IST’s new President – Helen Sharman OBE FRSC

The Institute of Science & Technology is pleased to announce the appointment of Helen Sharman OBE as our new President.

Helen Sharman OBE

Photo credit: Thomas Angus, Imperial College photographer

Helen will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the IST team and to the technical community at large. Helen started her career with a degree in chemistry from the University of Sheffield before working in industry for GEC and Mars Confectionary. Helen then became the first British astronaut when she launched into space on board a Soyuz spacecraft on 18th May 1991. After her space flight Helen became a science communicator before starting a new career in management, working at the National Physical Laboratory and at Kingston University London, before moving to Imperial College in the summer of 2015.

Helen says, “I am delighted to be the IST’s new President. Having worked in technical and managerial positions in manufacturing, research and education, I am aware of the vital part technical staff play.”

“As the IST is the leading professional body for the technical community I am looking forward to working with the chairman Terry Croft and the IST’s committees to support specialist, technical and managerial staff, professionally and to highlight the positive impact of these roles. Whether it be through professional qualifications, team dynamics or otherwise, I believe that technical staff deserve full and proper recognition.”

Terry says, “I am looking forward to working with Helen. Our combined experience will ensure that we continue to deliver the services and support provided by the IST to the technical community and to continue to develop and enhance the technicians’ profile. As the “voice” of the technical community the IST made this key appointment to ensure this mission continues to move forward in raising the profile of the Professional Technician.”

Terry Croft MBE is the Director of Technical Development and Modernisation at the University of Sheffield.
The Chair and CEO of the Institute of Science and Technology.
Director of the HEFCE Catalyst Project “Development and Embedding of Career Pathways for Technicians across the Higher Education Sector”. Further information is available at
A Science Council Top 100 Leading Practising Scientist 2014