TechNet: Technicians' Network

TechNet is the Technicians' Network based at the University of Sheffield. It was founded in 2014 by Natalie Kennerley and Melanie Hannah.

Technet logo

The idea for TechNet came from a Faculty of Science staff development day and meetings in the medical school aimed at introducing apprentices to their technician supervisors. The technicians involved got as much out of these as the apprentices, as they found out about fellow technicians working in different departments using the same equipment or techniques. So the idea for TechNet was born with the aim of getting technicians talking to each other.

TechNet has evolved to encompass many different outlets and has spread over university borders to reach technicians at other HE institutions. Co-founder Natalie Kennerley regularly visits other universities and talks  about the benefits of setting up a technicians' networking group.

One way in which we are aiming to increase technician networking across institutions is through our online Technicians' Forum. The Forum enables technicians from universities and other institutions to network with technicians from all over the country to find new ideas and better ways of working. Anyone can join the Forum and individual institutions and organisations can have their own specific sub-forums.

Technet meeting

Technicians listening to Steph Holmes, Head of Procurement at University of Sheffield, at a TechNet event on procurement

Here in Sheffield, we hold quarterly TechNet events with themes based around ideas suggested by our technicians. These events usually take place over lunchtime, have guest speakers, table discussions and networking (and tea and cake, of course). Previous events have included a ‘Technical Showcase’ of technicians from each of our five faculties talking about their work and career pathways, professional services talks from Procurement and Health and Safety and CPD- related events such as ‘Teaching, Training and Recognition’. We usually have around 60 -100 people at these events depending on the topic and time of year. and ensure they are open to technicians and anyone with an interest in the technical community. We would like to encourage networking across institutions, as well as within, and have an upcoming technicians networking event between the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.

We also produce a quarterly TechNet e-newsletter for technicians to keep up to date on the latest news from Sheffield, hear about technicians in different roles and institutions, and promote relevant items such as CPD opportunities and events.

To find out more about TechNet, visit our website where you can read about what we do, sign up to the TechNet Forum and e-newsletter, see case studies of technicians getting professionally registered and watch videos of some Sheffield techs getting involved in TechNet. You can also follow us on twitter @Your_TechNet.

TechNet Meeting

Technicians listening to Laura Mason, a technician in the Sheffield School of Architecture at our ‘Close encounters with a technical mind’ event.

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