Aaron Acton

Favourite Thing: Making new compounds that no one has ever made before.



1997-2004 The Streetly School, 2004-2008 The University of Bath, 2009-2014 The University or Reading


PhD in Chemistry, MChem (Masters of Chemistry), 3 A-levels, 1 AS level and 11 GCSEs

Work History:

I have worked for GlaxoSmithKline (pharmaceutical company), Veolia (waste management company), Univeristy of Reading (post-doc researcher)

Current Job:

Research Fellow (research scientist)


Universtiy of Birmingham

Me and my work

I synthesise compounds and make devices that can be used to understand biological systems.

My Typical Day

Open the fumehood, labwork (purify a compound), coffee, chat with others about their work, lunch, more labwork/ research into new ideas, put on reaction ready to purify tomorrow.

What I'd do with the money

Give it away to students!

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Micky Buble

What's your favourite food?


What is the most fun thing you've done?

Went travelling around Europe after finishing my degree.

What did you want to be after you left school?

Didn’t really know just decided I definitely didn’t want a desk job!

Were you ever in trouble at school?

Noooo way!

What was your favourite subject at school?

PE (football)

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Designed and made an improved drug delivery system for potential cancer treatment.

What or who inspired you to become a scientist?

No one really, I just enjoyed doing chemistry experiments at school, then went on from there!

If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?

Probably a chef! Synthetic chemistry is just like cooking you follow a recipe to get a product but as a chemist you put it in a machine to see if it’s worked as a chef you put it in your mouth!

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

To be incredibly wealthy, be the manager of Aston Villa FC, to make a ground breaking discovery in science!

Tell us a joke.

What’s the first thing you should learn in chemistry? Never lick the spoon.

Other stuff

Work photos: