THE Awards 2023 - Outstanding Technicians

05 Dec 2023

The Times Higher Education Awards 2023 shortlisted nominees have been announced and we are thrilled to see so many fantastic Partner Affiliate technicians nominated in this year's awards. The Technician Commitment are sponsoring the 'Outstanding Technician of the Year' for the fifth year running. Congratulations to the shortlisted nominees for the achievement of the nomination, and the NTDC team wish you the best of luck!

Michael Bayliss - University of Liverpool

Michael Bayliss is nominated for Outstanding Technician of the Year for revolutionizing teaching methods at the University of Liverpool's School of Histories, Languages, and Cultures. His groundbreaking collaboration between academic and technical teams showcases teaching innovation.

In his role, Michael goes above and beyond. He led the integration of podcasting, instructed subtitling, political radio broadcasting, and radio scriptwriting, enhancing these modules significantly. His expertise in audio and video technology greatly contributed to their success.

Michael's influence spans module design and directly impacts students' learning outcomes. He mentors staff, encouraging tech-driven and student-centered teaching, creating an environment where everyone thrives.

Heather Burgess - Ulster University

Heather Burgess at Ulster University Belfast School of Art blends heritage and modern techniques, amplifying creativity in the textile field. She elevates teaching by introducing new tools, fostering collaboration, and empowering students to explore diverse methods confidently. Heather’s innovative teaching methods inspire creativity and technical proficiency.

As Co-Chair of the University's Technician Commitment Steering Group, Heather extends her influence beyond the workshop, uniting technicians for collective progress. Her ongoing innovations and commitment leave a profound, enduring mark on the student experience.

Paul Clews - Keele University

Paul Clews, the Anatomy and Technical Services Manager at Keele University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, started as the Senior Anatomy Technician twenty years ago. He supervises a team of 10 technicians, conducting specialized hands-on anatomy and surgical training.

Working closely with Keele's Anatomy department head, Paul provides exceptional support to academics and students in various faculties. Leading the Anatomy and Surgical Training Centre team, he delivers specialized training to global Surgical Consultants and trainees. Paul adeptly manages technical teams across multiple schools in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

A founding member of the Keele Technician Commitment Steering Group, Paul played a crucial role in developing and implementing action plans aligned with the Technician Commitment's pillars.

Alex Counsell - University of Portsmouth

Alex spearheaded the University’s Centre for Creative and Immersive Extended Reality (CCIXR), a leading UK hub fostering innovation in virtual (VR), augmented (AR), and extended realities (XR) for the creative and digital fields. His passion for XR technologies has notably shaped a cohort of influential graduates within the XR industry.

Central to Alex’s focus is disseminating knowledge. He led the technical team for Enabling XR Enterprise, a £750k initiative empowering the museum and visitor attraction sector through immersive technology.

Alex played a pivotal role in the acclaimed "Dream" project with the Royal Shakespeare Company, captivating over 80,000 viewers across 151 countries through 10 live shows. This impactful project earned recognition from Innovate UK and the Arts Council for its profound global influence.

Jason Daff - University of York

Jason Daff, a standout horticulture research technician at the University of York, leads a team making significant contributions to plant research. He prioritizes continuous professional development, fostering collaborations with Leeds University to tackle the transition to peat-free compost.

Jason's dedication extends as Vice-Chair of the UK Controlled Environment Users’ Group and Honorary Secretary of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture. He champions horticultural students through initiatives like the ‘Growing Somewhere?’ e-newsletter and secured York's first technician-sponsored summer studentship via UKCEUG. An ardent advocate for horticultural careers, Jason engages with colleges and public events like the Harrogate Flower Show.

Kirsty Massetti - King's College London

Kirsty Massetti, the Dissecting Room Technical Manager at King's, is highly esteemed for her significant contributions to Anatomy. Beyond lab services and donor care, she excels in teaching undergraduates, supporting students, and collaborating with healthcare professionals and academics.

Her inclusive approach fosters a nurturing environment, benefiting students and colleagues alike. Kirsty's efforts notably enhance learning by integrating surgical robots, improving audiovisual systems, and contributing to innovative medical research.

Respected for her dedication, Kirsty actively engages in professional development and committees, earning praise for her passion, support for students, and skill in alleviating anxiety, especially among new learners.

Ketan Ruparelia - De Montfort University

Dr. Ketan Ruparelia, a dedicated member of De Montfort University Leicester's Health and Life Sciences faculty for over 20 years, serves as a remarkable role model. He holds both a Masters and PhD and, in 2021-22, led Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) classes for undergraduates. Ketan mentors Nuffield research placement students, offering valuable scientific skills and confidence, particularly to those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Remarkably, these students considered DMU for further study based on their positive experiences.

Collaborating with peers, Ketan promoted diabetes awareness at the 2022 British Science Festival, gaining national press recognition. His co-authored NMR articles and patented research highlight his significant contributions to academia and innovation.

Kate Thornton - Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary University of London (QM) proudly nominates Mrs. Kate Thornton, our Technical Resource Manager for the Faculty of Science & Engineering, for the Times Higher Education Technician of the Year Award. In just four years, Mrs. Thornton's unwavering dedication has transformed the technician community, fostering an efficient team providing exceptional support to academics and students.

Her efforts secured Queen Mary an Award of Impact from the Science Council for adhering to the Institutional Technician Commitment. Mrs. Thornton also played a key role in achieving Queen Mary's Gold EcoCampus rating and ISO:14001 certification through participation in the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF).