Seasons Greetings!

December 2015

Congratulations to our Professional Services Recognition Awards 2015 winners

This years' awards, announced at a gala dinner on Wednesday 25 November 2015, saw Technical Services staff winners in the following categories:

Excellent Service Award - best support for staff

Thomas Adams (Facilities Coordination Manager (Biosciences Geoffrey Pope), Technical Services) has been nominated because:

  • He provides detailed technical knowledge and design expertise in a calm and cheerful way to ensure the smooth running of facilities in Biosciences (Streatham), and he gives useful advice across CLES.
  • He manages, and has significantly enhanced, facilities in Biosciences and several other areas that are integral to world-leading research at Exeter; working closely with senior academics, colleagues, and students to ensure stringent Home Office conditions are met.
  • His work has saved in excess of £150,000 and he has designed and reconfigured valuable facilities supporting millions of pounds worth of research under tight time and technological pressures.

Key quote from a nominator:

"On top of his general day to day work, at the request of our senior academic staff, Thomas has taken on a number of new projects this year that will greatly improve our research facilities. His innovative solutions to upgrade our growth facilities have turned a situation where valuable and vital research material was regularly lost due to failure, into a situation where the facilities are very reliable and giving the accurate and reproducible conditions required for top class research."

Outstanding Collaboration Award

Lucy Lofthouse and Marcus Mitchell have been nominated because:

  • They work together with University of Exeter and NHS colleagues to ensure a smooth working environment in the Research, Innovation, Learning and Development (RILD) building.
  • They have created a shared environment where all staff can benefit from the facilities and experience of both University and NHS partners, supporting collaboration.
  • Their willingness to share and help others has reduced duplication of effort and led to a greater volume of grant funding for clinically-led projects.

Key quote from a nominator:

“Marcus and Lucy play a lead Professional Services role in ‘RILD’, a 350-person building on the hospital site shared between the University and the NHS. Working in RILD it is impossible to know which staff work for the NHS and which for the University because the administrative and technical systems developed by Lucy and Marcus means that everyone has access to services that they need in a truly shared and collaborative environment. ”

Technical Services staff shortlisted

Being shortlisted for an award is fantastic recognition in itself.  Congratulations this year go to Steven Haley who was shortlisted for "Learning from Experience": An award for an individual or team who have learnt from experience and used it to improve practice.

Steven Haley (Senior Laboratory Manager, Technical Services) was nominated because:

  • In 2013/14, Geography was one of several departments faced with a formal radiation inspection from the Environment Agency. Several areas required improvement.
  • Stephen learnt from the experience, vastly improving safety and working conditions for the return inspection.
  • Stephen has introduced new records keeping and data management systems, safe working practices, an improved physical environment, and team training.

Key quote from a nominator:

“Steve has attended every safety training course we have available (by choice!) and has made it his business to learn from his experiences for the benefit of the students and his colleagues in CLES.”

Dave Parish awarded PhD

I am very pleased to announce that Dave Parish (Renewable Energy) has successfully defended his thesis this Friday (11 dec 15) and has been awarded the PhD subject to minor corrections.  His thesis is entitled “A Novel Mooring Tether for Highly Dynamic Offshore Applications”.

I hope you all join in congratulating Dave.

Technical Services - Science Council Employer Champion

The University of Exeter, Technical Services, have now become a Science Council’s Employer Champion.

Science Council’s Employer Champions are at the forefront of the professional practice of science in the UK.  As an employer champions we are committed to recognising professionalism and professional practice among our technical/scientific staff and the responsible application of science for the benefit of society. 

We are expected to meet criteria that demonstrate our commitment to professional registration, both for our staff and for public benefit.  We have a dedicated webpage for Technical Services and University staff.

Benefits of Professional Registration:

  • Formally recognises your previous knowledge and experience.
  • Is linked to you individually, and is transferable between roles and organisations.
  • It demonstrates your commitment to continued professional development and shows you maintain knowledge by keeping up to date in your field of expertise.
  • It is a mutually respected and harmonised level of professional competence and understanding.
  • Is visible to potential employers when you add your level after your name on CVs and address blocks.
  • Is internationally recognised.

Exeter students help Cornish leisure centre towards better energy efficiency

Students from the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus have been advising a Cornish leisure centre how to reduce its energy consumption and costs.

The 29 second year Renewable Energy BSc and MEng students spent several weeks exploring energy efficiency options for Polkyth Leisure Centre in St Austell after visiting the site.

Using data secured from thermal imaging cameras to look at temperatures and measuring the humidity of the facilities, which include two pools, a fitness studio and a sports hall, the students drew up suggestions for reducing heat loss through the use of pool covers, replacement boilers and combined heat and power (CHP) technologies.

“Using a real case study adds great context to the lectures and enhances our student’s understanding of Energy Management hugely. They begin to realise the potential that they have to reduce energy bills and carbon dioxide emissions in almost all sectors by applying good engineering practices,” said David Parish who lectures in Energy Management for the University’s Renewable Energy Group. “We are very grateful to Tempus Leisure and to the centre’s manager Amelia Kitchen, who helped to facilitate this study.”

