Three technicians from Cranfield University have been shortlisted for national awards at the Higher Education Technicians Summit (HETS) which is taking place in Birmingham this summer.

The prizes, known as ‘the Papin Prizes’, recognise the skills, talent and experience of technicians in higher education and research, across the UK and Ireland.

The three technicians from Cranfield who have been nominated for the Papin Prizes are Stephen Staines, Jane Hubble and Barry Walker.

There are over 20,000 technicians working in universities in the UK, who make a crucial contribution to research and teaching activities. In addition to providing essential traditional technical duties, they also present at international conferences, publish research papers, teach, lecture and even help to mark the work of students. 

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 third round of awards will be made at the HETS 2019, which is taking place at the University of Birmingham on 25th June 2019.

The national Higher Education Technicians Summit aims to share best practice among higher education technical staff in UK, Ireland and beyond, and is the largest event of its kind in the country.

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

Speaking about the Papin Prizes, Dr Helen Turner, Director of Midlands Innovation said: “The Papin Prizes are designed to recognise the excellent work of technicians in higher education and research across the UK.

“The roles that technicians do, usually behind the scenes, are vital in ensuring the success of our universities and research institutes, providing academic, research and student colleagues with the essential technical expertise that they need to enable their research and teaching. It is very important that we highlight and recognise their contributions, and the Papin Prizes help to do that.”

Kelly Vere, Technician Commitment lead for the Science Council, added: “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. I’m looking forward to meeting the Papin Prize nominees and all technical colleagues who will be coming to HETS 2019 in June.”


Notes for editors

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.


About Cranfield University

Cranfield is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.