On 8-9 May 2017, Dr Katherine Forsey, HEaTED Membership and Networks Manager, attended the S-Lab conference.
Held at York Racecourse, the S-Lab conference focused on the sustainable design and management of laboratory environments. Key note presentations and hundreds of sessions took place over these two days.
Several representatives from HEaTED member universities were able to attend. This was a fantastic opportunity to tell more people about what HEaTED does and how we can support them. .
Whilst at the conference, Katherine attended some fascinating sessions, which gave a real insight into the lives of technical experts:
“I attended a session by Dr Peter O’Toole, Director of the Bioscience Technology Facility at The University of York. Peter spoke on the important role their technical experts play in supporting both internal and external academic, research and commercial users of the Technology Facility.
It was interesting to hear about how the shared facility pools expertise in this way, allowing access to a range of research techniques and skilled technical staff that would otherwise be unavailable to researchers, or much more difficult to access at the very least.
Personally, it was great to hear how this facility has developed. I was privileged to have used their confocal microscopes during my own PhD and experienced first-hand the quality of the technical expertise and training available in the use of their state-of-the art equipment.
I also attended the session by Dr Ian Tidmarsh, University of Birmingham and TDM Project, on the TDM’s Toolkit to Map Needs and Skills, Build Capacity and Support Career Development.
This was particularly interesting as HEaTED has worked closely with Ian and the TDMProject to ensure synergy between their excellent career development framework and HEaTED’s comprehensive CPD offer.
It was great to see, amongst others, representatives from the Universities of Hull, Leeds and Strathclyde also attending the session and a lively discussion followed Ian’s workshop as we drilled down into how we could keep pushing to achieve great recognition for technical staff and the establishment of technical roles as ‘destination careers’ for school leavers and graduates”