Research Scientist at the Strategic Research Group Measurement & Analytical Science in Deventer, The Netherlands
Hi, I'm Gill Hilton and I’m a Research Scientist in the Strategic Research Group Measurement & Analytical Science in Deventer. Before I started at AkzoNobel I did a four-year Chemistry degree at University of York. I then moved to the University of Warwick where I did a PhD which was sponsored by AkzoNobel. Afterwards, I moved to Oxford University, where for 2.5 years I was a post-doctoral research assistant. And now I'm at AkzoNobel. My reasons for moving to AkzoNobel? Well, for me, I found more opportunities at AkzoNobel than I did within academia.
If you are happy to progress and you’re ambitious, then AkzoNobel will support you all the way. I have attended the AkzoNobel Graduate Development Program, which allowed me to learn a variety of different things about the business, including business acumen, situational leadership, and sustainability.
I'm currently a project leader based in the SRGs at Deventer, working with numerous people here within the Netherlands, as well as others in England and America. We are currently working on a challenging problem, in which we need to change the formulation of the coatings within the beverage can. The project has a significant impact on the global consumer market because hundreds of thousands of people drink these canned beverages every day. This makes it enormously important to our customers and therefore for us. As for the personal impact of this project: I can see the product on a supermarket shelf and say to my friends and family, “The science that went behind this can coating and its formulation is something that I've worked on.”
We communicate with our external customers regularly as well as holding frequent internal meetings. We have an internal website where we can share project information including scientific data and correspondence with our customers.
Although I love my job at the moment, I don't see myself staying in the laboratory forever. So in the future I'd like to move into people management. Not only will this give me a chance to manage people and extend my skills, but I'll also be able to help direct the research that AkzoNobel does.