Find out more about Paul Harrington, our Analytical Project Manager, as he talks about what interests him about his role, where he sees the industry going, and his interests outside of the lab. Thanks for joining us, Paul!

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Hi Paul, thanks for joining us today. Let’s start at the start – how did it all start for you in your career? 

Following graduation as an Applied Chemist, I started my career as a Study Scientist at a CRO which provided a great foundation in the determination of pharmaceutical determinants, method development, quantitative mass spectrometric analyses and routine instrument maintenance in a regulatory environment. From there, I moved to Scientific Analysis Laboratories (later to become Concept Life Sciences) where I spent 17 years initially specialising in the analysis of environmental samples for dioxins and furans before progressing to Quality Manager. Here, I developed extensive knowledge in regulatory compliance. The lure of the laboratory led to a new role managing the Micro-pollutants Division, testing food and animal feeds for the presence of persistent organic pollutants and elemental impurities. Deciding the time was right for a change, I spent a further 3 years at Intertek initially as a Project Manager before moving into L&D as a Training Manager. Just over one year ago, an opportunity arose for me to join Hall Analytical as an Analytical Project Manager in the field of E&L. This particularly interested me as I wanted to broaden my knowledge of E&L which was a new field of study for me.

Wow, that’s an interesting career with a few roles of different types. Now that you’ve settled in at Hall, what does a day look like for you? 

As Study Director, I have overall responsibility for the studies I manage and, as such, I have a large impact on the rate of success, efficiency, and compliance of the study.

The role of Study Director is a challenging one with technical, administrative, and compliance responsibilities that require an aptitude for effective communication, relationship building, training, mentoring, and delegation.

I am responsible for the study plan/protocol design and approval; oversight of data collection, interpretation, analysis, documentation, and reporting of results; and the derivation of study conclusions and ensuring overall study compliance with the protocol, standard operating procedures (SOPs), and the relevant regulations, e.g., GLP.

To achieve all of this, I need to ensure there are effective means of communication between myself, study personnel, QA, Management, and the Sponsor and on a day-to-day basis, the specific tasks will vary from study to study. Whether it is drafting plans for a new study, reviewing data, writing reports or meeting with the team or Sponsor or liaising with QA, no two days are the same and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

That’s good to hear that the role satisfies you in that way, with its variety? Perhaps you have already answered this with that response but what is your favourite thing about working here?

It is probably something of a cliché, but the people you work with are just as important as the work you do and at Hall Analytical, we have a fantastic team across the organisation that all work together to support our customers and meet their needs on every study.

Additionally, as no two products/devices are the same, no two studies are the same. My role is interesting, challenging and changes constantly, there really is no typical day as a Study Director, my tasks and time will vary day to day and even hour to hour depending on the needs of a particular study.

Awesome. We’re glad that you find so many positives in your work. But what is it you like to do outside of work? Do you have hobbies? 

I am a lifelong Leeds Rhinos and Leeds United supporter – which definitely has its ups and downs!

I love to combine my passion for travel and history, I’m not really a beachcomber, preferring to learn about the history of the places I visit.

I’m also a sucker for a good pub quiz……and some bad ones too 😊

Leeds United, eh? Hope you don’t mind working 15 minutes away from Old Trafford then! Who knows what the future holds for Leeds United though. Speaking of the future, where do you see the industry in 10 years? 

The pharmaceutical industry relies upon public trust, the days of selling a phoney cureall at the country fair with no evidence that it actually works and is safe are thankfully long gone. Testing aims to ensure the safety of new products/devices and that they don’t bring adverse side effects to patients and organisations continue to innovate and bring new and more effective products to market, the requirement to test is unlikely to change much, if at all.

At the same time, the introduction of and improvements in new technology means the use of tools such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence and modelling studies could start to replace the need for physical testing sooner rather than later.

It all sounds exciting. That’s a similar response that we got from Nick Morely when we talked to him recently.

Anyway, thanks so much for joining us today, it’s been really interesting to talk to you and to get to know you better. 

If you have upcoming testing requirements in E&L, or the several other areas we cater to, then get in touch with our team. 

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