Meet the team – James Nutt, Laboratory Operations Manager

Scientific beginnings

My journey with Cansford Laboratories started in 2011 when I joined as a lab analyst, as the third member of the team.

I had previously taken a sandwich year at university, joining TricoTech as a student laboratory technician. This is where I met Lolita Tsanaclis, who kept me in mind when setting up Cansford with John Wicks.

Attracted by the scientific focus of Cansford, I became one of the founding staff members and from there became laboratory manager, as Cansford grew from three to twenty staff.

Cansford is always innovating to redevelop and improve methods of testing and what we could test for, which means there is a high level of innovation. I find this really exciting and enjoy being involved in these collaborative developments.

A small hiatus into academia

In 2017, with the support of John and Lolita, I took an academic position as a senior lecturer at the University of South Wales. This provided insight into the workings of universities vs SMEs and provided me with the tool kit and connections to develop and work with people in my field.

When my previous job at Cansford came up in 2020, I decided to return as I felt I had done everything I had set out to achieve at the University and I missed the variety of work that a role at a busy lab offers.

When I returned to Cansford, it was to a dramatically different business model, with an increase in the number of staff and multiple departments. There were now dedicated sales and administration staff, enabling the technical team to handle a larger sample load and focus on modernising approaches and increasing accuracy.

What a typical day looks like

There is not really a typical day for me at Cansford. I usually check on all the instruments to make sure everything is in working order and identify any issues before the working day starts. I then plan out what is happening that day and sort out staffing, depending on workload.

I am very present in the day-to-day running of the lab and mentoring Cansford staff and I would like to continue to spend time with the team and support further research and development.

Improving the field

Science has always been the central focus for me, and so when the opportunity came up to go for roles on significant industry boards, I was keen to go for them.

I am on the board of the EWDTS (European Workplace Drug Testing Society), as well as recently being appointed with the DVLA on their medical advisory panel for alcohol, drugs and substance misuse. These positions allow me to ensure that these bodies advance with the science in the field and keep abreast of the latest updates from laboratories.

I particularly enjoy attending conferences around the world as I get to speak to and learn from a diverse range of people within my field. I can then bring any new developments and learning back to Cansford, and to the boards I sit on.

This article was submitted to be published by Cansford Laboratories as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Family Lawyer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Family Lawyer.

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