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Taking the Plunge from Academia to Industry - Joining Oxford Instruments

13th  July 2022 | Author: Dan Haspel

Taking the Plunge from Academia to Industry - Joining Oxford Instruments

Starting any new job can be difficult but moving from academia to industry can come with its own difficulties. Luckily Oxford Instruments made the move pretty easy.

My Background

Previously, I was a Technical Specialist at the Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre, where I ran their FIB-SEM and was the lab’s materials and engineering expert. Although I specialised in materials engineering, being in a core facility, I was lucky enough to work on a wide variety of samples, from imaging pollen to running analytics on Martian meteorites and everything in between. One of my highlights was generating 3D data of coccolithophores and 3D printing one (much easier said than done), which is fantastic for outreach and people with visual impairments. Another fun project was developing 3D printing SEM holders that could be designed on-the-fly and rapidly printed, ready to use in any SEM. Now I get to bring all these skills into my new role and learn more skills.

My Beginning

Like the first few weeks in any new job, there has been an abundance of information to try and absorb before quickly learning the next thing. Luckily, it’s somewhat easing up now – though it seems more information is yet to come. The first week consisted mostly of going through policies, health & safety and HR - the usual. What I didn’t expect was to open Outlook on my first day and find 80+ emails and meeting requests! (There were a lot of meetings in those first two weeks). Although there’s been a lot of information to get through, it’s been fascinating learning about more of the business side of things.

I think I had somewhat of a unique start here, as I was previously a customer working at a university that only had Oxford Instruments detectors, and I had attended conferences where Oxford Instruments had a presence. This meant I knew several people before I arrived, which made fitting in much easier. However, this could have also been a double-edged sword, as they also knew me. Before I even started, I was invited to give a talk at a conference, which was to take place during my third week on the job – 

I’m hoping it’s because they thought I’d do well and not because I’m new and would probably be available to attend. Either way, it was great to be asked, and it gave me a chance to brush up on my presentation skills, especially as it’s my first in-person conference since before covid. Fortunately, it was a simple analysis workflow presentation, albeit to a lecture theatre full of planetary scientists. Luckily it went smoothly (with no questions about rocks), and everyone enjoyed the talk.

Our Destination

At the time of writing, I am now in my fourth week here and things are progressing well – I’ve been given my own market segment to focus on and am starting to do more work to get familiar with the various microscopes and analytical systems at the High Wycombe office. It’s definitely been an interesting start to my new career here, and I can’t wait to see where it all takes me and where I end up.

Ask me a question

Dan Haspel

Product Scientist


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