University technician nominated for higher education award

A leading technician from the University of Aberdeen has been nominated for a prestigious higher education award.

Brian Paterson has been nominated in the Outstanding Technician of the Year category in this year’s Times Higher Education Awards.

Brian has played a central role in building the Department of Chemistry’s thermal analysis laboratory, a leading edge facility that underpins research within Chemistry and across the University.

As manager of the facility he has attended training courses in Switzerland with Mettler-Toledo, the supplier of much of the laboratory’s equipment, becoming the only person outside of the company to achieve Senior TA Expert status.

Professor Corrie Imrie, from the Department of Chemistry, paid tribute to Brian’s contribution.

“Brian’s intimate knowledge of the equipment has allowed him to develop ingenious solutions to keep it operational and functioning optimally, and he was central to the design and operation of a high pressure differential scanning calorimeter – at the time the only operational instrument of its kind in the world.

“More recently has also become the technical manager for a number of organic chemistry laboratories and one of his first actions has been to install circulatory chiller units greatly reducing the volume of wastewater produced.

“Away from the laboratory Brian has delivered outreach presentations during Salter’s Festival and Chemistry at Work, which have been cited as reasons why students have chosen to study here.”

As a member of University Court and Chair of the Aberdeen Educational Branch of Unite the Union, Brian is active in university life at all levels, and has played a central role in the development of University policies through membership of a wide range of senior committees. 

Commenting on his nomination, he said: “I am delighted to have been nominated and subsequently shortlisted for the inaugural THE award of Outstanding Technician of The Year 2019. 

“I must thank not only my nominees for their recognition but also the University for giving me the opportunity to enhance my role, which has contributed greatly to the nomination.

“A key component of the Technician Commitment is visibility, and I am proud to represent all our technical staff who are vital to the smooth running of our scientific community – technicians quietly go about their roles, yet their importance cannot be underestimated.”