Employee Spotlight: Mark Mills – Senior Scientist

Ionoptika is very proud of its skilled and dedicated staff, who together with our loyal users make up our global community. We’re thus continuing our posts to shine the spotlight on some of the people who make Ionoptika.

Today, we talk to our Senior Scientist Mark Mills. In our interview he told us about his work and his passion for science.

Mark Mills - Senior Scientist

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

I joined Ionoptika in October 2022 having previously worked at different mass spectrometry companies in similar roles for more than 20 years. Throughout my career I have been involved in designing novel mass spectrometers and ion optical solutions.

I initially came across Ionoptika while working at SAI in Manchester, when we collaborated on the first J105 back in the 2000’s. I’ve kept in touch with various people at Ionoptika since then and got the opportunity to come on board last year.

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

I’ve always had an interest in Maths and Science, and it was the obvious choice to continue studying this, which lead on to Physics and later ion optics and mass spectrometry.

I’m always keen to understand how things work and the underlying physical principles which has still carried on to today as we try to better understand the principles and processes behind our instruments.

Can you describe a typical day working here and what you enjoy most about it?

I really enjoy the variation: on a typical day I can spend the morning looking at the cluster distribution of the GCIB-SM where we can get water clusters with masses into the mega Dalton range, then the afternoon simulating the collision focusing of elements and small molecules through the quadrupole on the J105.

I’m fortunate in that I get to work on the full range of Ionoptika products which is a real treat for anyone with a keen interest in understanding scientific instrument.

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

I’ve had many happy memories and achievements in my working life but still my favourite feeling is seeing an Instrument that I have designed in a customer lab producing great science.

Seeing the latest J105 instruments producing fantastic performance that we couldn’t have imagined when we first started all those years ago.

It’s a real credit to Ionoptika and many other people who have worked on it through the years to see what it has become and it’s nice to think that I had that involvement in it.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time I still manage to play football although at a somewhat slower pace now!

I enjoy the outdoors and am a keen cyclist although the Lycra doesn’t do me any favours!

I also have a 4-year-old cockapoo who has boundless energy, so I spend a large amount of time walking her.

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