Student works to enhance The REACH Centre software

computer keyboard

The Organisation

The REACH Centre is a global provider of Regulatory and Scientific services for chemicals management and regulatory compliance to industry based in the Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University.

The Challenge

The REACH Centre wanted someone to help support the expansion of the Chemtrac® substance database that is at the core of their Chemtrac chemicals management tool by compiling regulatory data, initially concerning occupational exposure limits in various countries globally, with the possibility to extend into other areas.

Skills Sought

  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Able to work largely independently after suitable training
  • Able to turn round work efficiently and to a high standard
  • Good IT skills with proficiency in Excel

The Solution

Jon Howard, a final year BSc Environmental Science student was recruited through the Science and Technology Internship Programme for a 12 week internship. Throughout the internship, Jon created excel files according to a template provided, by extracting data from various sources, checked chemical data in the sources and undertook further data search and retrieval as required.

CostSantandar Universities Logo

The internship was part-financed by The REACH Centre at £1,800+VAT, and part-financed by Santander, with a total value of £3,600. ‌


The impact on the business was that the additional resource could be used to develop a vital business programme, providing additional services to new and existing clients. Jon was retained by the company to continue working part-time for them whilst finishing his degree. 

Benefits to the company

  • Saved management time and money
  • Make use of the knowledge and expertise of Lancaster University Science and Technology students
  • Improve its client offer and grow the company

Company Feedback

"We have employed many interns through the Science and Technology Internship Programme over the years, and have always found great benefits in the scheme. A number of interns have also subsequently found employment with The REACH Centre, either part-time during their studies, or full-time after graduation. 

"Jon was employed on the scheme last year to help us expand our database of regulatory information on chemicals, and has stayed on part-time with us since then. Following a period of training, Jon has become largely independent, completing projects to a high standard within specified deadlines. His efficiency is particularly strong, determining the most efficient strategy for data extraction prior to implementation.

"Jon has been a key addition to our team, providing much needed resource as we look to expand our global coverage of chemicals legislation within the Chemtrac software and we are delighted with his work." Sandra Meijer, Director of Business Development,The REACH Centre Limited.

Student Feedback

“My internship at the REACH Centre gave me the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and acquire knowledge and skills in data research and analysis. As well as this, the knowledge of chemical registration and management was very useful when starting my Master’s degree which has large focus on this.

"The REACH Centre staff were very supportive and enthusiastic throughout the internship, which made the training and progression an easy and enjoyable experience. This opportunity provided invaluable insight into a key part of the environmental sector which was unknown to me before and made me interested in a career in chemical management. I would strongly recommend an internship with The REACH Centre.” Jon Howard, final year BSc Environmental Science, The REACH Centre Intern.

Future Plans

­­The REACH Centre continues to work with the University in many future projects.