October 1, 2020, by Ruth Musson

Chemistry Graduate Rachel Sutherland tells us about her KTP with Biosciences and Warners Distillery 

What is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) 

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a three-way project between a recent graduate (KTP Associate), a business and a university.

The purpose of an InnovateUK Knowledge Transfer Partneship  scheme is to allow the transfer of knowledge from a knowledge base (University) to a small-medium business through an Associate. I’m currently part way through a 3 year KTP project between Warner’s Distillery in Northamptonshire and the Flavour and Sensory Science teams at Sutton Bonington campus.

The KTP has been ideal for me as a first job since graduating from my Master’s degree in Chemistry. I knew I wanted a career that involved variety in a challenging and passionate industry. This project is perfect for me!  I get to work in both academic and industrial environments in a partnership that also really promotes personal development.

Why did you choose to work with Gin? 

I have chosen to work towards a postgraduate qualification in Sensory Science. This gives me the opportunity to work on a project but whilst developing my own skill set for the future. Hopefully  during the next year I will also complete qualifications in project management.  I am able to manage my own workload and apply my knowledge with amazing support. Both the company and the University are passionate about the work I do.


Research into gin is relatively new compared to other alcoholic products like whisky and the idea of publishing novel research is extremely exciting for me as a young scientist!

Tell us what it involves? 

My work involves running a range of different projects for Warner’s Distillery. The overall aim of my KTP is to develop a deeper understanding of interactions between botanical ingredients in distilling and post-distilling processes. This will improve quality, drive product development and promote consumer engagement, making sure our gins are as great as they can be!

Depending on the work, I can be in the lab, running gin tastings with the sensory panel or even helping to make the gin. So far, the project has delivered recipe improvements, production cost-savings and the training of an expert sensory panel for quality control. I also regularly help with new product development.

Everything  is focused on being 100% natural and environmentally conscious. Although this can present challenges from a R&D point of view, it makes for an exciting challenge. It definitely makes a delicious gin!

  • Any academics or companies interested in undertaking a KTP should visit our website  or contact ktp@nottingham.ac.uk 
  • Any graduates interested in finding out more about this career route see here 
Posted in Uncategorized