It is with enormous sadness that we have to announce that our President (and previous Chairman), John Robinson passed away on the 5th December 2013. His death followed a prolonged period of serious ill-health, which he faced with his customary dignity, determination and unfaltering good humour. His loss will be keenly felt by all his colleagues and friends within the IST, the Higher Education Sector and technical community as a whole both within the UK and overseas, and our thoughts are with his family and close personal friends.
John joined the IST in 1984 and was elected as Chairman in 2000. His period as Chairman was not only a time of change in the Higher Education Sector but also within Professional Bodies and the wider community and John was to lead major reform. He understood well the needs of the IST, and more importantly its members, and recognised the importance of providing guidance and training to position them to meet the demands of the ever-changing environment. His drive to establish the IST as a modern professional body dedicated to the recognition and support of the technical community led to a restructuring exercise within the IST that would deliver a leaner, more efficient structure that is now geared to respond it members’ needs and to future environmental developments.
His foresight, vision and sheer determination were responsible for ensuring that the IST was integral in the establishment of the HEaTED initiative and that the IST was positioned appropriately to be able gain recognition by the Science Council as one of their Licensed Bodies for the Registered Scientist (RSci) and Registered Science Technician (RSciTech) awards on their new Technical Registers. The new Registers, without doubt will provide a mechanism for enhancing and developing the professional status of the technicians, specialists and managerial staff that the IST serve. These are just two examples of ways in which the technical community as a whole will continue to benefit for many years to come from John’s leadership, hard work and dedication.
Earlier this year John was awarded a Distinguished Achievement Award by The University of Manchester in recognition of his significant and important contribution to the University of Manchester, the Higher Education sector, the IST and the Technical Community as a whole over the past 20 years. It was an award that the IST wholeheartedly supported and was delighted to see. Colleagues and friends within the IST are equally saddened to lose John from our ranks – we consider ourselves truly fortunate to have had him on board and we are determined to carry his work forward. Take a bow, John, we will really miss you.