Dr Towns-Andrews is an experienced research scientist and has worked at the UK's national Daresbury Laboratory and within the Research Councils for over 20 years. She has played a key role in developing state-of-the art instrumentation for international and national researchers conducting materials science research. Her experience of analytical techniques is wide-ranging: from infra-red and UV techniques,to traditional X-ray analysis. Dr Towns-Andrews has established and managed analytical services for industry and established project teams to deliver analytical services under the DARTS brand (Daresbury Analytical Research Services). She now acts as an advisor to other international facilities wishing to promote interaction with industry and is a member of the North West Science Council Enterprise Committee. She is a graduate from Sheffield University with a PhD specialising in crystallography and X-ray diffraction techniques more broadly.
More recently, Dr Towns-Andrews has worked within the Chief Executive's Office of STFC developing Council strategy and science policy. As Director of Knowledge Exchange, she is currently responsible for the coordination of the organisational Knowledge Exchange programme, interacting closely with other Research Councils, the Office of Science and Innovation, Regional Development Agencies and other key stakeholders. She is also actively involved in developing the two national mixed-economy science and innovation campuses around the STFC's two major sites at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire and the Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire. As part of this process, she has worked closely with strategic partners and external advisors to establish Joint Venture initiatives.