Technical Stills Awards 2021

Date: 7 Jul 2021

Author: Cassandra Hodgkinson

Once again, we held a Technicial Stills competition, but with a slight difference.

This year we were looking for photographs to represent the work that techncial staff across The Unviersity of Manchester had been involved with over the past year – whether working from home, back on campus, in the field or something in-between.

There were over 50 photographs submitted, and we hope you enjoy the collage of them that we include with this article. They were all sent for judging by Russell Hart.

Russell works for The Unviersity of Manchester as a designer in the Division of Communications, Marketing and Student Recruitment. However, he is also a freelance photographer, who specialises in football, people and events. If you would like to see more of his work, you can visit his website https://www.russell-hart.co.uk/. It is his passion and interest in photography that qualified him as the right person to assess the photographs that were submitted.

In 3rd place:

Megan Barker – Research Technician, Department of Earth and Environmental Science (FSE) with the photo “Amanita muscaria – an ectomycorrhizal beauty”.

In 2nd place:

Holly Langridge – Research Technician, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, (FSE) with the photo “Suspended roots wide”.

In 1st place:

Sanjai Patel – Fly Facility Manager (FBMH) with the photo “Sorting fruit flies for gender and phenotype”.

The comment submitted from Russells:

The winning photo is a strong documentative composition and to me represents how staff have continued to perform their field of work despite the unique circumstances of the last year or so, and images such as this will act as an important record for people to look back on in years to come!

Everyone on the TEaM Steering Group is very appreciative for the engagement with this competition, and will look forward to using the entries to produce the TEaM desk calendar for the 2021/22 academic year.

Geography Laboratories Team win 2019 Distinguished Achievement Award

L-R: Sam Davies, Dr. Thomas Bishop, John Moore, Dame Nancy Rothwell, Martin Kay, Jonathan Yarwood, Patrick Hackett

For both the individual and team awards the judges were looking for outstanding performance and, more specifically, evidence of how the individuals or teams have significantly and tangibly contributed to maintaining a positive, open and respectful working environment where people work cooperatively together, have excelled at breaking down boundaries and communicating fully to achieve outstanding organisational benefits. Teams also had to demonstrate that they have a shared ethos which has led to either a significant one-off achievement or to sustained high performance

Small Team: Geography Laboratory Team, School of Environment, Education and Development, FHUMS Team members: John Moore, Jonathan Yarwood, Thomas Bishop, Martin Kay The Geography Laboratory Team is based in the School of Environment, Education and Development.

This team of four is described as being extremely enthusiastic and experienced. The aim of the team is always to give the best support possible to students, academics and researchers wishing to use the laboratories.

Members always strive to go the ‘extra mile’ in all aspects of their work. Their commitment and dedication has ensured that the laboratories have thrived in recent years and represent a worldclass facility. They have worked together to deliver the highest standards in both teaching and research and this has been recognised in outstanding student feedback and also has contributed to the production of world-leading research outputs.

In addition to this success, the team has also been very active in wider University initiatives, especially in sustainability and outreach activities to local schools.

TEaM Launch

TEaM celebrates Technical Excellence at Manchester

Nearly 200 technical staff gathered together on Monday 12th December to launch a new cross-Faculty technical networking group, TEaM (Technical Excellence at Manchester).  Created by technical staff, for technical staff, the group aims to raise their profile across campus, ensure their contributions to the University are recognised, and empower them to develop their careers.  The initiative is supported by all three Directors of Faculty Operations, as well as Vice-President Colin Bailey, who is the group’s Academic Technical Champion.

The event featured presentations from Jonathan Winter, Head of Staff Learning and Development, and Hannah Kowszun, a representative of the Science Council.  Dr. Carol Yates, an academic who began her career as a technician, spoke about the evolving status of the technical career, from ‘lab boys’ in the 1900s to the more complex role today, and members of the TEaM steering group reported on survey results concerning the challenges technical staff face across the University.  TEaM’s promotional video also had its debut, and it can be seen here.

The technical staff were encouraged to network over a buffet lunch and give their opinions at a variety of different discussion stands, including one where they voted on future TEaM events they’d like to see organised, by pipetting fluids into measuring cylinders – this being a technical event, there had to be an opportunity to show technical skills!

Lisa Grady, one of the TEaM steering group, said “The steering group were thrilled to see so many staff really engage with the group’s purpose and look forward to seeing that enthusiasm at our next events in the New Year”.  Feedback from staff who attended was very positive, including comments that “…the whole event was an amazing opportunity to get to know different technicians around the university…” and “I feel like TEaM is a great way of showing people what we actually do…”