Stephen Lawrence graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2002 studying Biochemistry and Microbiology. He studied for his PhD initially at Oxford Brookes University, completing it in the School of Biosciences at the University of Nottingham, under the supervision of Professor Katherine Smart. Upon completion of his PhD in 2006 he successfully completed a number of postdoctoral positions in the fields of brewing and bioenergy at the University of Nottingham. Research carried out during this time was the basis for him being awarded the Institute of Brewing and Distilling Cambridge Prize in 2015, which is awarded to a young scientist who is deemed to have made a significant contribution to brewing research.
In 2013 Dr Stephen Lawrence took up an opportunity to join the global technical team for SABMiller, the second largest brewer in the world. He joined the global raw materials team running projects to re-evaluate analytical methods and standard specifications. He also worked extensively on the use of alternative raw materials for the production of beverages, in particular what novel sensory characteristics could be provided by their use. Whilst in this role he started to work in the field of food safety and quality:
- Developed a bespoke brewing raw material auditing system
- Introduced a rapid mycotoxin testing system into Africa markets
- Developed farm assurance and H&S training program for smallholder farmers in Africa
These projects led to him being moved to the Technical Stewardship team whose purpose was to ensure SABMiller had a reputation enhancing approach to Safety, Quality and the Environment throughout the value chain. In this role I worked primarily in the field of scientific and regulatory affairs, including a managing a comprehensive global review of the ingredients used against company policies, internal brewing principles, regulations and consumer sentiment.
In 2016 SABMiller was acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev in a transaction valued at US$104 billion making it the fourth largest M&A deal globally and largest ever takeover of a UK-listed company. I was asked to form part of the integration team and continue my previous work. My key projects included developing a harmonised set of microbiological methods, redeveloping the global food safety testing programme and developing a set of global brewing principles for ABInBev.
In 2018 Dr Stephen Lawrence rejoined the University of Nottingham as an Assistant Professor in Brewing and Beverage Technology.
LAWRENCE, STEPHEN J., NICHOLLS, SARAH, BOX, WENDY G., SBUELZ, RAFFAELE, BEALIN-KELLY, FRANCIS, AXCELL, BARRY and SMART, KATHERINE A., 2013. The Relationship Between Yeast Cell Age, Fermenter Cone Environment, and Petite Mutant Formation in Lager Fermentations JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF BREWING CHEMISTS. 71(2), 90-96 LAWRENCE, STEPHEN J., WIMALASENA, TITHIRA T., NICHOLLS, SARAH M., BOX, WENDY G., BOULTON, CHRIS and SMART, KATHERINE A., 2012. Incidence and Characterization of Petites Isolated from Lager Brewing Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae Populations JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF BREWING CHEMISTS. 70(4), 268-274
GIBSON, BRIAN R., LAWRENCE, STEPHEN J., LECLAIRE, JESSICA P. R., POWELL, CHRIS D. and SMART, KATHERINE A., 2007. Yeast responses to stresses associated with industrial brewery handling FEMS MICROBIOLOGY REVIEWS. 31(5), 535-569