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Industrial Microbiologist Career Profile

Industrial Microbiologist

Industrial microbiologists develop, process and research microbial cultures in order to produce commercially valuable products. They may also be responsible for monitoring production systems to ensure quality control standards are maintained. Such work is an important part of the expanding area of biotechnology and biopharmaceutical produts. Industrial microbiologists work in a diverse range of sectors including:
  • chemicals and pharmaceuticals
  • health-care
  • agriculture
  • brewing
  • food and drink
  • water purification
  • environmental science
Typical work activities can include:
  • researching and developing new products using methods such as recombinant DNA techniques
  • testing and assessing the safety of new chemicals
  • selecting and genetically modifying microorganisms
  • developing new products
  • designing fermentation processes to optimise product yield and quality
  • monitoring production processes;
  • maintaining parts of production processes such as fermentation systems
  • product separation and purification
  • developing the use of microbes as early warning sensors to detect pollution
  • bioremediation, using microbes to treat soil and water pollution caused by industrial waste
Industrial microbiologists may also become involved with non-laboratory-based applications, such as clinical trials and drug registration. In addition, there are opportunities for microbiologists to work in other areas of industry using their expert knowledge, e.g. scientific sales.

  • Education to BSc Micro degree or higher degree standard is generally required
  • Relevant research experience within university and / or industrial environments is often an advantage
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