The project is the latest in a number that David has set up with breweries, dairies, colleges and care homes around Cornwall over the past six years. Students worked in small groups and presented their findings and proposals to representatives from Tempus Leisure, which manages other leisure facilities in the county.

“The students proposed various actions to reduce energy loses,” added David Parish. “The representatives from Tempus seemed genuinely impressed and we are hoping that this will develop into an ongoing relationship with contributions from third and fourth year students in the future.

“One problem Tempus have is that of escalating energy costs and deteriorating, outdated energy- related infrastructure. Our student's work is based around these issues. The Information provided will be very useful for Tempus.”

Tim Webb, Head of Leisure Facilities at Tempus Leisure, said:

‘My colleagues and I were really impressed by the level of preparation and detail the students presented. The standard of all the presentations was very professional and the students did a great job of answering some tricky questions; a great testament to their depth of knowledge. We will definitely consider implementing many of the suggestions and hope to work with the University again on other projects in the future.”

Technical Services All Staff Meeting

An all staff meeting was held on 15 Dec 15 and was a chance to reflect on our first busy term in the new service, to re-cap on the Technical Services review so far and to say thank you for all your hard work.

Video - Any volunteers to help with the next exciting chapter in Technical Services video diaries would be gratefully appreciated

Farewell to Nick Tongue

Nick Tongue has worked at the University of Exeter in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences since 1977 and has provided an excellent service to both his college and the wider University. He has been involved in a large number of research projects over his time, and has co-written a paper on Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology with Nick Talbot.

His most recent role was as Assistant College Manager (Infrastructure & Technical Services), where he was an integral part of the college management team, enabling refurbishments and building works, and working closely with the University Safety team to implement safety standards.

It is with mixed emotions that Nick leaves Technical Services and retires from the University this month. Nick said:

"I would like to thank you all for the support you have given me in my role as ACMI, please continue this fantastic support to Gail and Jon"

Linda Peka said:

“Nick has worked for the university for 38 years and still loves it! I can honestly say even this week you would not know he is about to retire he has continued to work full out.
He cares about the people he works with whether they are a Professor or a new junior member of the technical team. When I arrived 10 years ago following a lot of upheaval into biosciences not everyone welcomed my post and arrival. Nick was one of the very first to come and see me and simply said ‘how can I help?’ I was hugely grateful and of course again when we were struggling with the ACM Technical role for the College he again just stepped up”.

“You would think finally following all the changes with the PS transformation and developing the new technical service he might be thinking enough already! But no he has supported Gail, Jon and others to get the service up and running. Nick will help wherever needed and we have all been teasing him terribly that he is the new boy/ apprentice in stores and if he works hard and keeps his nose clean he might go far!”

She added “Nick has been an absolutely fantastic colleague and I am genuinely heartbroken to say goodbye and I know everyone here feels the same”.

Thank you Nick for all your hard work and enthusiasm for the past 38 years! We all wish Nick all the best for the future, and look forward to receiving updates on his allotment and animals.

New Joiners to Technical Services since 1 Jul 15

Technical Services would like to welcome the following new staff to the University:

  • Donna Carless (Research Technician)
  • Roberta Torregrossa (Research Technician)
  • Joanna Rothwell (Laboratory Assistant Technician)
  • Karen Leslie (Research Technician)
  • Katherine Smith (Laboratory Assistant Technician)
  • Jordanna Broom (Apprentice Mechanical/Manufacturing)
  • James Chapman (PGCE Primary Support Assistant – GBP)
  • Valentins Feldbergs (Apprentice Mechanical/Manufacturing)
  • James Rutley (Apprentice Mechanical/Manufacturing)
  • Ashley White (Apprentice Mechanical/Manufacturing)
  • Michelle Taylor (Technician)
  • Stuart Cocksedge (Clinical Skills Resource Centre Assistant)
  • Richard Taylor (Stores Assistant/Technician)
  • Bahareh Yazdani Damavandi (Laboratory Manager (Mat Cover))
  • Steven Redshaw (Stores Assistant/Technician)
  • Alice Ekroth (Technician 3)
  • Leila Ellis (GBP - Laboratory and Clinical Research Intern)
  • Justina Krasauskaite (GBP - Laboratory and Clinical Research Intern)
  • Rebecca Nicholas (Laboratory Technician Level 1)
  • Luke Weymouth (GBP - Laboratory and Clinical Research Intern)
  • Rebecca Woodward (Research Technician)
  • Henry Stone (Laboratory Assistant/Technician)
  • Patrick Wakeham (Laboratory Technician (Controlled Plant Growth Facilities))
  • Christopher Garbett (Laboratory Technician – GBP)
  • Siobhan Kelley (Laboratory Assistant/Technician)