Tuesday 5th November 2019 12:00
Graham Coe (TW), Andy Dunn (TW), Helen Gordon (Science Council), Claire Pollard (TW), Lawrence Gosden (TW)
Thames Water has become one of only a handful of organisations to be recognised by the Science Council as an “Employer Champion”.
The award recognises the company’s commitment to supporting its scientific staff with continued professional development and registration with appropriate professional bodies. It was presented to chief scientist, Andy Dunn, and asset management director, Lawrence Gosden, at Thames Water’s Spencer House laboratories in Reading on November 4 by the CEO of the Science Council, Helen Gordon.
More than 100 biologists and chemists are employed at Thames Water’s laboratory where they carry out over 10,000 tests for substances in thousands of water samples each week. This helps to ensure the company’s customers receive only the best quality drinking water and discharges from its sewage works meet the correct environmental standards. They’re part of a much wider group of scientists that work in the field and develop initiatives which enable Thames Water to improve its service to customers. For the first time this year it has also recruited six dedicated science graduates and four dedicated science modern apprentices who will work alongside the experienced team and develop their leadership skills with a view to them progressing into management roles in the future.
Speaking at the presentation, Andy Dunn said: “Our scientists play a vital role in making sure the water we send to our customers’ taps is world-class so it’s important they have the opportunity to develop their skills and being an Employer Champion means we can better support them to do that. Many people wouldn’t instantly think of a water company employing scientists, but science underpins nearly all our activities and it’s vitally important when it comes to protecting the safety of our customers and the environment.”
Helen Gordon, CEO of the Science Council said: “We are pleased to welcome Thames Water to the growing community of Employer Champions at the Science Council. Thames Water have forged ahead in their commitment to their staff, by investing in their scientists and having their skills and competence recognised through professional registration.”
At Thames Water’s laboratories samples of water routinely collected from treatments works, reservoirs and randomly selected customer taps are tested against around 50 criteria which ensure it contains the right levels of minerals and is free from any harmful bugs or other contaminates.
Graham Coe, Thames Water lab manager said: “The Science Council provides tremendous opportunities for our scientists, who we encourage to formalise their professional development as they’re essentially fulfilling the criteria every day just by coming to work and doing such an amazing job.”