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BMS Seminar: Technical Services – past, present and future, Timothy Jefferson, Head of Technical Services, SLS/WMS

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Location: IBRB lecture theatre and via MS Teams

Abstract: Technical support for laboratories, and technical services in general, is an area of professional services everyone knows about and everyone uses, yet is sometimes seen as a closed shop of ‘techies, tinkerers and odd-job folk’.

However, they are the lifeblood of any School, College, University or Institute where teaching and research are carried out, particularly within STEM subjects.

The provision, use and recognition of technical services has had many ups and downs over the years, but that is now changing with the instigation of the technician’s commitment, professional recognition and realistic career development.

At Warwick there is a vibrant community of technicians from all disciplines and backgrounds, but the population is aging and there is a risk of some valuable skills being lost. WMS and SLS technical support is amongst those leading the way in upskilling and evolving technical services, and the staff therein, to ultimately deliver visible, engaged and skilled support to research and teaching at the university.

Tim JeffersonBiography: Born and raised in Leicester, I started my HE career as a trainee technician in the department of Anatomy at Leicester Medical School, where I worked in the Electron Microscopy Suite. I was there many years developing research skills in cell biology, embryology, teratogenicity and premature birth.

I eventually took on the role of Chief Technician to the department of Clinical Biochemistry, this included technical provision, lab and grant management as well as lab design and build.

I eventually took the decision to move to London becoming the Lab manager for Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry at KCL, managing space, staff and eventually being part of the team developing the £45M Wohl Clinical Neuroscience building.

I then moved on to Imperial College London as Technical Operations Manager for the department of Chemistry, primary task was to manage change within aging and dysfunctional technical teams before becoming one of the college leads on the £80M fit out of the Molecular Sciences Research Hub, the new home of Chemistry Research.

Then in January 2022 I started my current role at Warwick as Head of Technical Services for SLS and WMS.

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