Management Team

PAA is staffed with professional laboratory automation project managers, computer scientists, robotic specialists, analytical chemists, physicists and electronic engineers.

Our team is backed-up with access to a team of World-Class academics and engineering consultants.

Ron Belchamber



Ron’s background is in analytical instrument design. After receiving his PhD in Canada, Ron worked at the University of Swansea and then BP.

Leading the PAA Team at BP specialising in aspects of on-line analysis and laboratory automation. Initially, these techniques formed the basis of new business venture, in 1992, when PAA was founded. Ron was closely involved in the development of PAA products such as AddiMet, GranuMet, Ichos (acoustic & optical spectrometers) and multivariate statistics (chemometrics).

As Managing Director of PAA, Ron has guided the company through the recessions of the 1990s and 2000s and has served in the critical roles of Quality Manager and Safety Officer as well as managing the PAA marketing effort.

Mike Collins



Mike’s background, in analytical chemistry, spectroscopy and process monitoring, was forged during a 15-year career with BP Research. Initially, these techniques formed the basis of new business venture, in 1992, when PAA was founded.

As PAA grew, Mike was closely involved in the development of PAA products such as AddiMet, GranuMet, Ichos (acoustic spectrometers) and multivariate statistics (chemometrics) together with security compliance software to meet the pharma regulators requirements for validating digital data submissions.

The company’s transformation from petrochemical/manufacturing to the pharma, biotech and healthcare sectors is mirrored in Mike’s technical role, coordinating the fast-growing manufacture of laboratory workcell systems for Life Sciences at PAA.

In addition to the management and technical roles, Mike is also the Finance Director. Mike is a Graduate and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Steve Cowles


Steve’s background and entire career is with robotics and automation. He has a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University, 1981, with an emphasis on dynamic systems and machine design.

Steve spent the first five years of his career with Rockwell International designing robots and robotic systems for handling nuclear and hazardous materials. Rockwell was followed by three years with Honeywell as a project leader designing high speed automated machinery for electronic sensor packaging. He then spent a year with Cray Research as an engineering team leader developing vision-based automated assembly equipment for multi-layer PCB’s.

In 1989 Steve founded Peak Robotics and expanded his role of designing robotic systems for a number of different industries. In 2002 he narrowed the focus of the company specifically to laboratory automation and began developing its highly successful line of laboratory robots.

With the 2012 merger of Peak Robotics with Process Analysis and Automation, Steve is now the Vice President of USA operations, Peak Analysis and Automation, Inc. He oversees the product development and manufacturing operations in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.

Malcolm Crook



Malcolm’s background, was in synthetic then analytical chemistry, instrument automation and then robotics. Initially at BP Research then PAA when PAA was formed in 1992.

At PAA, Malcolm has overseen the growth of the laboratory automation business based around the Overlord software for controlling laboratory automation workcells.

Malcolm has been President of the Association of Laboratory Automation (ALA, now SLAS) and is a general committee member of the European Laboratory Robotics Interest Group (ELRIG).

Malcolm has an interest in the education of the next generation of scientists and engineers. He currently holds a visiting lecturers post at the University of Surrey teaching Computer Aided Chemistry, is a member of the advisory board in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Chemistry at the University of Manchester and a regular lecturer on the High Content Analysis MSc course at Trinity College, Dublin.