TechNet past events
Since TechNet's launch in 2014 we have offered a varied and insightful programme of events aimed at bringing technical staff together and improving their working lives. Here you can find an archive of our past events to give you a flavour of the topics covered.
TechNet event: Technician's showcase - Wednesday, 1st of March 2023
The first Technet event of 2023 showcased and celebrated the magnificent and talented technicians working at the University of Sheffield. We heard about some of the unique and interesting work that is being undertaken by our technical colleagues and how this work has had a wider impact. The line-up consisted of the following speakers:
Prof. Koen Lamberts (UoS VC and president) - The value of technical staff at the University
Tes Monaghan (Materials Science and Engineering) - Supporting the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (BBC)
Linda Kay (Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease) - Covid-19 clinical trial work through the pandemic & beyond
Yvette Marks (Archeology) - Neolithic salt processing site, featured on Digging for Britain (BBC)
Luke Nelson (Biosciences) - Long-tailed tit project, featured on SpringWatch (BBC)
Originally scheduled to take place in the Pam Liversidge building, due to overwhelming interest this event was moved to Firth Hall. With nearly 100 people signed up to attend this event in person and a further 20-odd online attendees, this was by far the biggest event that TechNet has hosted in recent years. The University's Vice Chancellor and President professor Koen Lamberts had kindly agreed to provide the opening words for our event. In his talk he stressed the importance of technical staff for our University and how its senior management was dedicated to supporting the four pillars of the Technician Commitment. In particular, he highlighted the work that is ongoing on creating technical career pathways and he expressed a keen interest in improving and nurturing the dialogue between our technical community and central University leadership. Tes Monaghan followed with a lovely overview of her amazing contribution to last year's iconic Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. Linda Kay told us about the great work that our technicians did during the pandemic in helping with the development of Covid-19 vaccines. Yvette Marks showed us how a 6,000-year old archeological find of industrial-grade salt processing on the English East Coast was brought to life through the Digging for Britain TV programme. Unfortunately our last invited speaker had fallen victim to Covid, but luckily their colleague Luke Nelson graciously stepped up to tell us about a marvelous study running for the past three decades and counting on long-tailed tits in Rivelin Valley that was featured on SpringWatch.
Some audience member comments:
Thanks to all the presenters and to all their colleagues who worked on these projects. I felt proud, and also quite emotional by the end of the last talk, probably assisted by the video footage of the tits co-operatively caring for the chicks. Not too dissimilar to a good workplace team!
It is amazing what technicians get up to!
There is lots of work going on in the university that we do not know about.
TechNet: Christmas Social - Tuesday, 13th of December 2022
TechNet event: Sustainability - Thursday, 10th November 2022
This event focussed on sustainability in the workplace and included the following talks as well as an interactive table discussion:
Charlotte Winnert (UoS Environment and IMS Manager) & Louis Garnham (Environmental Assistant) - Energy saving measures at the University of Sheffield
Gracie Adams (Biosciences) - Hedgehog friendly campus
Darren Hardwick (EFM Car Parking & Sustainable Travel Manager) - Sustainable travel at the University
The ICOSS conference room nearly burst out of its seams trying to contain the large number of people turning up for this event. Charlotte Winnert provided an interesting overview of the University's environmental impact and carbon footprint, laying out the plans for the University to work towards carbon neutrality in the coming years. Louis Garnham then showed some hot-of-the-press data about the impact of ultra-low temperature freezers to our carbon footprint and means to reduce this. Gracie Adams gave an enthusiastic call to arms to protect our hedgehogs and support local green initiatives. The block of presentations was concluded by an inspiring talk by Darren Hardwick who gave a great overview of the ways in which the University is trying to stimulate sustainable and healthy commuting into work (electrical bike scheme, anyone?), after which the event was closed off with some table discussions.
As one of our attendees commented:
We can make changes to improve sustainability at the university in our day to day work, and there are lots of schemes to support us at the university to do so already.
