21st October 2013
Twenty-year-old Leonie, from Hull, is a second-year biology student at the University of York who was looking for an opportunity to gain practical experience to aid her studies when she applied for the placement at JSR.
She will be the second placement student at the East Yorkshire-based pig genetics company following the success of fellow University of York student, Hannah Sewell, last year.
Not only is the scheme helping to train and develop some of the county’s talented young scientists, but it also further strengthens a long-standing relationship with the university, which Arthur Sykes Rymer, the grandfather of JSR Chairman Tim Rymer, helped establish.
Dr Grant Walling, Director of Science & Technology at JSR, is delighted to welcome Leonie.
He said: “The scheme is a worthwhile opportunity to work with competent students, who, in their placement role can fulfill a wide range of activities for JSR.
“Leonie was collecting samples in an abattoir on her second day at JSR and has already done a lot of work with the JSR Food Quality Centre, testing the tenderness of the meat using specialist equipment and assisting with taste panels. We will also be giving her a larger project to work on during her placement, possibly following her predecessor working on Freedom Farrowing systems to improve sow welfare and piglet survival.
“The role is quite flexible and means the students are able to assist various teams across the business, forming an essential part of the research and genetics department. We are also proud of the link it establishes between one of our local universities and the JSR business.”
The mixture of scientific research and being able to work with animals meant JSR’s placement scheme was ideal for Leonie, and she is thoroughly enjoying learning the inner workings of such an established business in the genetics world.
She said: “I was impressed by JSR’s reputation on an international scale and the ground-breaking research and development that is carried out from its headquarters here in East Yorkshire.
“Being from Hull, I was keen to work for a local business, but I was even more determined to get the placement role following my interview with Stephen Waite, Head of Technology Transfer at JSR. He explained that I could be working on a Freedom Farrowing project, which really appealed to me, as it will be beneficial to my studies.”
Leonie will be working at JSR full-time until next summer, before she starts the third and final year of her degree. Despite the fact she has only been at JSR since September, the placement has opened up future career options for Leonie and she is now considering working in animal genetics or breeding after she graduates.
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