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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 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.

In 2019 we submitted our first self-assessment and a 24-month (2020-2021) action plan.

In 2021 we submitted our second self-assessment and a 36 month (2022-2025) action plan.

Professor Michael Butler is Chair of the TC Steering Group. He says:

"Technical staff have a wide range of roles right the way across the University of Southampton, delivering key elements of our research and enterprise activity and playing a major role in delivering an outstanding education for our undergraduate and postgraduate community.

We are working hard to implement change in every area to ensure technical staff are valued, are visible, succeed with their career ambitions and we have a sustainable pipeline of talent for the University’s future."

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.

The University became a Partner Affiliate of the National Technician Development Centre (NTDC), with effect from 1 February 2021. This partnership with the NTDC will provide tools to support the development of formal technical career pathways and embed these strategies within the wider University.

What’s next?

The implementation group is now preparing to deliver the new 36 month (2022-2025) action plan which will enable the University of Southampton to continue to focus on the four key pillars of the Technician Commitment:

  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 and HEA Fellowship. Seek opportunities for technical representation at University-wide initiatives. Recognise the contribution of technical staff to research via Fair Attribution Guidance.
  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.  

To support the implementation of the University’s Technician Commitment (TC) action plan, the University has appointed four Technical Leads. These leads will each be responsible for delivering the plan’s objectives in line with each of these four key areas.

Technician Commitment Implementation Group and Self-Assessment Team (TCIG/SAT) 


Name and job title Role in TCWorking GroupFaculty/ Professional ServiceJob Family / Level

Professor Michael Butler

Dean of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Executive Sponsor and Chair N/A Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences ERE L7 
Agnes Michalik

Experimental Officer 

Technical Lead - FELS Recognition Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences (Ocean and Earth Sciences) TAE 4+
Gareth Savage

Technical Resource Manager 

Technical Lead - FEPS Sustainability Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
(Physics and Astronomy)
TAE 4+ 
Ben Coles

Faculty Technical Manager 

Technical Lead - FMED Visibility  Faculty of Medicine
(Clinical and Experimental Sciences)
TAE 4+ 
Andrew Brook

Faculty Technical Manager 

Technical Lead - FAH Career Development  Faculty of Arts and Humanities
(Winchester School of Art)
TAE 4+ 

Kira Terry


Technician Commitment Events Coordinator Communications Faculty of Social Sciences (MSLC/CHEP) MSA
Dr Julian Leyland

Associate Professor 

Academic Lead - FELS  Visibility Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
(Geography and Environmental Science)

Dr Charlie Ryan 

Associate Professor

Academic Lead - FEPS Recognition Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
(Boulderwood Campus)

Professor David Read

Professorial Fellow Education

Academic Lead - FEPS Career Development Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (Chemistry) ERE L7

Professor Aymen Al-Shamkhani

Professor of Immunology

Academic Lead – FMED


Faculty of Medicine
(Cancer Sciences)

Melissa Doherty

Molecular Laboratory Manager

Technical Representative Recognition Faculty of Medicine
(Human Development and Health)
TAE 4+

Rachel Fitzearle

Senior Technical Manager

Technical Representative Visibility Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
(School of Biological Sciences)
TAE 4+

Nicola Pratt

Senior Marine Biology Technician

Technical Representative Recognition Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
(Ocean and Earth Science)
TAE 4+

Kevin Smith

Production Facilities Manager

Technical Representative Sustainability Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences – TechGp TAE 4+

Andy Giles

Faculty Technical Manager

Technical Representative  Recognition/ Career Development Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences – TechGp TAE 4+

Kerry Spiers-Fitzgerald

Molecular Laboratory Manager

Technical Representative




Faculty of Medicine – Faculty Central TAE 4+

Lynne Rawlings

Science Technician

Technical Representative


TBC Faculty of Social Sciences (MSHE) TAE 4+

Anna Turaj

Research Technician

Technical Representative  TBC Faculty of Medicine (Cancer Sciences) TAE 4+ 

Lisa Nicholas

Equality Charters Project Manager

Project Management N/A EDI/HR MSA
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