Amy Petts

Analytical Chemist

A colour photograph of a woman working in a laboratory

Image by Joshua Hardy

  • BORN 1994, St Johns Hospital, Chelmsford, Essex, England
  • WORKED Battelle UK Ltd – Chelmsford Site
  • MINERVA SCIENTIFICA PROJECT Echoes from Essex 2020

Artistic Connections

I am a keen ambassador for promoting STEM careers and I worked with various schools in and around Chelmsford to help encourage students to consider science as an option for future studies and eventually professions. Through my connections with local schools our company got involved with the Essex 2020 event and then this project.


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I went to Chelmer Valley High School in Chelmsford for my secondary and sixth form education and studied biology, chemistry, and maths at A-Level.

After applying I decided that I didn’t want to go down the university route, luckily for me Battelle was in the process of creating STEM relationships with schools and my chemistry teacher handed me a job advert for a trainee technician job.

I am now studying part-time for an environmental sciences degree with the Open University which is funded by the company.

Image of Amy at work (by Tom Petts)


Retail Assistant
My Saturday job whilst doing my A-Levels was in an outdoor clothing shop. I learnt what it was to have a job and some responsibility. The money I made paid for my driving lessons and, as much as I enjoyed my time there, it confirmed that retail was not for me!

Research Technician
My current role is as a research technician for Battelle UK Ltd. We take agricultural products (e.g. pesticides), pharmaceuticals and other chemicals and test them in different environmental systems to see how they react. The testing we do is required by law for companies to put their products on the market.

My day-to-day work is based around analytical chemistry and the department I work in is Environmental Fate. This area looks at radiolabelled versions of chemicals that could be applied to fields or washed into river systems – we analyse samples of soil, water, and crops to see what the chemical is doing.

Scientific Achievements

I became a STEM ambassador a few years ago and have recently taken over the role of STEM Coordinator for the company. I hope to reach study director level within the organisation which would mean I could run projects and manage a team.

Did You Know?

When I was little, I used to be fascinated with mud.

I grew up knowing I wanted to wear a lab coat for a living.

Now I play with radioactive mud whilst wearing my lab coat and I get paid for the pleasure!


My chemistry teacher from school always inspired my love of the subject and I give her credit for where I am today, I could not have done this without her.

I try, through my work as a STEM ambassador, to reach out to girls who think they might like science but can’t get past the scientist stereotype and help show them that us girls can do science just as well as the boys, if not better‼