very new to process chemistry and was surprised by how much I learned through-out the course. ‘

 ‘John Studley (course tutor and Science Director at Scientific Update Ltd) did a wonderful job delivering the content and I really enjoy his lectures and hope to see him in many more in the future.’

 ‘The course gives thorough coverage of process development and scale-up manufacturing for an early career scientist and is a good refresher for those who have been practicing for a while.’

If you are interested in finding out more about our upcoming ‘Chem Dev’ courses please visit  – Click Here