Bridget Derham



I was born and raised in a little village in South East England, which at the time had a population of about 250 (now approx. 500). I spent my childhood with friends outside riding bikes, roller skating and riding horses. Family holidays in the summer would often be camping somewhere in the UK or France, and winter holidays would be skiing in Switzerland or France. No surprise in saying my love of the outdoors and nature started at a young age.

After finishing high school, I studied an honours degree in Environmental Science at the University of Plymouth in South West England. This course was perfect for me with plenty of laboratory work and field trips (even to Malaysia). I remember getting kicked out of the lecture theatre on one occasion for laughing too much (for those of you who know me, I’m sure you can relate to this!) During the holidays I went back to my home village and worked in a nearby laboratory sampling grain.

In 2002 I went on a year long ‘working holiday’ to New Zealand to try and gain some experience in the environmental field. Tick. I was fortunate enough to get offered a job with TimTech Chemicals (as they were known at the time) as an Environmental Scientist. This was perfect as I could travel around, see the beautiful country in my campervan whilst working on different work assignments. The problem is I fell in Love with New Zealand.

In 2008 (well and truly back in the UK, having bought a house etc), TimTech Chemicals offered me a job back in NZ. It didn’t take much convincing. My poor parents who were on holiday at the time, weren’t expecting a call from me to say I was emigrating. Between then and now, after several roles as Environmental Scientist / Consultant and a Lead Auditor, I am now back with TimTechChem (part of the Worldwide Azelis Group of Companies). TimTechChem are a supplier of timber treatment preservatives and technologies to the New Zealand market. A major focus of my role includes project management and research and development for wood modification and fire retardants. My current role also involves a range of activities including environmental and hazardous substance compliance and technical aspects of timber treatment. One day I may even get to undertake a PhD.

I first met the IRG family at IRG48 in Ghent. Since then I have attended the meetings every year. I am currently also a member of the Communications Committee. These meetings provide me with a perfect insight into research, new technologies and processes and to meet up with friends and colleagues. Of course, it is also a fantastic opportunity to see the world!

Spare time
In my spare time, I like to be active in the outdoors. I still love skiing, hiking, camping and cycling. I also Stand Up Paddle board, practice yoga twice a week and recently have taken up adventure racing and I have five races lined up between now and the end of the year. I am also waiting for the international borders to open up so I can visit my family overseas, who I miss dearly.

This bio was written for the October 2020 IRG Newsletter.