"I became involved with planning and driving my own project work and had the chance to travel round Europe and present my results"

Debra Jones

Debra Jones, BSc Chemistry, Birmingham 2003 – Joined Johnson Matthey's Technology Centre in 2004

After graduating in June 2003 I spent a year working as a chalet host in the French Alps. On returning to the UK I was invited for interview at Johnson Matthey in Sonning Common, Oxfordshire, UK.

I started in late May, straight into the Autocatalyst business unit where, as part of a team, I developed new catalysts to control NOx (oxides of nitrogen) emissions from diesel vehicles. The work was very customer driven and fast paced with tough targets and weekly reviews.

European opportunities

After two years an opportunity came up for me to work on an EU sponsored project on renewable hydrogen; this was a collaboration between research institutes and companies from Germany, Denmark, Greece and Spain. The work was more fundamental research than my previous role, I had more freedom and became more involved with planning and driving my own project work and with quarterly meetings between partners, I had the chance to travel round Europe and present my results.

New experiences

Following the successful completion of this project, I was seconded for six months to work for a key Johnson Matthey client on a metallurgy project, something of which I had no previous experience. I learned a lot about metal alloy fabrication and processing and as a result of this work I had my first patent application submitted.

In my third year at Johnson Matthey I was nominated to attend the Group Business Training Course. This was a great experience, learning good commercial skills and participating in personal development seminars, it gave me an opportunity to meet other employees from different parts of the company.

I have now returned back into a business unit sponsored project with much more responsibility. The project is exciting to work on as it will have real commercial value in the near future.

Thoughts on Johnson Matthey

In my time at Johnson Matthey I have experienced many areas of the business and learned a wide range of valuable transferable skills. I've now got more of an idea about the path I'd like my career to take, and I'm pretty sure that due to the huge range of opportunities, it'll be somewhere within Johnson Matthey.