Pleased to Welcome the Next Generation of Scientists Through Our Doors: A Week in the Life of a Workplace Student at Houghton PLC

Posted on September 5, 2018

R&D Work Experience Student Jospeh Atkinson

As part of our dedication and commitment to our staffs’ training and development, we also believe it’s important to give students the opportunity to experience the working environment – inspiring the next generation of engineers, scientists and office-based professionals to make informed decisions about their future career prospects.

We were pleased to have Joseph Atkinson, a year ten student, spend a week supporting our Research and Development department at our Customer Solutions Centre in Trafford Park, Manchester, earlier this year.

We asked Joseph to write a small article about his time with Houghton, and what he learnt during his work experience.

I arrived bright and early at 7.30am on Monday morning and was quickly kitted out with safety glasses and shoes, and a lab coat.

Spending most of my week in the laboratory, I was given the opportunity to shadow various members of the team while they introduced me to numerous instrumental techniques including HPLC, XRF, ICP and COD – out of these I found the ICP technique the most interesting!

Alongside Houghton’s instrumental techniques, I also learned about the microbiological testing that is carried out on samples the site receives.

Research & Development Work Placement

During my weeks’ work experience, I was also asked to help edit a Houghton promotional video to promote the Houghto-Clean range, which made an interesting contrast to the lab work! It’s incredible how much time and effort goes into putting together just a few minutes of video, but I think the results speak for themselves!

I was particularly impressed by the modern, open-plan feel to the Customer Solutions Centre, and how friendly everyone was.

The week gave me a good insight into what it’s like to work in a technical and scientific environment – I am currently taking three sciences at school, and this is a possible area I might consider for employment in the future.

I would like to extend my thanks to my host, Technical Manager Gareth Jones, who made me feel welcome throughout my time on site. I would also like to thank Houghton for providing me with the work experience placement.

For more information on employment and work placement opportunities, please visit the careers section of our website: