Southern Scientific : "We develop both installed and handheld systems, with the aim of providing simple but effective solutions to our customers' detection needs."
Member Since: 1992
Interview Date: February 2023
What is your role?

I'm the Nuclear Sector Manager.

What does the organisation do?

Southern Scientific is a specialist supplier of radiation detection equipment for the nuclear, medical, security, defence, industrial and research sectors.

We develop both installed and handheld systems, with the aim of providing simple but effective solutions to our customers' detection needs.

When did the organisation start up?

Southern Scientific was founded in 1984 and bought by the Lablogic Group in 2011. We are based in Henfield, West Sussex and now employ 30 people.

Why are you an SRP Affiliated Organisation?

Being an Affiliated Organisation helps us to reach more customers and get more credibility in the market. I’m an SRP member myself and I was very proud when my application was accepted.

What was the first product the company sold?

It was the Rometer, an x-ray QA system, back in about 1984.

And what is your latest product?

It's the GammaAWARE with Gamma Imaging System H420.

H3D® GammAware is an add-on to H3D imagers to perform Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM). The combination of mapping and radiation imaging overlays radiation hot spots onto a 3D model of the scanned area.

GammaAWARE creates images and radiation maps enabling virtual navigation around an area. New capabilities can be unlocked, such as:

Improved source-term maps and dose-rate visualization tools

  • Shielding evaluations
  • Tools for time-motion ALARA dose estimations
  • Accurate characterisation for waste shipments and storage
The GammaAWARE with Gamma Imaging System H420.
What is the workplace culture at Southern Scientific?

We aim to create a positive work environment for our employees, supporting collaborating teams who then naturally demonstrate the values Southern Scientific was built on. These core values are just as important to us today as they were - PERFECT in fact!

Passionate and Driven
Everyone is accountable
Respectful and Inclusive
Family Atmosphere
What's your most popular giveaway at conferences?!

We are trying to go green, so we have pens and water bottles, rather than objects that are used once and forgotten. The water bottles are quite popular and I’ve seen a few people using them when I'm making site visits.

Who might we meet on your stand?

In the past four years I haven’t missed any SRP event, big or small, close or far away, so you’ll always find me there alongside some of my colleagues. Sarah Lonsdale just joined our team so you might meet her quite frequently too.

What has been the most memorable SRP conference you have attended and why?

Aberdeen 2023 – an interesting adventure, with the fire alarm going off in the middle of the night! Apart from that, I've enjoyed all the conferences because I love meeting customers that you don’t normally get to see, due to location or site restrictions. It’s always great to meet them face to face and listen to their stories. I also enjoy browsing other companies' stands and their freebies!

What's the best thing about your organisation?

The family atmosphere. This is one of our core values. We all know each other and we all help each other achieve what we need to do. We have a relatively small number of staff, so you don't feel like a number.

Some of the Southern Scientific team took part in the Sheffield 10k Team Challenge last year.
Have you ever had any unusual queries?

We often get calls from members of the public who want instruments to protect them from 5G or neutrons coming from Russia. I have to say it’s always nice to talk with them and explain the real risks they are exposed to.

Do you have any examples of a product being used in an unusual way, or in an exotic place?

We sold a couple of AlphaE and AlphaGUARD radon monitors that have been used and discussed on TV. The customer was a production company recording a TV show about caves where the radon levels were quite high. They needed some instruments to make sure the dose given to their workers was within the limits specified by the RPA. The AlphaE travelled worldwide – the Caribbean included! Check out the video on our website.

Does Southern Scientific support a particular charity?

We support several different charities and promote charity events throughout the year. Our employees can suggest a charity and the company always supports anyone who wants to take part to any fundraising event.

One charity we have supported recently has been the Huntington’s Disease Association. Our colleague Jake is really close to the association because a family member was recently diagnosed with the disease. He managed to raise over £1,000, though he did have to wax his chest!

Do you have any animals in the office?

Unfortunately we don’t. I’ve been asking for an office cat for years but have not been successful yet! If anyone wants to help me find one, please get in touch!

Do you have team-building events?

 Every year the LabLogic group organises a long weekend at Centre Parcs in Sherwood Forest for colleagues and family. There are lots of activities including archery, table tennis, football, aerial adventure and a thousand other things. We also have the LabLogic Ball. This year it was masquerade ball, which was great fun.

Laura at Center Parcs last year.
Do you have any interesting stories to share?

I’ve travelled a lot in the UK and discovered some amazing places. The best journey I’ve ever made was driving all the way up from the south of England to Dounreay for a demo – only to find the instrument had been damaged during transport… Nevertheless, the welcome I received, and the stunning views on the drive paid for the trip and the broken instrument!

Finally, what question haven't we asked you, that we should have done?

How did you end up in the nuclear industry?

And what’s the answer to that question?

I remained fascinated by the Cherenkov light I was lucky enough to witness when I was 18. During my last year of high school in Italy I went on a trip to a small research reactor in Pavia. We could see the core from the top of the pool start glowing blue. When this happened, all my mates walked back terrified, but I was so fascinated that I almost fell in the pool! One thing led to another, and now here I am. I talk about this in a short interview for the Italian Nuclear Association, if you understand Italian, go check the video.

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