Art meets Science Masterclass

Art meets Science Masterclass took place between 2nd-6th October 2017, based around looking at art through a scientific lens with researchers from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Matrix Research. The event was held at the Whitworthand covered how we are built and investigated themes such as properties of materials, structure and how cells behave. Local primary school pupils interacted with North and South exhibition Raqs Media Collective with scientists and artists to bring to life a world within us.

The day began with an introduction to who we are, what we do and how we study what makes us human. Pupils then went on a tour of the Whitworth with staff from the gallery team and a researcher from the Centre, to discuss what they do whilst encouraging the pupils to collect/sketch patterns and ideas for their designs later in the day. In the afternoon pupils worked in the studio space to create their own designs inspired by science.



TEaM 2018!

Last year was a busy year for TEaM and its members. As well as the social events, workplace tours and various workshops hosted by TEaM, there were also many other notable achievements, including our members winning top awards!

Earlier this year Nicola Begley won the PSS Distinguished Achievement Award for 2017, with Anthony Steel and Neil O’Hara as runners-up. Laura Farrell, a technician in Manchester’s Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre, won an award for her continuing professional development from the Science Council. Jennifer Haworth was made first named author on a paper, resulting in her being nominated for the national Papin Award by her academic for her work, for which she won. Most recently, Clare McManus won the Proteintech Group Best Lab Manager Award 2017 as the only UK nomination to make it into the top 5 selected for voting. Congratulations to all these worthy winners!

Back in May the Science Council launched an initiative entitled the ‘Technician Commitment’ and Manchester was approached to pledge their commitment from the outset. In September, Manchester became one of the founding members.

In April/May, the University received an ‘Apprenticeship 4 England Bronze Award’ for our Technical Apprenticeship Programme.

In July, the Executive Group engaged with the Gatsby Foundation’s ‘Technicians Make It Happen’ initiative and started to explore the potential benefits associated with the initiative and how it may complement the ‘Technicians Commitment’.

In the Autumn, Nancy Rothwell, the University President & Vice-Chancellor, issued a supporting statement for TEaM which demonstrated that TEaM is wholly recognised by senior University management. It acknowledges the contribution we make, as technical staff, to research and teaching, and recognises our contribution to meeting the growing needs of the University in looking forward.

I am certain there are many other worthy achievements to be celebrated. We are always looking for contributions to bring together technical staff from all areas of the University, to share our achievements and celebrate our vital contribution to teaching and research within our University and beyond.

Rae Watkins (Chair)


National Graphene Institute Workplace Tour

The National Graphene Institute (NGI) is located on Booth Street East, part of the University’s Main Campus. Completed in 2015, the NGI is a formidable building designed to focus on collaboration between The University of Manchester and its partners to promote and perform multi-disciplinary research into practical applications for Graphene and other 2D materials.

Groups of technicians were guided on our tour of the five storey facility by John Whittaker, Head of Operations for the NGI.
Firstly, we were shown the impressive cleanroom facilities features – located over two floors, the NGI homes 1,500m2 of clean room space – all class 100 or class 1000 cleanrooms. It is the largest academic space of its kind in the world dedicated to graphene research.

On the tour, we got to see technicians at work in full cleanroom regalia, as well as many state of the art instruments.

After the cleanroom floors, we visited a research & production floor which housed various labs; through one of these was a “quiet room” designed to be free from all vibration, used to analyse graphene interactions. Finally, we visited a printing lab on another floor. John told us that the research being done at the NGI is into practical applications such as longer-life batteries, thin-layer display screens and faster processors, as well as many other applications for the future.

UoM Technician wins National CPD Award

Laura Farrell, a technician at the University of Manchester’s Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre, has won an award for her continuing professional development from the Science Council, an umbrella body that administers professional technical registration across all disciplines nationwide.

From the Science Council’s press release:

“On 21 September, winners of the Science Council’s CPD Awards were invited to a ceremony in London to celebrate their achievements.

