Sustainable Solutions and Analytical Advancements: An Insightful Interview with Diane Turner of Anthias Consulting - Lab Innovations UK

Sustainable Solutions and Analytical Advancements: An Insightful Interview with Diane Turner of Anthias Consulting

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Diane Turner from Anthias Consulting

Welcome, Diane! Can we start with a brief overview of Anthias Consulting

Anthias Consulting began 19 years ago. We are an independent training and consultancy company in analytical chemistry and currently have 5 employees and 5 consultants. We are based in Cambridgeshire, UK, well positioned geographically to be in the heart of ‘Silicon Fen’ and it is a great location to access many parts of the UK as well as the major airports. We provide a range of services in consulting, instrument training, demonstrations and applications, method development and optimisation and technical authoring for analysts, instrument manufacturers and technology companies from small, independent laboratories and academic institutions to multi-national corporations.

We provide training to “bridge the gap”, bringing experience of all aspects of the customer: supplier interface from both sides, providing an insight into the needs of each. We work with the analysts who use the analytical instrumentation and also the instrument manufacturers, by providing generic, manufacturer or software-specific; theoretical, hardware, software, method development, maintenance and troubleshooting training and consultancy enabling you to get the best out of your analytical systems.

Anthias Consulting are experts in the analytical sciences in the fields of Gas Chromatography (GC, GCxGC), Liquid Chromatography (HPLC, UHPLC, LCxLC), Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS, LC-MS, ICP-MS), spectroscopy techniques (ICP-OES, IR, UV/Vis, AA), DSC and chemometrics (and all related techniques.)

 Are there any sustainability aspects of your company you would like to highlight

Having grown up on the Isles of Scilly, living amongst nature, the environment is a personal passion of mine and this has translated to my work. At Anthias we have a robust environmental policy which guides our behaviour, not only within what we produce but also our day-to-day activities within the office. The majority of our courses contain modules on optimising methods to have lower consumable usage or to use more sustainable consumables like mobile phases while improving method accuracy and precision, and on troubleshooting issues, with onsite visits to provide consultancy advice and help on these subjects. We are also frequently asked to present on sustainability at lab shows, for example the Royal Society of Chemistry theatre at the LabInnovations show and give tutorials and short courses at, for example, the International Symposium on Chromatography 2024. An efficient lab not only cuts financial costs but also reduces the environmental impact and improves sustainability.  

Diane you spoke at Lab Innovations in 2023 – why do you enjoy speaking at Lab? Why do you feel it’s important to share industry insights to the community?

I loved speaking at Lab Innovations last year. I did a collaborative talk with Pernilla Sörme from My Green Lab, focusing on sustainability within Analytical Laboratories and another talk solo focusing on Gas Chromatography, while my colleague gave one on Liquid Chromatography, all focusing on sustainability in laboratories. Talking at conferences and exhibitions is a way to share ideas, collaborate, meet and catch-up with fellow analysts. If just a couple of visitors go away feeling inspired, having new ideas to improve e.g. their lab sustainability, or listening to my presentation has helped them to troubleshoot a problem then that makes me feel really excited. Collaboration is vital within our scientific community to advance, especially as we all work towards increasing sustainability.

 You won a Lab Award last year – how did it feel? Why is it important to celebrate the industry?

We did, for Supplier Excellence! It felt great, we were honoured to be among the other winners and for the recognition of our hard work and commitment from the panel. We had a super time celebrating at the party with many inspirational people. This award highlighted individual and company achievements and bringing people together. As a micro-business that is women-owned in science, it makes the achievement even greater and drives our passion and continuing focus on doing the best that we can to help our customers, no matter where they are or what their needs are.

 We learnt from your ‘Lab Matters’ episode that you are non-stop when it comes to your career, what advice do you have for current lab students

My career certainly has had a unique pathway! I wouldn’t have it any other way. A big passion of mine is STEM outreach and I participate in many events from pre-school to post graduate age. My advice is to firstly enjoy what you do, if you don’t then look at ways to tweak your career, for example it could be in another chemistry or working in a different industry, analytical chemistry knowledge and skills are transferable to other industries, what it comes down to is different molecules with different properties and interactions. Secondly, whatever you choose, aim to be the best at what you do, never stop learning, no one is ever a complete expert on something you can always learn more or consider it from a different point of view. Thirdly, always consider those around you, how can you share your success, your inspiration, your knowledge. This could be colleagues at the same level but in a different department, more junior colleagues plus also doing outreach with the general public and schools down to pre-school age, everyone should find time at least once a year for outreach.

Is there any future prospects/ anything we can look forward to from Anthias Consulting/ Diane Turner in the next year?

For myself, now that I’ve finished my term as President of the Analytical Sciences Community of the Royal Society of Chemistry I am back to spending more of my time doing outreach with The Open University Meteorite collection and participating in careers events in schools whenever I can, I am also currently putting together 4 analytical instruments to go to universities in Cameroon and Namibia with the charity I am a trustee of, the RORO (Recycling Organisation for Research Opportunities) and am on the organising committee of some upcoming international conferences, which all keeps me busy! 

Anthias has some exciting collaborations in the pipeline and are developing new courses, for example on SFC (supercritical fluid chromatography). We are committed to helping analysts improve sustainability in the lab and reduce impact on the environment, so this  is a big theme for new course material. We are exhibiting at the International Symposium on Chromatography Conference 2024 in Liverpool in October. I will be talking at the Emissions Analytics:  Tyre Emissions and Sustainability USA 2024 in California in April and squeezing in some training whilst across the pond. And of course we’ll see everyone back at Lab Innovations in the Autumn!


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