The Committee

The committee convene twice a year to discuss the business of the MSG, with a primary focus on proposing and establishing high quality scientific meetings for our members.
The MSG Committee, Burlington House,  2015.
(Left to right: Steven Coombes, Ben Bardsley, Peter Hamilton, John Andrews, Paul Thomas, Howell Edwards. Not Pictured: Chris Sammon)


Chris Sammon

Chris Sammon is Professor of Polymer Science at Sheffield Hallam University. He has a degree in Chemistry, an MSc in Analytical Science and a PhD in the use of vibrational spectroscopy to monitor dynamic processes in polyethylene terephthalate. 

His current research interests include using MIR imaging to look at the nature and rate of drug release from hydrophilic matrices, the use of Raman spectroscopy in Process Analytical Technology applications, the application of MIR imaging to understand early stage intervertebral disc degeneration, the use of injectable hydrogels for regenerative medical applications, using Raman microscopy to monitor airborne silica particles. 

He is a STEM ambassador and is a strong advocate of improving the wider understanding of science, engaging the public in activities such as Skeptics in the Pub, Café Scientifique and A Pint of Science.

Peter Hamilton 

Peter joined the RSC MSG committee in April 2015. He studied for an MSci in Forensic and Analytical Chemistry before a PhD focused on the application of spectroscopic process analytical technology to improve understanding in Pharmaceutical drying processes – both at The University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 

He then completed a collaborative post-doctoral research position with Strathclyde and GSK in the USA before joining GSK on a full time basis in the UK. He has experience in the use of Raman, NIR, MIR, and UV-Vis spectroscopies and their applications for process analysis in both drug substance and drug product pharmaceutical production. 


Paul Thomas
Prof. C. L. Paul Thomas gained his PhD at UMIST, in 1988. He was an endowed lecturer at UMIST and developed the VOC group within the Department of Instrumentation and Analytical Science. 

He is also a past president of the International Society of Ion Mobility Spectrometry, and has served on the editorial boards of the RSC’s Analyst and Springer’s International Journal of Ion mobility Spectrometry. 

His research has been dedicated to the study of VOC measurement in all its forms and in particular to biogenic VOC in humans, and he is currently the Head of the Department of Chemistry at Loughborough University, UK


Alex Surtees

Alex currently works as an analytical chemist in the Centre for Chemical and Biological Analysis based at the University of Bradford. This wide-ranging role has seen him working in fields as diverse as pharmaceuticals, forensics, archaeology and art restoration.

In doing so he has developed an expertise in NMR, IR, MS (particularly GC- and LC-), TGA, DSC, PXRD and Raman spectroscopy. His particular research interest is in the application of Raman spectroscopy in art and archaeology.

He has a BSc in Forensic Science and a PhD in the application of Raman spectroscopy to geo-chemical identification, both from the University of Bradford.


Joanna Denbigh

Jo’s scientific career spans almost 20 years working in multidisciplinary environments in both industry and academia. After graduating with an MChem in Analytical Chemistry, Jo entered the pharmaceutical industry as an Analytical Chemist and then moved into more technical and training roles as an Applications Scientist and Trainer. 

Having discovered a passion for research and teaching, Jo completed a PhD in Biological Chemistry at the University of Manchester followed by a Cancer Research UK funded Post-Doc at the Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre in Manchester. 

Jo joined the University of Salford in her current role as Lecturer in Pharmacology in 2016 where her research focuses on biomedical and pharmaceutical applications employing spectroscopy (FTIR, ATR, Synchrotron-FTIR and Raman microspectroscopy) and mass spectrometry (LC-MS, GC-MS, SIMS, MALDI and DESI).

Ben Bardsley
Secretary & Vice Chairman 
Ben is an NMR spectroscopist by training, working in the pharmaceutical industry for GlaxoSmithKline in Stevenage. 

He also has experience in vibrational spectroscopy and is part of a team which provides structure elucidation and spectroscopic skills to problem solving in drug development. In addition, he now leads cross-functional teams in wider aspects of analysis in drug development all the way from candidate selections through to marketing and manufacture.  

Ben completed his first degree in Natural Sciences and a PhD in the field of molecular recognition at Christ's College, University of Cambridge. Ben has been a member of the RSC MSG Committee since 2007 and has acted as Secretary in 2009.

Steven Coombes

Steve leads the solution state NMR spectroscopy group at AstraZeneca in Macclesfield, supporting analysts and chemists throughout R&D and manufacturing. 

His interests include structure elucidation, reaction monitoring and the development and implementation of software solutions for data processing and management. He previously worked at Pfizer until 2008 working in the Analytical R&D group after completing his degree and PhD at the University of Bradford, studying natural product isolation and synthesis. 

Steve has been on the RSC MSG committee since 2006 and was Chairman from 2010 - 2018.


John Andrews

John studied for a BSc in Chemistry and a PhD in Vibrational Spectroscopy at the University of East Anglia. He worked for Mattson Instruments in sales and marketing of FTIR and FT-Raman spectrometers. When Mattson acquired Pye Unicam he became Business Manager for Infrared Spectroscopy for the combined group. 

In 1995 he founded Clairet Scientific Ltd. Clairet specialises in the application of spectroscopy to on-line, at-line measurements and in process research. The company has pioneered the development of Process Analytical Technology (PAT) in the UK and beyond. John works with FTIR, FT-NIR, Diode Array NIR, UV-visible, Raman, Terahertz, Mass and Ion mobility spectroscopy. 


Aliki Moysiadi

Aliki currently works as a Publishing Assistant with Scientific Reports, a Nature Research Journal. 

She studied for her BSc in Chemistry at the University of Athens. She also has an MSc in Instrumental Analytical Chemistry (2015) and an MPhil on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (2016) from the University of Southampton.

She has briefly worked as an Access Chemistry teacher at Peter Symonds College and has been a member of the committee since 2018.