YMS 2014 aims to facilitate the development of young chemists by providing them with the opportunity to:

  • Present at a national conference
  • Interact with emerging talent from academia and industry
  • Network specifically with their peers

This year’s organising committee is made up of young volunteers from across the UK and employed in a variety of industrial, academic and educational roles.


YMS2014 Organising Committee

Heidi Dobbs (co-opted, supporting role only)

RSC Regional Coordinator – Midlands

I have had a varied career utilising my Chemistry. On completion of my MChem at the University of Oxford I went “into the city” and spent a time as a management consultant specialising in the Pharmaceutical industry. Following a sabbatical carrying out environmental research in the Tanzanian rain forest, I decided I was missing “hands on” Chemistry too much, trained to be a teacher and subsequently taught in London.

My passion has always been for teaching Chemistry practically and in a range of contexts. After a number of years in the classroom, the role as the RSC Regional Coordinator was a perfect opportunity to take this further by promoting the resources/activities/events already out there, supporting the development of more, and raising awareness of just where Chemistry can take you. It also meant a return to my home territory of the Midlands. When I am not involved in chemistry, I can usually be found on a road bike, up to a mountain or at Nottingham Rowing Club where I am on the race committees.


David Foley

Medicinal Chemist – Drug Discovery Unit, University of Dundee

For the past four years I have been employed as an academic medicinal chemist, working in centres of excellence in Belfast, Nottingham and Dundee. During that time, I have worked on numerous targets in the fields of oncology and inflammation.

I am a member of the RSC’s Members and Qualifications Board, an active ChemNet and STEMNet ambassador and involved with the UK Research Staff Association. These voluntary roles allow me to support young researchers and enthuse the next generation of scientists.

I am proud to have been involved in all three Younger Members Symposia – which I see as an essential tool for the development of young chemists. Simply Removals


Amy Lawrence

Regulatory Consultant – Safeware Quasar Ltd

I have been employed a Safeware Quasar since July 2012, and during that time have learnt about all things Regulatory. I entered the company with minimal knowledge in this intricate field and have built my client portfolio to include large multi-national companies. I provide expert advice on a daily basis, ensuring the Company’s clients meet the requirements of world-wide Regulations and Legislation.

Outside of work, I have been volunteering for the RSC since starting my PhD in Manchester and as Chair of the Manchester Younger Members Network was involved in this snowball that is the Younger Members Symposium that first took place in 2010.

I am truly excited to be involved in this; the third in the series of what I hope will become a permanent fixture in any young chemist’s calendar.


Helen Neal

Quality Compliance Leader – Reckitt Benckiser

For over three years now I have been with Reckitt Benckiser (RB) working within the Pharmaceutical Industry.  I joined RB in 2010 after competing my PhD in Applied Chemistry in Leicester.  I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to participate in the RB Quality Supply Graduate programme training to become a Qualified Person (QP).  During this time I have been given the opportunity to gain experience throughout the various stages of pharmaceutical manufacture; technical, Quality Control, development and introduction of new products to the manufacturing facility.  Since September 2013 I have moved into a Compliance role and been involved in significant regulatory audits; demonstrating compliance with world-wide regulations and legislation.

I have been supporting the East Midlands Local section for a few years now and first became involved with the Younger Members Symposium in 2012.  It provides an excellent platform for younger chemists to develop and extend their network.  I am sure that YMS2014 will continue the success of previous events and that the event will become a key fixture in young chemist’s calendars in the future.


Daniel Payne

PhD Student – School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham

I am a PhD student at the University of Birmingham in the research group of Dr John Fossey. My current work focuses on the development of novel asymmetric nucleophilic catalysts, as well as previously looking at therapeutic agents for leukaemia.

I have been involved in voluntary work with the RSC for several years having been the secretary of the Birmingham and West Midlands Local Section, Chair of the Midlands Regional Steering Group and a member of the Member Networks Committee.

I decided to become involved with the Younger Members Symposium for the first time this year after attending and experiencing the benefits and atmosphere of YMS 2012 at the University of Nottingham. YMS is the perfect event for Young Scientist from around the country to share their work and ideas with peers as well as providing a fantastic opportunity to network.


Laura Yates

Research and Development Chemist – Quadralene Ltd

I work as the Research and Development Chemist for a leading cleaning and infection control product manufacturing company.  My work incorporates traditional bench chemistry, analytical chemistry, web and literature based research, regulatory work, customer technical support (including site visits), factory support, cost control and many more wonderful and varied activities.  I completed my undergraduate degree at Nottingham Trent University studying part time whilst working at Quadralene.  I have been awarded Chartered status by both the RSC and the Science Council giving me CChem and CSci.  Outside of my work environment, I am involved in various RSC activities including ChemNet, I am currently the Younger Member Representative for the East Midlands region of the RSC and I also sit on the local committee.

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