IST member Natalie Kennerley is now a Chartered Scientist (CSci) under the Science Council’s professional registration scheme.
She applied for the status after the IST was given a licence to grant it by the Science Council in April.
As well as being the IST’s first CSci, Natalie is also the first technician at the University of Sheffield to be awarded the status.
Natalie said: “To say that I’m absolutely delighted and thrilled to have achieved CSci, as well as be the first person awarded CSci by the IST, the first person at the University of Sheffield and a woman would be an understatement.
“Indeed I have been shouting this from the rooftops to anybody who would listen! I’m immensely proud of myself and extremely grateful to my institution for giving me the freedom and support to develop.”
CSci is the highest level of the Science Council’s professional registration scheme and, typically, requires a combination of an accredited FHEQ level 7 qualification together with four years of post-qualification experience sufficient to meet the CSci competencies. Registered Scientist (RSci) and Registered Science Technician (RSciTech) are the other Science Council awards that are available through the IST.
The scheme gives technical staff recognition for their skills, experience and contributions to scientific work. Technicians are required to meet certain professional standards to qualify for the status, which in turn demonstrates to others that they are experts in their fields.
As well as being an experienced immunohistochemistry technician, Natalie is assistant technical manager and departmental safety officer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Sheffield. She is a co-founder of TechNet, a support network for technicians, and helps technicians who are going through the professional registration process themselves.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Science at the University of Sheffield, Professor Tony Ryan, said: “I was delighted to hear that Natalie was the first person to be awarded Chartered Scientist status by the Institute of Science and Technology. We have taken great strides in Sheffield in empowering our technical staff and supporting them through knowledge networks and opportunities for training.
“This is a great result for her as an individual but also for the University of Sheffield as an institution – and an acknowledgement of Natalie’s leadership in this field. We are truly proud of her!”
Jen Morgan, the Faculty’s Deputy Director of Operations, said: “Technical staff underpin the Faculty of Science’s excellence in teaching and research, and technical registration has provided a fantastic opportunity for their skills and experience to be benchmarked and recognised.
“We are hugely proud of the significant contribution that technicians such as Natalie Kennerley make to our Faculty and the wider technical community, not least as she has recently blazed a trail for others to follow in becoming the first person to be awarded Chartered Scientist by the Institute of Science and Technology. We are thrilled that Natalie’s expertise and dedication have been recognised in this way.”