Employee Spotlight: Dr Allen Bellew

Ionoptika is very proud of its skilled and dedicated staff, who together with our loyal users make up our global community. In our ongoing series, we shine the spotlight on one of our talented colleagues each month to introduce you to some of the people behind Ionoptika.

employee spotlight photo allen

Our latest spotlight focuses on Dr Allen Bellew, our Marketing & Applications Manager. You can find Allen giving talks or manning the booth for Ionoptika at trade shows and exhibits around the world. We asked Allen for an insight into his time at Ionoptika.

Why did you decide to study science when you were at school or university?

I’ve loved science ever since I was young and always wanted to be involved in discovering something new about the world. I did as many science subjects as I could at school and always knew that’s what I would study at university. I ended up doing Physics and Chemistry at Trinity College Dublin – I could never decide which discipline was my favourite, so finding a course that did both was perfect for me.

How long have you worked at Ionoptika and what career path brought you to us?

I joined Ionoptika as a Test Engineer in 2016 and have worked in several roles since then including Technical Sales. Before joining Ionoptika I got my PhD in Nanoscience from Trinity College Dublin. I then worked as staff in the Advanced Microscopy Lab at the University managing their Helium Ion Microscope and lithography facilities. I find that having that background as a user of this type of equipment helps me to connect with the needs of our customers and deliver the best service for them.

Our customers are involved in so many different areas of research, from ground-breaking cancer research to building quantum computers, and they are all at the top of their game…

What do you enjoy most about working at Ionoptika?

I think the variety of applications of our products is what makes the job so exciting. Our customers are involved in so many different areas of research, from ground-breaking cancer research to building quantum computers, and they are all at the top of their game. So we have to try and keep up with them, which can be challenging at times, but you also learn so much. It’s also really fulfilling to know that you’ve played a role in helping these amazing scientists to expand their research capabilities and potentially make life-changing discoveries.

Can you describe a typical day working at Ionoptika (normally, not in the middle of a pandemic!)

I know it’s a cliché, but every day really is different. One day I can be analysing samples on the J105 SIMS for a potential customer, and the next I might be putting together marketing material for an upcoming conference or writing content for our website. We have a small team here, so we have to be very dynamic. Everyone works really hard for each other, which is great.

What has been your best memory or achievement in your working life?

I think my best memory so far would be the SIMS conference in Kyoto in 2019. We worked hard in the build-up, and it was just a great conference and such an amazing city. The food was possibly the highlight for me! One of the great perks of the job is getting to travel all around the world and see some amazing places, but that one takes the cake. The Rugby World Cup was also on in Japan at the same time – so that worked out well!

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I have a passion for food and love to cook. At the moment I’m learning the art of stir fry. I also love strength sports and can usually be found in the gym, or at home watching rugby.

Have you been doing anything interesting/different/new to cope with the pandemic?

I am enjoying speciality coffee a lot lately. I’ve been trying all different styles of brewing and coffees from different parts of the world. I would highly recommend naturally processed coffees for anyone who hasn’t tried them – lots of tropical fruit notes – so delicious!

What are you looking forward to most once the Covid restrictions have eased?

We had to postpone our wedding because of lockdown, so that’s the main focus right now. We’re having it back home in Ireland and hopefully, we can have a massive party once this is all over!

Interested in becoming part of our team? Visit our Careers page.