Higher Education Technicians Reach for the Summit

The Higher Education Technicians Summit 2017 took place at the University of Warwick at the end of May.

Photo of a scientist in a lab

It was attended by three of us from the Faculty of Biological Sciences. The aim of the event was to highlight the vital role technical staff play in both education and research and to celebrate recent achievements via the Papin Awards.

The programme was a good mix of presentations and workshops, giving us the opportunity to network with colleagues from across the HE sector and hear about the latest initiatives from the Science Council, HEaTED, BBSRC and the HEA, to name just a few of the bodies attending.

Nigel Clough, Chris Jones and myself agreed early in the proceedings that in the true Yorkshire spirit of getting the best value for our money (or to be more precise the faculty’s money), we would each attend different workshops and pool our information at the end.

Room full of event attendees

So we joined discussions about;  Professional Registration, Embedding Sustainable Career Pathways, Recognising Technicians Supporting Learning, Enabling High Quality HE technical Apprenticeships, Equipment Sharing and Technicians as Researchers. If anyone would like to hear more about these topics feel free to contact us.

A keynote speech from Sir Paul Nurse about his transition from a technician at the London Guinness brewery to Director of the Francis Crick Institute, with all manner of incidents in between was both informative and inspiring.

The event concluded with the Papin Awards, and I’m delighted to report that one of our own technicians was short-listed in the Lifetime Achievement section; so congratulations to John Turton from the School of Physics & Astronomy.

At the end of the day, all that remained was to leave the impressive Oculus building and navigate our way across campus, dodging the various building sites which clearly showed Leeds is not the only university undergoing estate transformation.

Jackie Goodall

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