Team wins prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry award

Members of a Technical Support Team in Lancaster University’s Department of Chemistry are celebrating being named winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Higher Education Technical Excellence Award.

The team received the award for its pivotal role in operating the laboratory courses, supporting research and developing a highly successful and creative outreach programme in the department.

After receiving the award, the team said: “We are thrilled and honoured that our contribution has been recognised with this Higher Education Technical Excellence Award.”

The team comprises Experimental Officers, Teaching Technicians, Outreach Officers and the Departmental Superintendent, and includes Dr Geoff Akien, Ms Naseem Aktar, Dr Sara Baldock, Ms Rachel Bashforth, Dr John Baum, Dr Nathan Halcovitch, Mrs Helen Quirk, Dr David Rochester, Mrs Gail Sheldrick and Dr David Townsend. In recognition of its success, the team also receives a £2,000 cash prize and a medal.

Its work is focused on providing support for vital aspects of the Chemistry Department’s day-to-day running, in addition to providing research support and delivering creative outreach programs.

Professor Peter Fielden, Head of Chemistry at Lancaster University, said: “The Chemistry Technical Support Team are indeed ‘second to non’, and I’m delighted that this fact has been recognized by them winning this prestigious RSC award.”

Dr Helen Pain, acting chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry said: “We live in an era of tremendous global challenges, with the need for science recognised now more so than ever – so it is important to recognise those behind the scenes who are making significant contributions towards improving the world we live in. It is our honour and privilege to do that with these awards, which recognise exceptional scientific achievement.

“The global chemical sciences community is one that covers many different specialisms, from health and climate change to product development, sustainable transport, and everything in between. In recognising the work of Lancaster University’s Technical Support Team, we are also recognising the important contribution this incredible network of scientists makes to improving our lives every day.”

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Prizes and Awards are awarded in recognition of originality and impact of research, or for each winner’s contribution to the chemical sciences industry or education. They also acknowledge the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, as well as the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.

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