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Durham University

Technician Commitment

A message to our Technicians

Dear Members of the Technical Staff

As we slowly recover from the depthsof the pandemic and return to some degree of normality, I would like once again to acknowledge and thank the outstanding work of our technical staff. There are multiple examples of our technical staff playing essential roles in supporting the return of research and education towards normal capacity, this in conjunction with the normal dutiesour staff perform. As Chair of the Technician Commitment, I write again to thank all our Technical staff for your continued effort and contribution in supporting Durham University. Thank you.

The Technician Commitment Steering Group has been working hard on your behalf, with members developing support activities, producing newsletters and planning for future in-person events. I am pleasedto confirm that we are planning future networking activities for our technical staff, where colleagues can meet, share views, and get to know one another more over refreshments. In addition, we are planning for the next annual meeting of the technical staff which will be similar to the highly successful event we ran prior to lockdown. The pandemic has essentially delayed our ability to run such an interactive meeting, but now I am pleased to say that this isnow planned to happen in June 22. The meeting will be opened by our new Vice Chancellor, Professor Karen O’Brien, and followed by presentations from internal and external speakers on matters related to our technical staff. Please look out for announcements by email and on our website for more information about these meetings, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Professor Stefan Przyborski

Chair Technician Commitment Steering Group

Dean of Infrastructure


Durham Technicians share best practices for achieving Net Zero targets.

Five research communities have received funding from the Collabor8 Fund, following the first call earlier this year. They include representatives from all the N8 universities. Dr Beth Upex from Durham University along with Mel Leitch from Newcastle University, will utilise the expertise of technicians in laboratories and research and teaching facilities to share best practices for achieving Net Zero targets. The team will be led by Dr Simon Breeden from the University of York and will develop research agendas that will contribute towards delivering a Net Zero future, in line with call theme of ‘The Road to 2050’ and supporting the N8 Net Zero North programme. The teams have displayed enthusiasm and fresh perspectives on how multi-institutional collaboration can support a reduction in greenhouses gas emissions and address the broader changes required across society to reach Net Zero by 2050.

(15 Jun 2022)


follow the link for more information

(9 Mar 2022)

A few fine examples of “Technicians make it happen”!

Covid–19 has changed the way we all have had to work, and the Technical Team have been a big part of this change for the Psychology department.

(7 Mar 2022) » More about A few fine examples of “Technicians make it happen”!

Puzzle Box

The Psychology Technical team have also been quite busy making a puzzle box! For Apes! Our super researchers are looking at how bonobo apes cooperate and use communication to coordinate their cooperation. 

(6 Mar 2022) » More about Puzzle Box

Psychology technicians make rubber hands

Psychology technicians at the top of the science site have been busy making new equipment for teaching our practical’s. 

(5 Mar 2022) » More about Psychology technicians make rubber hands

Congratulations to our apprentices

Ashley-Jess Davenport completed her Laboratory Technician Level 3 apprenticeship working as part of our Chemistry Technical Team. Ashley-Jess attended Newcastle College on a day release basis, where she covered a variety of modules to support the Level 3 apprenticeship.

Read more on Ashley-Jess progress

(1 Mar 2022) » More about Congratulations to our apprentices

University Museum Technicians – working on site throughout Covid

Technical staff have worked on site at the University’s Museums throughout the pandemic ensuring the safety and security of the collections as well as undertaking major new development projects.

(1 Nov 2021) » More about University Museum Technicians – working on site throughout Covid

PAPIN Prize nominations

Ian ChaplinThin Section Technician in the Department of Earth Sciences has been nominated for a Papin prize in the Category of The Professor Lord Bhattacharyya Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ian has worked at Durham University in Earth Sciences making thin sections for 17 years in as a Junior Technician and returning as a Senior Technician. In between Ian has gained a huge amount of experience, working all over the world over his nearly 60 year’s career. All this knowledge is now back in Durham>
His thin sections have supported undergraduate teaching and research. He has made thin sections of meteorites, dinosaur teeth and even cinder toffee.

The Papin Prize awards will be presented at the UK Higher Education Technician Summit on November 10th 2021

Papin Prizes (

(23 Jul 2021) » More about PAPIN Prize nominations

Three Phases, One Team: Engineering Technicians Respond to Covid-19

Technicians from the Department of Engineering at Durham University have been busy providing their usual high level of support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. After intensive work to shut down the Department’s facilities safely as the pandemic took hold, the team began to look at how they would need to adapt to the situation they faced. 

(14 Dec 2020) » More about Three Phases, One Team: Engineering Technicians Respond to Covid-19

Amy Tate, Engineering technician

Amy Tate, dedicated electronics technicians in the Department of Engineering, designed and organised the production of specific 3D printed parts which reduced the skin irritation that NHS paramedics were suffering from due to prolonged mask-wearing.

(12 Dec 2020) » More about Amy Tate, Engineering technician