The annual CPD Awards is designed to celebrate the continuing professional development (CPD) efforts and achievements of registrants from across the registers: Registered Science Technician (RSciTech), Registered Scientist (RSci), Chartered Scientist (CSci) and Chartered Science Teacher (CSciTeach). Now in its third year, the awards offer them recognition for their broad and diverse range of professional activities.

To be a winner or to be awarded a commendation for the CPD Awards demonstrates an individual’s commitment to undertaking work-based learning and self-directed learning at a high, exemplary standard in order to benefit the quality of their practice and to benefit colleagues, patients, clients or any other users of the service they provide.

Awards announced on the night are listed below.

CPD Award Winners
RSciTech, Laila Soraya, member of the Institute of Science and Technology
RSci, Laura Farrell, member of the Institute of Science and Technology
CSci, Daisy Shale, member of the Institute of Biomedical Science
CSciTeach, David Overton, member of The Association for Science Education

CPD Award Commendations
RSci, Claire Hutton, member of the Institute of Science and Technology
RSci, Nicholas Dunn, member of The Association for Science Education
CSci, Lindsay Peer, member of The British Psychological Society
CSci, Mohamed El-Guindy, member of the Institute of Science and Technology
CSciTeach, Nicholas Girdler, member of the Royal Society of Biology”


FBMH Body Experience

Peter Walker (Histology Facility Manager) and Sanjai Patel (Fly Facility Manager) were two of the many volunteers and > 80 researchers to host an interactive stand as part of the ‘FBMH Body Experience’ at Manchester Museum on March 18th 2017. The event saw over 2000 visitors, of all ages, explore the human body from head-to-toe as part of British Science Week 2017.


September Newsletter Introduction

“On behalf of the Steering Group, I would like to welcome you to the 2nd edition of the newsletter for Technical Excellence at Manchester (TEaM), which has now 264 people subscribed to the TEaM email distribution list.

In this issue, in addition to the quarterly round-up of TEaM news, technical achievements, welcoming and introducing new starters and dates for our diaries, we have:

Article: Manchester signs up to the Technician Commitment

Promotion or Event: TEaM feedback sessions

Article: Apprenticeship Technical Vacancies – Live Now!

Staff Profiles: Peter Leigh (Hum), Marie Emerson (FSE), Brian Landamore (FBMH)

Article: Academic Perspective with Prof Andrew Horn (Director of Teaching and Learning) and Prof Tony Whetton (Director of Stoller Discovery Centre and Manchester Precision Medicine Institute)

Editorial: How has CPD given my career a new lease of life? By Sandra Taylor

As the new academic year approaches, you can see that there are lots of changes underway – the Technician Commitment by the University is a great step forward for an institution that previously didn’t acknowledge technical staff as a grouping in its published literature.  Likewise, the new intake of apprentices should change the dynamic of the technical cohort, just as our new academic champion will bring a different flavour to the support we receive at the highest level.  Hopefully, you’ll see TEaM changing too: to increase the relevance of the events and tours we put on and explore new ways we can fulfil our mission statement.  We need your views for this, so please sign up for the feedback sessions we are running over the next 3 months via Staff Learning and Development. (

I would speculate that the majority of you reading this are already engaged with TEaM, but for those of you who aren’t, I would like to encourage you to ‘subscribe’ to TEaM for emails and visit the TEaM blog, (details below), so that you can enjoy all the benefits that our network offers; TEaM is a cross-Faculty network, open to all staff with a technical role.

Don’t forget, we are always looking for contributions to bring together technical staff from all areas of the University, to share our experiences and celebrate our vital contribution to teaching and research within our University and beyond. So, if you have a news story or announcement for the next issue please email: For further editorial details, please see the TEaM blog (”


Rae Watkins (Chair)


Siemens hands-on PCS7 Workshop


School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science had a group of young professionals working at Siemens over the summer period visit to experience their Siemens hands-on PCS7 workshop.

Over two days the group worked with four different experimental instruments using the control system. This included: – the Froth Flotation, Absorption Column, Three Tank Control and the Liquid Ring Pump. They followed a set of instructions which told them how to use the piece of equipment and also gave an activity specific to each one.

Both days ran smoothly and the group had a great time working with them and will consider visiting again next year!