TechNet event: Apprenticeships at UoS - Wednesday, 13th July 2022
This event focussed on apprenticeship schemes, what is involved in supervising an apprentice and the experiences of past apprentices. Talks included:
Beth Asquith (HR) - Apprenticeships and Training Programmes at UoS
Melanie Hannah (Biosciences) - Technician Apprentices
BiteSize talks: Aaron Kirkby, Abby Shipley, Andrea King - Apprenticeship experiences at different levels
The event was a bit of an eye-opener for some attendees, with several people acknowledging that they had not realised that apprenticeships are accessible to technical staff at all levels in the organisation. And as one attendee rightly remarked:
Skills need passing on, and it's up to us to get on and do it as there are people out there that want to learn.
TechNet event: Career Pathways for Technicians - Thursday, 31st March 2022
This was our first in-person event for some time and focused on technical career pathways and the forthcoming NTDC Technical Skills Survey. The following speakers kindly gave presentations for the event:
Penny Jackson (Director of Operations, Faculty of Science) - activities of the Technical Development Steering Group (download here)
Robert Gower (Human Resources) - Technical career pathways (download here)
Jared Carnie (NTDC) - Introducing the Technical Skills Survey (download here)
A recording of the whole session can be found here.
TechNet: Winter Social - Wednesday, 8th December 2021
Virtual TechNet: Wellbeing. - Thursday, 27th April 2021
This virtual event focussed around staff wellbeing during the pandemic. We had a rich and interactive agenda that started with an update on the Technician Commitment. Afterwards, Emily Faulds and Ellie Moreland, from HR, discussed the '6 Ways to Wellbeing'. Some of our brave colleagues shared their mental health and wellbeing experiences during the lockdown in a panel discussion, which according to the feedback was one of the most valuable parts of the event. Finally, Adelina E Acosta Martin led us through a couple of interactive sessions to reflect about the place that our connection with nature has in our mental wellbeing (a theme aligned with the Mental Health Awareness Week), and to collectivelly share positive steps that can be taken to support and improve mental health based on the '6 Ways to Wellbeing'.
Despite this was a challenging subject, the feedback from antendees showed that the event was balanced and engaging:
I thought the length of each section was ideal and kept everyone easy engaged.
Virtual TechNet: Technicians during COVID-19. - Tuesday, 29th September 2020
In our first virtual event, we have celebrated our 2020 nominees for the THE Outstanding Technician of the Year, and had an update from the National Technician Development Centre (NTDC) and from the Higher Education and Technician Educational Development (HEaTED). Finally, we had talks from our valuable Technicians about what they have been up to during the Covid-19 Pandemic: Andrew Kerr, who talked about the challenges faced in IT Services in the transition to lockdown; Claire Allen, who talked about the fantastic organisation that was put in place to keep the Aquarium working during lockdown; and Mark Ariaans, who gave a fascinating talk about the COVID related research that is taking place at heart of the Medical School.
This is some of the amazing feedback that we've got on the event:
The variety of speakers presenting on subjects relevant to Sheffield's technical community particularly in the current Covid-19 climate. Great insight and a source useful information.
All of the sessions were excellent, they were really interesting, it was well organised, the virtual platform worked really well and I will definitely think of using this myself for any future virtual events.
TechNet: Celebrating our technical staff. Recognising their value through professional registration. - Friday 17th July 2020
Unfortunately, due to limited human resources to organise it online, this event has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for the new academic year.
Technet: Technicians career development - Tuesday 28th April 2020
Unfortunately, this event was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic. This event will be rescheduled for the new academic year.
TechNet: The Impact of our Technicians - Tuesday 21st January 2020
In this event we had exciting talks from two of our Technicians: Rachel Sandy, who talked about the impact of being a Registered Animal Technician, and Adelina E Acosta-Martin who talked about her research into the value Research Facility Staff add to the education of PG students.
TechNet: Winter Social - Wednesday 8 January 2020
TechNet: Our Outstanding Technicians - 17 July 2019
An awards evening to recognise technicians from our university who were nominated for the Times Higher Education: Outstanding Technician of the Year Award.
