We recently caught up with Larissa Aravantinou, one of our new Lab Technicians, to find out how she’s getting on at Hall Analytical. Larissa graduated from the University of Sheffield with a degree in chemistry, and now splits her time between our ENDS and E&L labs.

Hi Larissa, thanks for joining us today. Can you start by explaining how you came into this role?

I had just graduated with my chemistry degree at the University of Sheffield, and I decided to move back to Manchester and start looking for work. I got in touch with a recruitment agency that told me about a position as a lab technician with Hall and I immediately went for it.

Glad to have you on board! Now that you’re here, what are your day-to-day responsibilities?

Depending on which study I’m doing, I could be extracting e-liquids from vapes, determining density and viscosity on the viscometer, preparing solutions for cal series, making mobile phases or buffer solutions and transferring sample extracts into vials for GC, LC and HS analysis, often whilst being witnessed by QA. Some other typical tasks include calibrating pipettes and mass balances, doing chemical stock checks, glass washing, checking and scanning study record sheets – not the most glamorous part of the job but someone has to do it!

Sounds like a fair bit of variety. Out of everything, what is your favourite thing about working for Hall?

I like that my job is very hands-on – there isn’t a lot of sitting at a desk endlessly. I get to make different chemical solutions, use various instruments and work with other people. Each study can be different, whether it’s for E&L or ENDS, so I feel like I learn a lot by having to follow new methods.

It’s great to hear that you are always learning on the job. Outside of work, what are your hobbies and interests?

I really enjoy learning languages – I’m currently enrolled in Portuguese classes and will hopefully be fluent soon. I also enjoy keeping fit, I often go to the gym or attend gymnastics sessions in my area and do handstands for fun.

Muito bem! We’re interested to hear, where do you see the industry in 10 years? What will have changed and what will remain the same?

I feel that the ENDS industry will continue to grow, more and more people are switching to vapes and more businesses will continue to pop up. Businesses are also becoming more creative with the variety of flavoured vapes, which is fun but will probably require more thorough regulation.

As we are celebrating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, what encouragement would you like to share with fellow sisters in science?    

If you enjoy science, go for it. Don’t put yourself off by thinking it’s too difficult or that you’re not good enough. Science can be challenging but it can make you feel very proud and accomplished, and above all it can be very fun.

That’s great advice, Larissa! Thanks for sitting down to talk with us today.