Ian started as a trainee electronics technician straight after his A levels in 1987. After that he obtained his ONC followed by a HNC on day release at college. In his time at Sheffield University he has had a variety of roles including IT support , computer networking , electronics repair, design and building of custom electronic equipment, electronics support in the semiconductor clean room labs, assisting undergrad students with projects and the programming of embedded and personal computers.
Ian tells us about his journey through registration
Why did you choose to go for registration?
A colleague told me about the scheme and I thought it sounded interesting.
What do you see as the benefits of registration?
In short recognition of my skills. I believe that some parts of the University community undervalue the work done by technicians and that it is vital we act as a profession and show what we can do.
What are your key skills and responsibilities?
I like to think that my key skill is the ability to listen to a researcher describe the instrument he wants often in theoretical terms and then turn that into a practical requirement. From that point on I am usually able to design and build the circuit , do most mechanical work and quite often these days write a custom computer program to connect to the instrument to gather data. I am hopefully a one stop shop for the researcher or academic. I am basically responsible for electronic support across most of my department and for supporting several web applications (the latest is an online MSc marking system) which I have written and are used across the University.
What sort of CPD activities you undertake and why?
I attend seminars in the Faculty I also read a lot of technical books and journal articles mainly because I enjoy doing that. Electronics/IT is a fast moving field and I feel that unless my skills are right up to date I really wouldn’t be able to do my job very well.