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Mr Sean O’Connor joins the Anatune Team

Martin Perkins

12th September 2014

Applications Laboratory, Ray Perkins, Sean O'Connor, staff, team,


Anatune is pleased to welcome Mr Sean O’Connor, who will be working alongside a really great team in the Applications Laboratory.  Please let us introduce him to you.

Sean has over 18 years of laboratory experience initially starting in the flavour industry with Belmay Flavours and moving to work in Unilever’s Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC), where he worked on the method development and analysis of environmental samples.

Initially he worked within quality control but soon developed an interest in chromatography and progressed from simple quantitative liquid chromatographic analysis of components e.g. preservatives, vitamins and sweeteners to using liquid:liquid extraction techniques and GC/MS for flavor matching and development.

During his time there he studied part time for his degree in Chemistry at Anglia Ruskin University writing his thesis on Vitamin analysis.

In 2003, he moved from Belmay to Unilever and changed the focus of his analysis from flavours to environmental testing.  The test chemicals were Unilever ingredients rather than the standard contaminants, which required some novel extraction and analysis methods, including utilizing the GERSTEL MPS2 autosamplers for headspace, solid phase micro extraction and CIS4 injection system to determine trace level contaminants in samples ranging from river water to influent and sediment.

Not only was the analysis done in the laboratory, but also in the field with two examples of this spending 12 hours on a river side in Northamptonshire taking samples directly for headspace, adding the internal sample on site and more extravagantly extracting river water in PDR Laos using SPE on the roof top of the hotel.

During this time he studied part time for a Masters Degree in Analytical Chemistry at Birkbeck College, University of London, specializing in environmental chemistry with his final thesis detailing the monitoring of the biodegradation of linear alkylbenzene sulphonates and their intermediates in biodegradation experiments. Sean has co-authored work on both the analysis of linear alkylbenzene sulphonate monitoring in the UK and in the Mekong Delta, and monitoring D5 within the UK rivers. He has also recently had work published on the use of immobilsed artificial membrane chromatography.

Sean has been a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and has been a member of their chromatography group for many years. Sean has been a customer of Anatune for many years utilising many of the features of the MPS2 autosampler to achieve the required sensitivity for his work in environmental analysis, especially the headspace features which enabled measurement at parts per trillion levels in his work with siloxanes (mainly cyclodecamethylpentasiloxane, D5).