Employee Spotlight - Chris Comerford
Chris has been working at Celignis since January 2017 under the position of Lab Analyst. Prior to that he graduated from University College Dublin with a 1st class honours degree in Agricultural Science. As part of that degree he spent time working in the Backweston (Dublin) laboratory for the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Here are his responses to some questions about his work at Celignis as well as to a few more random questions!
How did you first learn about Celignis?
After graduating I met the company CEO, Dan Hayes, at a Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland conference in Dublin. We had an interesting discussion on the merits of reproducible analysis of biomass feedstocks. I also learned that Dan had launched an ambitious company in Limerick and was looking for a hard working individual to add to his team, today I find myself as that hard working individual!
What is the favourite part about working for Celignis?
Working in a relatively young company means that things are never boring. I get asked to work on new projects, method development, and designing and improving the current systems we have in place. This means the nature of the work I do is always changing and I’m constantly learning new skills, I really enjoy this aspect of my position. I also feel that my input is highly valued and the decisions that I make are respected.
What do you find the most challenging at Celignis?
Similar to my favourite part about working here, I find that I have to be constantly at the top of my game when it comes to making key decisions on how to implement new systems and analysis methods. This is really challenging as my decisions have a huge influence on how the lab is run, but truth be told this direct influence on key decisions and problem solving is the main reason that I work here.
What has been your favourite project at Celignis?
Method development for our analysis and quantification of FAME’s through the use of GCMS has been my favourite project to date. This method was challenging and I had to enhance and learn a number of new skills in order to get the project finished. The reward after was that we now have a new and robust method that can be offered to our customers. The on-going work in achieving ISO 10725 accreditation is another project that I can’t wait to get over the line!
What is on your wish list for the next 10 years with Celignis?
For Celignis to become the first name that comes to industry minds when looking for analysis of biomass and the products of biomass conversion. Recently I’ve witnessed the great success of another independent analysis laboratory in Ireland, and it spurs me on to think that we can do the same by offering our expertise and skills to a growing international customer base from our home in Limerick.
How has Celignis helped you in your career development?
The opportunity to attend international conferences has been a strong aid in my career development. Not only do I get to interact and question experts and industry leaders from a range of backgrounds, I’m also building an interesting network of contacts from the world of bio-based industry.
Three words to best describe you:
Ambitious, organised and happy!
Any random facts you could share with us?
The peppered moth population changed from light to dark in colour as a consequence of air pollution during the Industrial Revolution! Subsequently due to reduction in pollution levels the light coloured form has once again become predominant.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
People not indicating at roundabouts. Drives me mad.
What is the best book you have ever read?
1984; Even more terrifying now than ever before.
If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Not so much a meal but it would have to be cheese, couldn’t live without it. My Mum’s chicken roast dinner would be a close second.
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