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Meet our new Senior Finisher for Research & Development

Say hello to our newly appointed Senior Finisher for Research & Development, James Winston, as we discuss the vision for our industry-leading R&D

Meet our new Senior Finisher for Research & Development

Meet our new Senior Finisher for Research & Development

We’re very excited to announce the creation of a new role in Research & Development at Plastic Surgeon as part of a continued investment in this area of the business. By bolstering our already successfully R&D capabilities we know we’ll be able to stay at the forefront of repair techniques and materials.

This week we sat down with our newly appointed Senior Finisher for Research & Development, James Winston, to learn more about his journey with Plastic Surgeon so far and how R&D is changing the repair and restoration industry.

Congratulations on your new role James! Tell us a little about your background and what you wanted to do at school?

Thanks. My background is a varied one and initially started out down a scientific route working in labs and also completed a degree in Biological Science from Exeter University. I then moved on to jobs such as floor laying, removals and shipping before finding myself at Plastic Surgeon.

Like many, I had no particular direction in mind when at school – hence the varied background! I’ve always had an artistic streak though and was mixing paints from a young age. This has stayed with me throughout my life and it’s an inclination perfectly suited to my role at Plastic Surgeon. I see this is my true calling and I enjoy every day.

When did you start at Plastic Surgeon and how has your role evolved?

I’ve been with the company for four years now, initially starting as a finisher before moving into a training capacity.

Working as a finisher, I operated right across the UK, carrying out all manner of repairs. I’ve even worked internationally, conducting repairs on cruise ships. This has given me a broad range of experience, something which lead to me progressing into a mentor role, where I looked after newly qualified finishers starting out in the field, helping them learn new techniques and skills.

Mentoring lent me a taste for teaching others, and I then moved into a training role at head office, helping to deliver the training programme for Plastic Surgeon’s new starters.

What sort of things are you looking to bring to the new R&D role?

Having experience in the field is invaluable. I know first-hand the challenges faced by finishers and have always had ideas on how we can go about improving our techniques. I’m inquisitive by nature and this leads me to want to know how things work. This in turn helps me to look for advancements in our capabilities.

Why is R&D in the industry so important?

We want to offer the best service possible, doing the best job we can for our clients. As a business we want to continue moving forward using the latest tools and innovations. By developing new processes and products, we’re able to push the boundaries of what’s possible, offering more repair types for our customers at the best possible price.

Safety is another important factor. We work with a lot of different chemicals, and we’re always looking to ensure safe handling and safe use. By analysing our existing products and exploring new chemical compounds, we can both improve our expertise and ensure any potential harm is minimalised.

Do you have any particular area of focus in mind for R&D?

I’ll be helping to cover the full spectrum of R&D, looking at new repair products, new repair techniques and new ideas for existing techniques, so there’s plenty for me to go at. As always we’ll continue to announce new developments as and when we’re happy they’re ready for market. Stay tuned for details!

What do you foresee being the biggest challenges in your new role?

On a personal level, it’s getting used to the switch from being field based to office based. Each area has its pros and cons, but having predominantly moved around from day-to-day seeing a real variety of job types all over the country, heading to the same office, doing a lot of computer based work has been quite a novelty.

I’m also conscious of ‘trade fade’, so I will still carry out repair work regularly at head office to ensure I don’t let my skills slip!

What did you enjoy most about your previous role and what are you expecting to enjoy in the new position?

The range of repairs we’re able to conduct as a company is phenomenal. Being able to do the work we do is a great source of pride for me and, although it might sound clichéd, I genuinely do love my job. Learning new techniques and carrying them out to a high standard is extremely rewarding and I’m really looking forward to working with teams across the country to improve what we do.

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