Technicians underpin all aspects of university life — research, teaching, knowledge transfer and outreach.
The S-Lab award for ‘Making a Difference’ went to The University of Nottingham’s Technical Focus Group formed in 2013 to ensure recognition and professionalisation of the institution’s technicians.
Often seen as the ‘unsung heroes’ of Higher Education, it is recognised that without technicians, institutions like The University of Nottingham would not be able to function.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir David Greenaway, said: “The University of Nottingham is a large, complex organisation. We have 34,000 students and teach across the full range of subjects. We are research intensive with an order book in the region £500m in research grants. And we are global with campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia. This award shows that the work we are doing to support our technical staff is of real importance. It is unimaginable, and easy to forget, that we could deliver what we do without a really well qualified and motivated technical staff.”
In January the TFG organised and ran a university wide event for 200 technicians and invited guests aimed at bringing the technical community together. The group now runs regular events for technicians on a range of themes including professional registration and good laboratory practice. A website dedicated to technical services staff at the University will soon be established and the University has ring-fenced funding to allow technical staff to become professionally accredited through the Science or Engineering Councils.
The award was presented to Kelly Vere, Senior Technician in the Faculty of Engineering and School of Life Sciences; Sue Woodward, Technical Manager School of Biosciences; and Andy Lee, Technical Team Leader in the School of Biosciences.