TechNet: Celebrating Technical Careers - 23 April 2019
TechNet: Making the Most of Mentoring - 8 February 2019
TechNet Christmas Social - 3 December 2018
TechNet: The Technician Commitment - 9 October 2018
This event showed staff how they can personally engage with and contribute to how the University commits to promoting their visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability. Keynote speakers key people on what has been happening so far in our University and across other Universities.
TechNet: The Next Generation - Apprenticeships and Trainees - 19 July 2018
Aimed at those who supervise or work alongside apprentices and trainee staff, or those who are considering introducing an apprenticeship/trainee program, this event offered advice and discussion on how to make the most of these star technicians of the future.
TechNet: Departmental Inductions - 27 April 2018
An opportunity for technical staff to offer their feedback on departmental induction packages, including how these could be done differently and how they can be more inclusive and informative for technical staff. This event was designed around suggestions made by staff at a previous TechNet event.
TechNet: Celebrating the Diversity of Technicians - 30 January 2018
An event focused on the diversity of technical staff at the University of Sheffield, open to technicians, researchers, admin staff, technical managers, HR personnel, staff development, teaching staff and anybody who has an interest in the technical community.
TechNet: Celebrating Our Technical Staff - 12 October 2017
This networking event celebrated the talent and diversity of professional technicians here at the University of Sheffield. The event featured the presentation of awards to recently professionally registered technicians alongside recognition of apprenticeships, followed by a showcase of work by technical staff.
TechNet: Job Interviews - How to prepare, top tips and how to avoid common mistakes - 18 July 2017
TechNet: Presenting The Facts - 28 April 2017
Advice on public speaking and giving presentations delivered by Kevin Oxley, former chair of TechNet.
TechNet: David Kirby - Lab Coats in Hollywood - 8 February 2017
Discussing both scientists' impact on cinema and cinema's influence on science, this event highlighted some of the scientific community's long-standing concerns about the impact of inaccurate science in the media on public attitudes towards science.
TechNet Christmas Social - 5 December 2016
TechNet: Health & Safety - 14 October 2016
Tom Fleming, head of Health and Safety at the University of Sheffield, spoke on the University's H&S vision for the future, current H&S policy and the importance of this for the technical community.
TechNet: Teaching, Training & Recognition - 19 July
Technicians are often at the forefront of teaching, be it providing inductions or specific training to students and staff at all levels on equipment, techniques or processes or through providing support to practical classes. Technicians involved with teaching can benefit from becoming accredited through the Higher Education Academy. This event hosted experts from the HEA to discuss what accreditation means, how technicians can achieve it and how it can benefit their roles.
TechNet: Close Encounters with a Technical Mind? - 19 April 2016
A networking event featuring short talks by technicians across the Faculties of Science, Social Science, Medicine, Dentistry & Health, Engineering and Arts & Humanities from TUoS.
TechNet: Procurement - Who Are We? - 23 February 2016
An event to guide technicians through the practicalities of procurement, including why we have to buy from certain suppliers, why some purchases must go to tender and why sometimes multiple quotes are needed for specific items of equipment.
TechNet: Careering your way through life: Do you plan it or just let it happen? - 25 November 2015
This event explored career planning this through diverse accounts of how individuals reached their present positions. Workshops included hands-on, thought-provoking exercises which allow the individual to assess their own career situation and look at how best to achieve their next goal.
TechNet: What is the catalyst project? - 25 September 2015
Terry Croft, Director of Technical Development & Modernisation at the UoS presented an overview of the project, which focuses on influencing and shaping the future of the technicians of tomorrow.
TechNet: Are You Getting The Best Out Of Your SRDS? - 12 May 2015
TechNet: Who Do You Think We Are? - 11 February 2015
TechNet: Technicians Showcase - 6 November 2014
A range of technicians from TUoS spoke about their roles, career pathways, part-time study, collaborating with other departments, and why it's great to be a part of TUoS.
TechNet: Spotlight On Career Development - 1 July 2014
Career experts from TUoS and external organisations delivered presentations on career development opportunities, training courses, mentorship schemes, professional registration and other career-enhancing ideas.
TechNet: Technicians' Network - 17 March 2014
An introductory event to TechNet: a new way for technicians to discuss, collaborate and improve the way they work.
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