IST – Institute of Science & Technology Blog

IST Conference 2017 – 14th September *Early Bird* Discounts


IST One-day Technical Conference 2017
The Mercure Grand Hotel, Leicester
Date: Thursday 14th September 2017
Time: Start 10.00 and close at 16.30

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Steven Hale Wins National Photography Competition

Steven Hale from the University of Birmingham has been named overall winner of #TechniciansMakeitHappen, a campaign celebrating the UK’s 1.5 million technicians. Steve is a member of the IST and we offer our congratulations to him.

The winning image captures a sunrise over the world-famous Mt Wilson Observatory in Los Angeles. Steven who works on cutting-edge robotic telescopes like the one in his picture will receive £1000, as well as career mentorship from industry experts. Read More »

S-Lab/UKSPA Conference, 9/10th May, York

S-Lab’s next event is a two day Conference on ‘Science, Innovation and Translation: The Design and Operation of Research Laboratories, Incubators and Science Park Facilities’ in York on May 9-10 2017.

S-Lab Conference

S-Lab: Supporting World Class Science is jointly organising a Conference, Exhibition and Gala Dinner at York Racecourse, in partnership with the United Kingdom Science Park Association (UKSPA) and others. This two day Conference should attract 400+ key stakeholders in the design, financing, managing and operation of life science, physical science and translational research and innovation facilities in universities and other sectors.

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IST Presents Basil Boam BEM with Honorary Fellowship

Basil Boam FIScTBasil Boam BEM (centre) receiving his Honorary Fellowship from Terry Croft,
with David Smart (left)

There is so much in the news these days about apprenticeships and how they can lead to excellent careers. However, apprenticeships have been achieving these results for over 75 years. Basil’s story starts in 1943 at the age of 16 when he started on his career pathway and became an apprentice at the University of Sheffield. This was short lived as at 18 he was called up for active service, eventually returning to the University in 1948.

Over the coming years he learnt many skills in Physics, Genetics, and finally Botany. Basil rose to the top of the tree by becoming Laboratory Superintendent in the Department of Botany in 1972. He held this position until his retirement in 1986. However, he didn’t stop there and he continued working part-time for the University’s Environmental Consultancy Services bringing a wealth of experience to this fledgling company. One thing he is remembered for is the creation of UBMA (University Bioscience Managers’ Association).

In 1983 Basil and David Smart brought together bioscience managers from across the sector under the umbrella of “The University Biological Supervisors’ Association (UBSA)” eventually changing its name to UBMA in April 2000. Basil was very influential in the sector and brought great recognition to the technical community throughout the UK; hence the award of Honorary Fellow.

His is a great example of how a technician’s career pathway has gone from starting at the apprentice level and advancing to that of Laboratory Superintendent.

Terry Croft MBE FIScT CSci
IST Chairman

Art Meets Science & Technology at the Whitechapel Gallery

Whitechapel Gallery

We would like to draw your attention to Alicja Kwade’s ongoing commission ‘Medium Median’ which is being displayed at the Whitechapel Gallery. The work is a 21st century mobile that uses technological apparatus and star mapping developed by NASA to explore our relationship to space and time. A real instance where art meets science & technology!!

For further details see

MMU Head of Technical Services Vacancy

This influential, instrumental role with a university on an upward trajectory is potentially a career-changing move. Your leadership and vision will help us evolve and deliver the faculty-based technical services required to keep a dynamic University exploring, experimenting and exploiting technological advances in the subjects we offer – today and in the future.

For more information please visit

IST 62nd Annual General Meeting – 9th May 2017

The Institute of Science and Technology 62nd Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday 9 May 2017, starting with a sandwich lunch at 12.30 and the meeting will commence at 1.00pm

Chancellor’s Room (16) in Firth Court, University of Sheffield

If it is your intention to attend the meeting please complete the form below. It would be helpful, however, if you only indicate your attendance if you are sure that this is the case, as room sizing/seating and catering are dependent on the number of responses. Read More »