- Position: Research Technician
- Email: N.M.Rigby@leeds.ac.uk
- Phone: +44(0)113 343 2970
I help oversee and manage the day-to-day running of ultrasound and colloid related equipment located across the School of Food Science & Nutrition. I support student laboratory teaching in the School, providing advice on the use of equipment and supervising projects as necessary. In addition, I also contribute to the work of the School Safety Team and support the organisation of work on laboratory building projects and perform experimental research as required within the school.
My main duties consist of:
Assisting with the day-to-day planning, organisation, preparation and use of equipment and materials in the Food Analysis and Food Technology laboratories; e.g. particle sizers, rheometers, density
measurement, interfacial tensiometer, confocal microscopy, light microscopy, homogenisers, freeze dryers, temperature measurement equipment.
Providing information and advice to academic staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students on the appropriate use of equipment.
Organising the purchase, delivery, running and repair of equipment
Maintaining service records and a database of the relevant equipment and suppliers, and organising related manuals and written information.
Contributing to the work of the School Safety Team in the laboratories as required, for example waste and spill management, management of COSHH, gas safety, producing and maintaining standard operating procedures and risk assessments.
Providing and recording safety inductions and training for new users and supervising their use of equipment as required.
Arranging the correct disposal of waste solvents produced by the relevant equipment
Maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of work and preparing progress reports as required.
Attending and networking with colleagues at appropriate meetings;
Supervising undergraduate and MSc students during laboratory classes and co-supervising research projects.
Managing and prioritising my day-to-day work to ensure tasks are completed in a timely manner.
Supporting the School Administrator in the planning, organising and overseeing of work on laboratory building projects.
Prior to my current role I worked as a PGRA in the School of Food Science and Nutrition in Leeds:
I maintained and ran the semi-dynamic model of human gastroduodenal digestion and used this to prepare and analyse samples of food digesta. The analyses used a range of analytical techniques including SDS-PAGE, RP-HPLC, LC-MS, and GC-MS, additionally I performed chemical assays of starch and protein degradation.
I prepared results for talks and meetings and draft methods and results for publication using Microsoft office and more specialise software (e.g. Origin, PRISM).
I performed enzyme assays to characterise digestive enzymes, these were used in a published ring trial demonstrating the suitability of the method for adoption across Europe.
I trained students and visiting workers in using the above digestion model in laboratory procedure and the safe and efficient use of laboratory apparatus.
I maintained laboratory apparatus (LC, LC-MS, GC-MS, spectrometers and balances).
I prepared and revised lab SOP’s and COSHH documentation.
I trained and supervised the day to day work of a co-worker purifying allergens from peanuts using FPLC for a European project (ALLEVIATE).
Previous Duties, Responsibilities and Expertise:
I have worked on the purification and analysis of lipids and lipid oxidation products and the effect of natural and synthetic antioxidants on lipids from a range of plant sources.
I have worked on the extraction, purification and characterisation of plant cell wall carbohydrates, the effect of fruit ripening on the structure of the plant cell wall and the preparation and transport of bioactive oligosaccharides through model plant systems.
I prepared pure allergens from a range of plant sources for use in several EU projects (SAFE, ALLERGEST).
I was involved in developing the harmonised European digestion model (INFOGEST)
I drafted results for meetings, reports and papers, I have a publication record of over 90 peer reviewed papers. I prepared and reviewed SOP’s and COSHH documentation.
I prepared general laboratory reagents as required and handled the safe disposal of chemical waste, I was a member of the GM and Biological safety committee of my previous employer.
I was responsible for the operation and maintenance of a chemistry laboratory and two instrument rooms. I maintained GC-MS LC and LC-MS and FPLC apparatus together with a range of smaller pieces of apparatus e.g. Balances, centrifuges (bench top, free standing and ultra), spectrometers, pH meters,
pH stats etc. and I trained co-workers in their correct use.
I undertook contract work for the commercial arm of my previous employer providing a quick turn round analytical service to the food and retail industry, which required working to ISO 900:2008 standard.