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.

Secretary & Vice Chairman
Ben Bardsley
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.

Committee Members
Howell Edwards
Howell Edwards is a Raman spectroscopist , Emeritus Professor of Molecular Spectroscopy at the University of Bradford and former      Head of Chemical and Forensic Sciences there . He is interested in the applications of analytical Raman spectroscopy to forensic  archaeology and art,geoscience, pharmaceuticals, drugs and contraband materials in a forensic context. He established the Centre for  Astrobiology and Extremophiles Research and leads the international Science Support Team on the ESA ExoMars Raman Laser  Spectrometer project , based in the UK at the University of Leicester, Space Research Centre ,to place a miniaturised Raman  spectrometer for the remote detection of spectroscopic biogeological life signatures on the surface of Mars.

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.

Steven Coombes
Steve leads the solution state NMR group at AstraZeneca in Macclesfield, supporting analysts and chemists throughout R&D and manufacturing. His interests include small molecule structure elucidation, reaction monitoring and the development and implementation of software solutions for data processing. He was previously employed at Pfizer until 2008 working in the Analytical R&D group. Steve completed his 1st 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 took over as Chairman in March 2010. "My vision for the MSG is to be an organisation that brings together scientists from across a number of complimentary disciplines to inform, learn about and discuss the latest and greatest techniques & applications for structural analysis. This is exemplified by the successful Structure meetings we have jointly organised with the NMRDG and BMSS groups."


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.