Head of the Making Lab, The Francis Crick Institute
I am the Head of the Making Lab at biomedical research centre The Francis Crick Institute. We provide researchers with access to state-of-the-art equipment and expert advice and instruction in the effective use of different technologies through our 15 ‘science technology platforms’.
I head up one of those platforms – the Making Lab – where engineering approaches are integrated with biomedical research to create cutting-edge devices to accelerate scientific discovery.
My Typical Day:
In the Making Lab we design and fabricate custom-made tools for researchers tailored to their particular experiments.
In the Making Lab we design and fabricate custom-made tools for researchers tailored to their particular experiments. The team’s main areas of expertise are electronics, mechanics, systems integration, microfabrication, and microfluidics but we have a very wide range of expertise, so we are not limited to these areas.
The Making Lab specialises in creating ‘environments’ for researchers to test their questions – from mouse mazes to microenvironments at cell-scale that are made with state-of-the-art microfabrication tools. The team promotes strong collaborations between labs and facilities across the Crick, and provide training to contribute to the prototyping and open culture of research.
Researchers often are not aware of the technologies we have available because they have come from a biology background, not engineering or technology, so we provide a lot of expertise and guidance about different approaches and equipment they could use.
How I got into this job:
I have an engineering degree and an industrial design degree. I then started in the industry of the Internet of Things (connected objects) before focusing on how to apply my background to biomedical research.
Why did I choose this job:
I am passionate about technology and how we can adapt and optimise them to address research challenges.
Experiences this job has given me that I might not have got elsewhere:
Research is a stimulating world where you get to learn and try new things everyday, surrounded by fascinating people.