My work involves the design and synthesis of polymers with specific properties for targeted applications. I'm heavily involved with partners from industry and other disciplines providing the problems. Current applications range from viscosity modifiers for automotive, to personal care products and improving pharmaceuticals. For example, we're work closely with Monash University on improving the stability of oxytocin for use in childbirth, to improve access in the developing world.
I'd worked in UK industry for 6 years when my three children were born in 1992. At the time company policy was for up to three days paternity leave. My manager granted me two days. With three children in intensive care and Maxine in hospital I wondered what you would have to do to be eligible for three days. In addition in order to progress I had to be totally flexible, and my next job could have been a plant manager in Siberia. I opted to move to Warwick University as a Lecturer, which I have never regretted. Our choice of house was dictated by being able to get home in five minutes with a garden for our children. I worked every day from 8.30 to 5.30 being home well before 6 each day. My ex-students still tell me how they chased me down the corridor telling me about their breakthroughs as I was intent on getting home for bath time. Working at Warwick gave us the flexibility to put the family first without seemingly to have to comprise at work.