Skip to main content Skip to navigation

University of Warwick technician wins prestigious Papin Prize

A technician from the University of Warwick has won a prestigious Papin Prize at the HETS (Higher Education Technicians Summit) conference in Birmingham on the 25th June 2019.

Steven Hindmarsh from the University of Warwick was given the award for technical excellence in supporting a Core Research Facility – The Electron Microscopy Research Technology Platform.Steve Hindmarsh (right) collects his Papin prize from Professor Sir John Holman of the University of York (left)

The award was presented at HETS 2019, which aims to share best practice amongst higher education technical staff in UK, Ireland and beyond, and is the largest event of its kind in the country, with over 700 technicians attending.

Steve has rapidly progressed to Senior Research Technician in the EM Research Technology Platform (RTP). The quality of imaging has enabled material measurements not deemed possible before. He is known for his ‘willingness to get stuck into problems.’ He comments:

“I am delighted to have won a Papin prize for my work in Electron Microscopy Research Technology Platform. I’ve been at Warwick for 8 years, and much of my time is spent using the microscopes for both internal research and external industrial work. On a daily basis, I run maintenance and troubleshooting duties help keep the facility running smoothly, and to be recognised in this way is very rewarding.”

Along with Steve Hindmarsh, his Warwick technical colleagues Ian Hands-Portman and Steve Huband, were also runners-up in the same category. Ian Hands-Portman was also a runner-up in the Outreach category.

Professor Stephen Jarvis, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for research at the University of Warwick comments:
“I am absolutely delighted that Steve Hindmarsh has been recognised with this year’s prestigious Papin Prize at the 2019 Higher Education Technicians Summit. Steve joined Warwick as a trainee technician in 2011 and has been at the forefront of developments in Electron Microscopy since then. He is now a leading expert in atomic force and FIB-scanning electron microscopy and supports hundreds of undergraduates, postgraduates and PDRAs through world leading training and research.

"I would also like to extend my congratulations to Steve Huband (X-ray Diffraction RTP) who was shortlisted in the Core Research Facility category and to Ian Hands-Portman (School of Life Sciences and the Advanced Bioimaging RTP) who was shortlisted in the Core Research Facility and Outreach categories. Given the high volume and quality of nominations for the Papin Prizes, this is a tremendous achievement.”

Speaking about the Papin Prizes, Kelly Vere, Technician Commitment lead for the Science Council, said:
“This year, the standard of entries for the Papin Prizes was incredibly high, so all of the technicians and technical teams that have been nominated for the awards should be very proud of their achievements.”

Named after Denis Papin, a famous 17th century technician, the Papin Prizes were first awarded at the inaugural Higher Education Technicians Summit (HETS) in 2015. Held biennially, the Papin Prizes recognise and reward innovation and excellence amongst technicians working in higher education.

Dr Helen Turner, Director of Midlands Innovation, added: “I am particularly delighted that we have had so many entries for the Papin Prizes from right across the UK. This demonstrates that the excellent work which technicians do throughout the country is greatly appreciated by their work colleagues and students. I am pleased that through HETS and the Papin Prizes we are able to support technicians in HE and recognise their achievements.”

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, the founder of WMG at the University of Warwick who died in March this year was also acknowledged at the ceremony, as the Lifetime Achievement award has been renamed the Lord Bhattacharya Lifetime Achievement Papin Prize.

The award recognises continued excellence and/or significant achievements across an individual's technical career.

Professor Lord Bhattacharyya was passionate about tackling the UK’s skills shortage and highlighting the important role of technicians in contributing to internationally-leading education and research. He also recognised their role as ambassadors for science and engineering.

For more information about HETS and the Papin Prizes, visit


26 JUNE 2019


High-res image available at:

About HETS
HETS is sponsored by Midlands Innovation, a partnership of eight universities - Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham & Warwick, in partnership with the Science Council.

For more information about the HETS conference, contact Kelly Vere at the Science Council email:

About Midlands Innovation
Midlands Innovation is a world-class research and innovation partnership, combining the collective excellence of eight leading universities in the heart of the UK – Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick. It unites the power of university research with the unique strengths of Midlands industry to drive cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development.


Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221


Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221