Lab Technician Tomas Zanchi shares his science journey and why he thinks examining lab equipment is essential
Tomas Zanchi, laboratory technician at Consulenze Ambientali, Italy
Lab product reviews can change the world by helping other scientists find the best equipment to speed up their vital work. At SelectScience®, we are committed to promoting peer-to-peer communication that will make a difference – but we couldn’t do it without our esteemed reviewers. In this regular feature, we spotlight some of our most dedicated and influential reviewers and find out what inspires them to continue sharing their knowledge with the global scientific community.
This week’s featured examiner is Tomas Zanchi, Lab Technician at Consulenze Ambientali, Scanzorosciate, Italy. Working as a laboratory technician for over two decades, his current research focuses on the removal of PFAS from environmental matrices. In this article, Tomas tells us about his biggest goals as a scientist and what he would like science to achieve in his lifetime.
Tell us a bit about your role and your current research
I have been a lab technician since 2001 and I mainly deal with GC/MS and HR-LCMS. Lately I have been working on finding PFAS in environmental matrices and their elimination.
I develop analytical methods for new molecules to be researched and which will then be certified. Whenever possible, I keep myself up to date by reading scientific publications and participating in courses and webinars.
Reviews are written directly by those who work in the laboratory and know that the most important characteristics that any device must have are reliability, reproducibility, precision, robustness, etc.
How did you come to your specific field of work?
I studied chemistry in high school and immediately started working in chemical analysis laboratories. At the beginning, I worked in the intermediate sector then I evolved towards the environment sector.
What have been your greatest challenges as a scientist?
As far as my work is concerned, the biggest challenge is to develop increasingly robust and reliable analytical methods to quantify more and more molecules at ever lower concentrations using the best possible equipment.
What is your favorite lab equipment?
My favorite instrument and the one I’ve had the good fortune to use for a few years is the Q Exactive Focus Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer from Thermo Fisher Scientific. This machine is amazing because it can be used as a workhorse for routine analysis, even though it was born as a pure research instrument. Accurate mass spectra provide a level of information unimaginable just a few years ago.
Many technicians believe that for daily analysis a triple quadrupole (QqQ) machine is even better, thinking Orbitrap is too complex and delicate, but this is not the case at all.
What would you like to achieve in your job?
I would like to continue working in the environmental field and become an expert. There are more and more pollutants, so understanding where they come from, how to analyze them, how to treat them and how to permanently eliminate them is our end goal.
Why do you think lab equipment reviews are important?
Reviews of scientific equipment are very important because they are written directly by those who work in the laboratory and know that the most important characteristics that any device must have are reliability, reproducibility, precision, robustness, etc. In addition, flaws can also be found which, on the contrary, are almost never mentioned.
Complete this sentence: In my lifetime, I would like science to realize…
In my lifetime, I would like science to succeed in ensuring that we can maintain the well-being we enjoy without harming the environment and our health.
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