My journey to working commercially within Life Science as an Analytical Chemist – Luke Wood

Prior to becoming a partner at Kapia to work in a recruitment setting, I studied a BSc in Analytical Chemistry at Newcastle University, from a young age I had an interest in precision, problem-solving and a general curiosity towards the scientific field. As such, I wanted to pass on some of my past experiences and insights into the industry.

During my academic days, I was fortunate to be exposed to an array of analytical instrumentation. My laboratory sessions provided me the opportunity to work on the highest tech chromatography, mass spec and molecular spectroscopy instruments from leading manufacturers such as Bruker, Thermofisher and Waters.

This resulted in a 3-month research project into modern advancements in Mettalene Chemistry, focusing on one of the most challenging and recent fields within organometallic chemistry, double bond derivatives of group 14 elements >E=E< (E=Ge, Si, Sn, Pb), their history and how modern technology has allowed us to believe these mettalenes were anything other than non-isolable intermediates.

Analytical chemistry is the branch of chemistry that specialises in identifying, quantifying, and characterising substances within various samples. These samples can range from the quantities of molecules in biological tissues to the complex matrices of environmental pollutants or food products. Hence why analytical instrumentation is present in multiple markets such as Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and Medical Devices. See below for a comprehensive list of the major instruments and uses currently in the market.


  • High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC): Separates compounds in a liquid sample using high-pressure pumps and a column packed with a stationary phase.
  • Gas Chromatography (GC): Separates volatile compounds in a gaseous sample using a column and carrier gas.
  • Thin-Layer Chromatography (TLC): Utilises a thin layer of stationary phase on a solid support for separation.


  • UV-Visible Spectroscopy: Measures the absorption or transmission of light in the ultraviolet and visible regions to determine identity and quantify compounds.
  • Infrared Spectroscopy (IR): Detects the absorption of infrared radiation to identify functional groups and the molecular structure.
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR): Provides information about the structure and connectivity of atoms in a molecule.
  • Mass Spectrometry (MS): Determines the mass-to-charge ratio of ions, allowing for precise quantification and identification of the chemical composition of compounds.

Newest tech in Analytical Instrumentation:

Jasco FT/IR Spectrometer (Released at the start of 2023)- is a powerful Mid-IR FTIR spectrometer, with many features that you find in a research-grade instrument, such as non-hygroscopic KRS-5 windows to prevent damage to the interferometer, a temperature controlled DLaTGS detector and a high output ceramic source for maximum sensitivity.

Bruker D6 Phaser – Bruker the global leader in X-ray diffraction in June 2023 released The D6 PHASER, a new benchtop XRD platform designed with the analytical flexibility typically only available in larger, floor-standing systems. Unlike conventional, more limited benchtop XRD instruments, the D6 PHASER enables analytical methods that go beyond powder diffraction.

The Waters™  Alliance was released in March 2023, it is a High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) System that brings a new level of simplicity and instrument intelligence to QC analyses, helping laboratories eliminate up to 40% of common errors.

The Current Market

The Analytical Instrumentation Market size is expected to grow from USD $49.47 billion in 2023 to USD $66.27 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 6.02% during the forecast period (2023-2028). The increasing concern for product quality, increasing investments in R&D, and stringent government regulations are the major factors driving the analytical instrumentation market growth.

The biopharmaceutical industry also plays a significant role in developing the studied market. With a rising emphasis on pharmaceutical quality production, the bioprocessing sector is also emerging as a substantial investor in the market studied. In January 2022, Fujifilm High-Tech announced the addition of an additional 89,000 sq. ft of laboratory space at its North Carolina facility, which will feature analytical instrumentation, high throughput bioprocessing equipment, and automation technologies to support the process characterisation program.

Being from a technical background, my proficiency in various analytical techniques and instruments listed above has been vital in my ability to thrive in the commercial market. The exceptional work going on behind the scenes in labs across the globe is truly inspiring, and is a major factor in why the sector is growing.

For example, recent advancements in HPLC instruments have transformed analytical chemistry. Enhanced sensitivity, faster analysis times, and improved resolution are notable improvements. Integration with mass spectrometry has broadened analytical capabilities, allowing for precise compound identification. Additionally, user-friendly software and automation have streamlined workflows, making HPLC as well as other techniques an indispensable tool in various industries and the world we live in.

The landscape is ever changing which is what keeps me so interested in the space. I can’t wait to see analytical chemistry industry continuing to evolve and to be marvelled at the groundbreaking technology that continues to be produced.

Written by Luke Wood – Partner (Analytical Instrumentation)

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About Kapia

Kapia is a boutique organization established just under three years ago with a mission to revolutionize the perception of recruitment. Focusing solely on the scientific and medical technology sectors, Kapia prides itself on a continuous learning and improvement methodology, providing clients with the highest level of service. Employing techniques derived from Miller Heiman Blue and Green sheets, each project is meticulously analyzed and tailored to align with the client’s goals. Kapia distinguishes itself not by being superior, but by being different, with the ultimate aim of contributing to the success of its clients.


To offer companies the opportunity to partner with a recruitment consultancy that places emphasis on the ‘consultancy’ aspect. Kapia is committed to transforming the recruitment landscape and is determined to prove itself right.


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  • Customer centric
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  • Committed to relationships
  • Working as one

- Customer centric
- Unapologetically bold
- Committed to relationships
- Working as one

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