Shining a light on the people behind the platform, this series uncovers the motivations, interests and expertise of the people that make IN-PART tick.
The next person to feature in our Meet the Team series is Leah Nolan, a University Liaison Officer in our Sheffield HQ. Leah joined IN-PART in 2018 and in this Q&A she talks about her background, her role in the company and what inspired her to work in science.
What’s your scientific specialism?
My background is in Geology. I did my MGeol and PhD at the University of Leicester. For my thesis, I used oxygen and carbon isotope data from fossil shells to reconstruct what the tropical ocean and climate were like 350 million years ago.
I studied the sedimentology and palaeoecology of the rocks to try and understand the environment the shells lived in before looking at the geochemical processes they had been through to turn them into fossils. I used Cathodoluminescence and SEM analysis to understand crystal structure and then moved onto laser ablation ICP MS for geochemical analysis of the shells before selecting samples for isotope analysis.
What does your work at IN-PART involve?
I’m part of the university liaison team which means that I’m an account manager for technology transfer offices in around 40 universities and research institutes. Primarily, my role involves building relationships with these teams and managing their interactions with industry through the platform. I pass along the contact requests and feedback that come from R&D teams, and I run each university through their impact report every six months and answer any questions they have on a day-to-day basis.
We have to be good communicators, but also very organised, so that we’re always aware of what stage in their subscription each university is to ensure they get the most out of their research that’s showcased on the platform.
Which aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
I like the variety in my role. I enjoy reading about the latest technologies coming out of universities that are often in fields of science that I wouldn’t otherwise come across – there’s always something new to learn. But mostly, I enjoy speaking with the people behind the research and helping them out where and when I can. So running through the impact reports with universities, and looking at how the data can be used to better understand their technology portfolio, is something I really enjoy.
What’s your idea of a perfect weekend?
My weekends are generally very varied! I guess an ideal weekend would be split with an active Saturday, usually involving a walk in the Peak District or watching/playing netball or basketball. Sunday would be more relaxed – probably playing my guitar, reading the latest spy thriller and playing board games.
Do you have any productivity hacks to share?
You can’t beat a good spreadsheet! It is a large time investment to set one up that contains all the information you need, but I’ve always found that it pays off and is worth the initial commitment.
What inspired you to get into science?
Growing up, my dad was a science teacher and has a scientific explanation for everything. I moved on to geology after we went on a family holiday to the western USA to visit lots of the national parks. While we were at Bryce Canyon National Park I asked my dad how the canyon was formed, but for the first time, he didn’t have an answer. I kept pestering, so when we got home, my parents bought me some geology books; I was hooked!
Read more of our Meet the Team series:
IN-PART is an online matchmaking platform that simplifies the initial connection between teams in academia and industry to get breakthroughs out of the lab and onto the market.
Launched in 2014, we now work with over 230 universities and research institutes worldwide, strategically matching promising academic research to relevant R&D professionals from a network of 5,500+ innovation-driven companies.
Copyrights reserved unless otherwise agreed , IN-PART Publishing Ltd. 2019. – ‘Meet the Team Q&A: Leah Nolan, University Liaison Officer’