Inside Promega

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Promega wants to be your partner. On this page you can get to know us better!

Here, you will find interesting news about Promega, who joined and will support you in the future in your lab, and what Promega is doing as a company?

Is there anything in particular you want to know about us? Please feel free and ask!

Today, we’ll meet Dr. Andy Hopwood, a Genetic Identity Technical Support and Training Manager based in the UK.

How did you come to work at Promega?

I joined the UK Forensic Science Service in 1994 and worked in their R&D dept in various roles until the closure of the service in March 2012. I joined Promega in May the same year and have been working as part of the Genetic Identity Team for the last 8 years.

Tell us a little bit about what your role is at Promega.

My role is Technical Support and Training Manager. I work with the GI team in Europe to engage with customers to ensure they get the best possible performance with out Genetic Identity products. This might involve training a group of half a dozen folks in the whole DNA process over a period of 3 or 4 days, or one on one troubleshooting for a very specific issue. The team is responsible for the EMEA region and I have been very privileged to have travelled and met with forensic scientists from many countries in my time with Promega.

Are you a Star Wars or Star Trek fan or neither?

I am of an age where Star Trek was a weekly fix of Sci-Fi on the BBC and I do have a soft spot still for those early episodes. That said, I am happy to watch Star Wars too, or any Sci-Fi or Fantasy – was this supposed to be a marmite question?

Where do you want to travel to, but have never been?

I enjoy spending time in the great outdoors and would like to spend a couple of weeks exploring the Scottish Highlands.

What does a typical day for you look like?

When I am working from home, the 5:10 alarm wakes me, I grab an espresso and head out to the gym – I discovered high intensity interval training around 30 months ago and it has become very much part of my life – I’m home again before 7 am. Some days I go out again to the local livery yard to help my wife muck out the horse, then home for breakfast. My work-day involves catching up on email first thing, then prioritizing and dealing with any customer issues. An evening meal with the family provides an opportunity to catch up with each other’s busy lives. When I am travelling, the focus is typically on a specific customer, but I try to keep on top of mail enquiries too.

Describe your “perfect” day.

Cycling the coastal road in the early morning of a summer’s day to pick up fresh baked bread and pastries. Stopping on the beach to eat breakfast before exploring the local market. Lunch in the sunshine, possibly in the garden of a creperie. Perhaps a walk along the cliffs in the afternoon, with a cold local beer halfway. A perfect end would be good food and good wine shared with the family.

Can you play any instruments?

I have an acoustic guitar.

When you have an hour of free time, what do you like to do?

I like to read. I am currently reading “Memories of Ice” by Steven Erikson, part 3 of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, an Epic Fantasy Series.

But my favourite book at the moment is a well thumbed copy of “Make some Beer” by Shea and Valand. This is a collection of recipes for various styles of beer. With some I have had great success, with others, not so much but the variety of recipes always gives a little inspiration when planning the next brew day. I have just bottled a single hop IPA which will be ready for tasting in a couple of weeks.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

Being able to solve an issue for a customer is always very satisfying, whether it has been a difficult problem to solve, or a very simple fix. Being one small part of an incredibly experienced and supportive team makes the job much easier than it would otherwise be.

Name two songs that would be on the soundtrack of your life.

The Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) and Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes). Both are incredibly beautiful.

If you could have any one skill or talent you don’t already have, what would it be and why?

I’d like to be able play the guitar well enough that other folks want to listen too…

Thanks Andy for this little insight! If you have questions for Andy or about Promega, please ask!