Technicians Week: Celebrating our Technician Community
September saw the first Technicians Week at the University of Leeds, featuring more than 30 events and highlighting the essential contribution technicians make to teaching and research.
Library technicians display, featuring 3D printing and digitisation technology, with Joanna Wilk, Digitisation Services
The events featured throughout the week included tours of technician run spaces, development workshops, networking events, and a ‘TechExchange’ technician showcase event highlighting the diversity of skills and roles that technicians have at the University.
Highlights from the week included:
- Tours of technician run spaces – technicians opened up their spaces for all staff to find out more about the work happening and facilities available in laboratories, workshops, studios and library spaces. These created fantastic opportunities for technicians and non-technicians to network and find out more about what’s happening around the University and identify opportunities to collaborate. And attendees were keen for even more, telling us they would like more and longer tours next time!
A tour of the Plant Growth Facilities led by Fiona Moulton, Plant Growth Suite Manager.
- TechExchange – a technician showcase with displays from technicians in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Culture, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Faculty of Environment, Faculty of Medicine and Health, the Facilities Directorate and the Library. We were also delighted to welcome Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Education, to see the fascinating work technicians are doing across the University of Leeds. Displays included long read DNA sequencing, hybrid classroom set up, mini mapping theatre projection, research enabled by technicians such as an award-winning dental aerosol study, a Batak machine for studying reaction time and so much more! The event was fabulously hosted by HELIX digital learning space, who also ran demos of the VR Omnideck for the event.
TechExchange Display for Faculty of Biological Sciences.
- National Landscape for Technicians – an opportunity to hear about what’s happening strategically and nationally for technicians in Higher Education, with presentations from Nick Plant, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Mel Leitch, Associate Lead for the Technician Commitment and Deputy Head of Infrastructure (FMS, Newcastle University), Sam Hansford from the National Technician Development Centre and Jennie Hibbard, Technician Lead for the Technician Commitment at University of Leeds.
Dental Clinical Skills Technical Tour
- Celebratory pieces on technicians – the Internal Communications team ran pieces celebrating technicians and offering a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the work technicians do. This included a 15 to 1 with Amelia Lesiuk, Lead Technician in the Faculty of Biological Sciences, a Day in the Life video with Karen Mee, Collections Officer & Digitisation Assistant, and a case study of Dan Merrick and Colin Bradburne from the School of Music’s visit to the University of York through the Yorkshire Technician Exchange Partnership.
Morag Raynor & Carolina Lascelles, Leeds Institute of Medial Research, show Long Read DNA Sequencing to Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Education.
A massive thank you to everyone involved. It was a hugely positive event, with fantastic engagement across the week, and lots of interest in doing more in the future!
The week was organised for technicians, by technicians, including technicians and colleagues in AHC, FBS, FOE, EPS, FMH, Library, Facilities and IT and with fantastic support from Internal Communications, Catering & Hospitality Services, OD&PL, Conferencing & Events, HELIX, Sustainability, Horizons Institute and HR.
Lego display for TechExchange by Angela Beddows, School of Physics