Dr. David Megson brings a wealth of experience to the Chemistry Matters team. Based in the UK, Dr. Megson earned his BSc in Environmental Forensics (2:1) at University of Wales Bangor (Sept 2003 – June 2006), his MSc in Environmental Analysis and Assessment at Royal Holloway University of London (Sept 2006 – Sept 2007), and his PhD in Environmental Chemistry at University of Plymouth (Sept 2011 – Sept 2014).
Dr. Megson’s specialty is the analysis of environmental samples and interpretation of multidisciplinary data. He has extensive experience in planning, developing and delivering a wide range of environmental projects for academic and industrial clients. His investigations generally involve organic contaminants, specifically persistent organic pollutants (POPs). For POPs, he specializes in identifying sources of contamination using advanced analytical techniques and multivariate statistics.
To date, Dr. Megson has published 15 peer reviewed papers in scientific journals with an average impact factor of >3.5. In ten of these published papers, he has been the lead author. He has also published in 13 book, book chapters and bulletins, which include being an editor for several special issues in peer reviewed journals. He has given over 25 oral presentations in the last 5 years as well as being on the organizational committee of several major international conferences including the International Network of Environmental Forensics annual conference (INEF 2015, 16, 17 & 18), the annual workshop on Brominated and Other Flame Retardants (BFR2016) and Dioxin (2017). Since 2016, Dr. Megson has been awarded a total of £401,100 in research funding (£91,100 of which as the primary investigator).
Highlights from Dr. Megson’s career, include personal achievements such as winning awards for presenting research at conferences, publishing research and defending his PhD. He has also been involved in several large scale contaminated land remediation jobs in the UK. David finds it rewarding to see the land transformed from a contaminated site turned to a useful resource.
Dr. Megson has achieved the following committee positions and status with professional bodies;
- 2017 – Elected member of the Royal Society of Chemistry-Environment, Sustainability & Energy Division Council
- 2017 – Achieved status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
- 2015 – International Network of Environmental Forensics (INEF) Committee member
- 2014 – Achieved status of Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)
- 2010 – Achieved status of Member of Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC)
David was born in Chester and raised in the Wirral (in the North West of England). Since completing his high school education, he has been somewhat of a nomad and perused education and job opportunities across the UK and overseas. It has been a great pleasure for him to return to North West England on several occasions to work as a consultant and academic to have a direct input in helping improve his local area.
David was always interested in science for as long as he can remember. He started in science by completing a BSc in environmental forensics which gave him a multidisciplinary foundation on how to undertake environmental investigations. David completed an MSc to hone his chemistry skills and learn about the different ways to monitor environmental quality. He took a job with an environmental consultancy firm to gain practical experience working on real contaminated land investigations specializing in human health risk assessment and environmental forensics. After several years of consultancy, he perused an academic career, which included his PhD studying polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and two post-doctoral researcher positions working with the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change on the analysis of persistent organic pollutants. From working in the lab and presenting his research, he developed a passion for teaching and managed to obtain a lectureship in the UK teaching chemistry and environmental forensics. He now also works for Chemistry Matters which enables him to keep actively involved with environment forensics investigations which are what sparked his interest when he started his studies nearly 15 years ago.
Dr. Megson is passionate about solving complex environmental investigations and identifying those responsible for causing environmental damage. He is also passionate about helping others develop their careers and a personal passion of the Liverpool football club. When not working, you will find David up a mountain (snowboarding), in the sea (surfing), on the football pitch (playing football/soccer), or in the pub (socializing and enjoying a craft beer or two).
What would be your advice to students starting in University looking to pursue a career like yours?
“I always advise students to create and make the most out of their opportunities. All of the success I have had in my career so far was not because I scored x% on my exams but because I spent the time attending conferences, giving guest lectures and speaking to people. This wasn’t done with the aim of getting a job but because I was interested. If you are an enthusiastic and intelligent student, that is a great combination and good things will happen.”
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