Colour Synthesis Solutions’ Women in Science – Karine Ellis 

Meet Karine Ellis, Project Manager at Colour Synthesis Solutions (CSS)!

Colour Synthesis Solutions is excited to spotlight Karine, who has been part of our team for eight years. She is featured in the first installment of our series CSS Women in Science.

We rely on a team of creative, research-driven problem solvers who have unparalleled expertise in chemistry and  colour. Our Women in Science feature will peer beyond the traditional job description and provide extra insight about these valuable members of the CSS team.

We asked Karine to answer these questions:

1. Where did you attend school?

Karine: I was born, bred, and educated in South Eastern France. After earning a Baccalaureate (A levels) in Maths and Sciences, I went on to study Sciences at the University Claude Bernard Lyon I. The first two years were quite general, with Maths, Physics, Biology and Chemistry (organic, physical and inorganic). From the third year on, I then chose to specialise in Organic Chemistry.

To work in scientific Research had been my aim since I started studying in Science. So, I carried on with the preparation on a thesis at the “Laboratoire de Chimie Organique” led by Pr Houda Fillion, at Lyon. I got my PhD in Organic Chemistry in 1999 and my interest in Chemistry and working in labs has never faded since then!

2. What made you choose chemistry? 

Karine: My love of Sciences started in high school, where my favourite lessons were Natural Sciences lessons, especially the hands-on experiments we were assigned. My interest in Sciences was (and still is) quite broad: I remember I wanted to be a botanist, an archaeologist, a paleontologist…I also wanted to work in scientific research and be able to cure my brother from cystic fibrosis…but what made me choose Organic chemistry at the end was a box of Vitamin E tablets…The structure was printed on the side of the box and I really wanted to learn and understand what it all meant. So, it all started with Vitamin E and experiments at high school….

3. What favourite type of projects have you worked on?

Karine: Thinking about it, I do not have a favourite type of project. I have enjoyed all the projects I have worked on at CSS. These may range from FTE, where I get to develop materials to tailor the customer’s needs to custom synthesis, and where the customer has already a material in mind and would like CSS to develop a viable synthetic route. I have also enjoyed doing analytical investigations, either to confirm the structure of a material (for REACH purposes for instance) or to solve a customer’s conundrum.

4. How has CSS help you achieve some of your goals?

Karine: CSS has helped by providing opportunities and support for me to develop in my role, from Research Scientist to Project Manager. Opportunities to grow as a chemist through the variety of projects offered and collaborations with colleagues, opportunities to develop soft skills through direct communication with customers for instance. CSS has also offered me the opportunity to develop as a leader and a manager, and provides relevant trainings to be successful in my role.

I also recently got involved with chemical regulations, which is an area I knew little about and wouldn’t have gone naturally. I find it quite interesting!

5. What is your favourite colour and why?

Karine: Green is my favourite colour; for me it is the colour of life, of Nature, of gardens, where I find the peace and quiet. I need to recuperate and relax.