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Technical Staff

Technician Commitment

Technical staff talking to visitors
A member of the technical staff at the School of OES at the Boat Show

The Technician Commitment (TC) is a UK University and research institution initiative, led by a steering group of sector bodies, with support from the Science Council and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation’s  Technician’s Make it Happen campaign.  

The Commitment aims to ensure visibility, recognition and career development for technicians working in higher education and research, across all disciplines.  

The University of Southampton became a signatory of the Technician Commitment on 30 October 2018 and pledged to act against the key challenges affecting technical staff in four key areas of visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability.   

Professor Bashir Al-Hashimi is Chair of the TC Steering Group. He says:

“The University’s skilled and committed technical staff make significant contributions to our ability to undertake and deliver impactful research and enterprise, as well as to the support of our students' education and improving their employability prospects.

The Technician Commitment is a welcome and timely initiative. It will help the University to develop sound plans to ensure this vital group’s contributions are visible and recognised and that they have sustainable career development in the future.”

Our technicians are the linchpins of the University, driving innovation, productivity and generally keeping things running smoothly for our academic staff.

Like so many employers we have experienced a skills shortage at the technician level. The Technician Commitment is geared towards encouraging and supporting those who have already chosen a career as a technician, as well as inspiring young people, particularly those that are naturally analytical, practical and real problem-solvers, to consider becoming part of the next generation of the nation’s much needed technicians.

The Technician Commitment provides a voice for our technical staff to share their ideas, provide feedback to the senior management and network with colleagues from across the University. For those applying for roles at the University they can be sure the University is committed to, and values the contribution made by, our technical staff.

What’s next?

After signing up to the Technician Commitment we are now going through a period of self-assessment, as well as developing an action plan which will enable the University of Southampton to: 

The outcome of the project will ensure that the University’s submission fully addresses the five key areas of the Technician Commitment, which are as follows:  


  1. Visibility - Ensure that all technicians within the organisation are identifiable and that the contribution of technicians is visible within and beyond the institution. 
  2. Recognition – Support technicians to gain recognition through professional registration. 
  3. Career Development – Enable career progression opportunities for technicians through the provision of clear, documented career pathways.  
  4. Sustainability – Ensure the future sustainability of technical skills across the organisation and that technical expertise is fully utilised.  
  5. Evaluating Impact – Regularly assess the impact of actions taken in support of the commitment to ensure their effectiveness.  

The University Technician Commitment Steering Group

Bashir Al-Hashimi Chair of the TC Steering Group – Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
James Wilkinson Academic Lead – FEPS Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences 
Aymen Al-Shamkhani Academic Lead – FMED Faculty of Medicine
Julian Leyland, Associate Professor  Academic Lead – FELS Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Nick Stewart Academic Lead – FAH Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Janice Griffiths Academic Lead – FSS/ CHEP Faculty of Social Sciences
Andrew Brook Technician - Senior Technical Services Officer Arts and Humanities (Winchester School of Art) 
Adrian Wilkins Technician – Senior Facilities/ Technical Manager and H&SO Medicine (Human Development and Health) 
Richard Reid Technician Medicine (Cancer Sciences)
Nic Pratt Technician – Senior Marine Biology Technician Environmental and Life Sciences (Ocean and Earth Sciences) 
Rachel Fitzearle Technician – Senior Technical Manager Environmental and Life Sciences (Biological Sciences) 
Gareth Savage Technician – Resource Manager/ Safety Officer Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (Physics and Astronomy)
Andy Giles Technician – Faculty Technical Manager Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (Engineering)
Kevin Smith Technician – Production Facilities Manager Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (Engineering Design and Manufacturing Centre)
Samantha McLaughlin Reward and Recognition Advisor Human Resources (Reward and Recognition)
Karen Payso HR Business Partner Human Resources (HR Business Partner)
Jake Dovey Incident Response Team Manager iSolutions 
Daniel Cole Mechanical Operations Manager Estates and Facilities  
Lesley Taunton Internal Communications Officer Communications and Marketing
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