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Durham University

Technician Commitment

A message to our Technicians

Dear Members of the Technical Staff
We continue to work within the shadow of the pandemic but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our Technical staff continue to work tirelessly and have enabled facilities to operate and increased research productivity. Moreover, our technical teams are working closely with our Academic and Professional Services staff in preparation to welcome our new intake of students at the beginning of the academic year. 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 University continues to recognise the important value the work and contribution delivered by Technicians, and their essential role in partnership with our Academic and Professional Services staff. Please visit our website (https://www.dur.ac.uk/technician.commitment/) to see some of the many examples of where our Technicians have made important contributions to the operation of our departments and the delivery of research and education, particularly through the challenging times of the pandemic.The Technician Commitment Steering Group is currently working to produce a regular newsletter, support activities, and planning for another event for Technical Staff. Please expect to hear more from the Steering Group shortly.

Professor Stefan Przyborski
Chair Technician Commitment Steering Group


News


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


Royal Institution Christmas Lectures - Placement Opportunity for Technical Colleagues

The Technician Commitment is delighted to announce that we are once again partnering with the Royal Institution to offer two placements for technicians from Technician Commitment Signatory Institutions to work on the 2021 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures and applications are open now! 

(18 Aug 2021) » More about Royal Institution Christmas Lectures - Placement Opportunity for Technical Colleagues


Outstanding Technician of the Year

Outstanding Technician of the Year

This year again technicians will be recognised in the biggest celebration of UK higher education – the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards. Outstanding Technician of the Year opened for entries on 8 April 2021 and the deadline for entries was Wednesday 9 June 2021.

The award, sponsored by the Technician Commitment , will be given to an individual whose exceptional practical skills, commitment and vision have enabled the highest quality of teaching, research or knowledge transfer. 

(4 Aug 2021) » More about Outstanding Technician of the Year


Research England funded TALENT Programme.

The Technician Commitment is a partner on the Research England funded TALENT Programme. Part of the TALENT programme is a national Policy Commission that will publish its report in late 2021. We are really keen to have strong imagery of the technician community throughout the report which needs to represent the diversity of our workforce, range of disciplines, skills and institutions.

(4 Aug 2021) » More about Research England funded TALENT Programme.


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 https://www.mitalent.ac.uk/Events

Papin Prizes (mitalent.ac.uk)

(23 Jul 2021) » More about PAPIN Prize nominations


The Technician Commitment Steering Group are delighted to announce a mentoring scheme

The Technician Commitment Steering Group are delighted to announce a mentoring scheme to support the career and personal development of technicians. This will be an informal mentoring process and we are hoping to encourage volunteers from the technical community to train to be mentors. To become a mentor attendance at a 3 hour workshop is required. The workshop will be delivered online via Zoom on Wednesday 23rd June 9:30 – 12:30 and has been designed to offer a blended learning approach

(27 Apr 2021) » More about The Technician Commitment Steering Group are delighted to announce a mentoring scheme


Team Chemistry! Delivering our face-to-face teaching

It has been a challenging year. Careful planning was required for the delivery of our teaching and we committed to providing our students, at all year group levels, with some form of practical work at the start of this academic year.

(22 Mar 2021) » More about Team Chemistry! Delivering our face-to-face teaching


News Letter 2021

This newsletter includes details of the next Technician Commitment Signatory Event, information on a new national survey for the technical community, news about UKRI's new Technician Commitment Action Plan and support from the Royal Society, an update on the UK Higher Education Technicians Summit 2021 and the Papin Prizes, details of a new report to advance equality, diversity & inclusion in the technical community and news from the Science Council on their new programme of virtual professional registration workshops. 

(28 Feb 2021) » More about Technician Commitment - Working in Partnership


Physics Technicians Helping to Adjust to Covid-safe Working.

One of the key things the academic staff needed to discuss early in the lockdown was how to modify experiments so that they could be performed in a Covid-safe way while still providing a challenging experience for the student. The astronomy section is a good source of such projects since the telescopes can be used remotely from a number of covid-safe classrooms, the only requirement being a computer with a network link to the Astrolab network.

(23 Jan 2021) » More about One of the key things the academic staff needed to discuss early in the lockdown was how to modify experiments so that they could be performed in a Covid-safe way while still providing a challenging experience for the student. The astronomy section is a


Physics Mechanical Workshop Technicians Supporting Durham University Supercomputing in Covid Lockdown.

In mid-March 2020 the University took delivery of a new supercomputer into the Arthur Holmes Datacentre. Research councils included the facility in their list of funded resources that could be applied for to support coronavirus-related research.

(22 Jan 2021) » More about Physics Mechanical Workshop Technicians Supporting Durham University Supercomputing in Covid Lockdown.