Stuart Knowling, English National, Living and Working in Scotland

Hi! I’m Stuart. The best thing about being in Glasgow is that you have all the benefits of being in a big city but can be out in the middle of the countryside in less than an hour. I made the transition from academia to industry with ease, thanks to supportive colleagues at Sartorius Stedim BioOutsource Ltd. For me, it’s the people that make Scotland.

Stuart Knowling

Why work in Scotland

My wife and I are both from Newcastle originally, but spent a lot of time in Scotland when we were kids. We primarily moved here because of the excellent opportunities in the biopharmaceutical industry, but it’s also a really nice place to live.

After finishing my PhD I moved to America for four years to do my post-doc. I’m a biophysicist by trade, so one thing I did was a lot of Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) protein characterisation for one of the top global institutions. After returning to the UK, the area of work I was concentrating on was experiencing massive growth and I was contacted about a position at Sartorius Stedim BioOutsource. 

Working at Sartorius Stedim BioOutsource

In simple terms, I’m a scientific study manager. Regulatory bodies require any company developing a biosimilar to test it against a set of receptors. My role is to set up studies, ensure that the analysts have their paperwork ready and that the quality of our data is acceptable to the client. 

One thing that really impressed me about Sartorius Stedim BioOutsource was that they’re also really interested in doing the development side of the work and offering the clients more assays than everyone else does. 

I moved back from America because I didn’t want to become a professor, and everyone at Sartorius Stedim BioOutsource has really supported me in the transition from academia to industry – it’s made it so much easier.

Another thing that made a huge difference was the HR department gave me a personalised list of recommendations to help me and my family in the moving process. I was very lucky to have this help, but there’s also lots of useful information about working, living and moving to Scotland on the TalentScotland website.

Living in Scotland

In Scotland, people are very friendly and laid-back, but supportive of each other. For me, the best thing about being in Glasgow is that you can reach Loch Lomond in half an hour, or be in the middle of nowhere in an hour, yet still have all the benefits of being in a big city.

It’s the people that make Scotland - the real difference between just enjoying your job and enjoying your life are the people around you.